My job takes me all over the place – some days I am in our head office, some days I work from home, and generally once or twice a week I am travelling. It means I don’t really get the opportunity to RUNch (run at lunch) as much as I used to enjoy.
Last week I worked from Central London (hardly ever happens these days!) which meant I was able to take part in the “Office Space Race”. Set by leading office space provider Flexioffices, the Office Space Race had us bolting around a set course in Shoreditch as fast as we could (and past a few of their office locations). I haven’t spent much time in Shoreditch at all – so when my workday in London aligned with being asked to run the route by Flexioffices, I thought it was a pretty good opportunity to check out the area in the way I know best – bolting around on two feet!
Sometimes bothering to sync a Garmin just wastes too much time!
When it was time for my lunch break, I quickly got changed and got outside. The key to a good RUNch is to be as prepared as possible – get your kit on quick smart, and don’t faff around with technology! Sometimes it can be hard to escape the confines of the desk (or, more so in my current case, that pesky flashing red blackberry light which drives me mental!) but taking a bit of a break to get a quick sweat on, and some endorphins flowing really makes the afternoon a lot more productive!
According to a recent study by Bristol University, exercising at lunch really does make you work better! 200 people were recently questioned after spending 45mins working up a sweat in the middle of the day and there were some telling results:
– 72% reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days
– 79% said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised
– 74% said they managed their workload better
Your RUNch doesn’t have to be a full 45minutes either – even just 15minutes outside can make the world of difference. I ran the route set by Flexioffices in 14minutes – a bit slower that I would have expected had I been at my usual pace, but considering a few obstacles, I was pretty happy with that!
A few tips for your RUNch:
– check the map before you head out. I like to use mapmyrun.com to plot a route and plan how far I am going. Write the key streets/ turns on a peice of paper or your hand – or, if you get lost (like me!) keep an eye out for the helpful maps on bus stops, outside tube stations, or by Barclays Bike Hire stations.
– Keep a quick change kit in your desk drawer. Taking a full shower honestly isn’t necessary if you run less than 5k (my personal view anyway – you might be a sweaty beast though!). A spray of deodorant, a couple of facewipes and a fair amount of dry shampoo can have you back at your desk in a matter of minutes
– Stay aware of your surroundings. Cars, other pedestrians, and roadworks were all hazards that I came across on my little jaunt around Shoreditch! If you listen to music, keep it down low, and be prepared to slow down/ side step a bit more. Don’t step out on to the road to cross without checking for rogue taxi’s or bikes – these guys seem to come out of nowhere!
– Similarly – LOOK AROUND YOU and take it all in! I knew I couldn’t bolt it around Shoreditch due to the pedestrians and traffic, so instead I took it at a leisurely pace, trying to notice all sorts around me. There was some pretty cool street art and graffiti, some wonderful old buildings, and some “aww London” views of the Gherkin that I caught along the way. I never would have noticed these things if I had my head down concentrating on my feet and my pace.
Sweet Olympics inspired graffiti I found along my way
I thoroughly enjoyed exploring a new area of London – and I’ll admit, without the incentive of the Flexioffice Office Space Race, I might not have bothered packing my kit that day. I’m really glad I did – I was MUCH more productive that afternoon!
Do you exercise in your lunch break? Does your employer encourage it or hinder it?
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Flexioffices, however all sweat was my own.