JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Put some punch in your lunch

Date

Jane Southward

Chef Javier Araujo uses compression therapy to help him through a big shift.

Chef Javier Araujo uses compression therapy to help him through a big shift.

Got 30 minutes to spare at lunchtime? Then you also have the time to work on your health and wellbeing via a quick escapade. Try these ideas.

Get wrapped

Fancy lying down for 25 minutes wrapped in a suit that promises deep relaxation, lymphatic drainage and improved blood circulation? It's a new spa craze called Presor-03 Therapy, in which air is pumped into the suit, compressing parts of your lower body and abdomen at intervals. It costs $75 a session.

Javier Araujo, the head chef at the restaurant in Next Generation Pool and Gym in Ryde, Sydney, uses the Presor at the SK Skin Clinic under the pool deck and says it helps him relax and increases his energy levels.

"The Presor gives intensive relaxation and it feels like someone has given me a full body massage, a heap of antioxidants and vitamins after I have it," says Araujo, 26.

"I don't get many breaks over my day and the Presor is an efficient way to pick me up. Sometimes I drift off to sleep during the treatment.

"If I start work at 7am and have a 14-hour day, I use it after the busy lunch rush so I have the energy for the evening shift."

Presor Therapy is available in Skeyndor Skin Clinics (1800 554 545) or via www.vogueimage.com.au

Go networking

Wish you had time for networking, but can't make morning meetings and want to be home with the family in the evenings? Try speed networking in your lunch break.

One organiser, Adrian Abrate, a 33-year-old Sydney business development executive at NCC Group, says lunchtime networking has become so popular that one free meeting he runs for 50 people is now held monthly.

"We get a mix of small business owners, project managers and general businessmen and women," Abrate says. "It's bit like speed dating – you get four minutes as a pair and move on to talk to different members every time the bell rings. If you find a connection you want to pursue, there's 10 minutes at the end to continue it or swap cards to take it further.

"I created this event as a way to maximise your downtime. Your lunchtime is generally unproductive and I thought, 'Why waste time eating when you can do something productive in your break?'

"We ask people not to eat during the hour as it's hard to talk with a mouthful. People usually eat on the run so they can make the most of their time."

Visit meetup.com for more information.

Take a 30-minute work out

Thirty-minute workouts are booming according to Marie Anagnostis, a spokeswoman for Les Mills – the inventors of CXWORX and Grit Strength, which have taken off in hundreds of gyms nationally.

"There's no fluff, just a hard, functional workout," she says. "They are ideal for lunchtime as you can be in and out, showered and back at work within an hour."

CXWORX is a high-intensity workout for the core and buttocks and claims an average caloric burn of 230 calories over 30 minutes. Launched two years ago, it's now a regular feature at 424 gyms.

Meanwhile, 133 gyms have started Grit Strength 30-minute workouts. They involve interval training program using weights, which means you push hard for 30 or 60 seconds and then work less intensely for the next 30 or 60 seconds.

"People are looking for more time-efficient ways to work out, especially during business hours and have found GRIT Strength fills this gap," Anagnostis says. "What the 30-minute sessions lack in time, they make up in intensity. We are seeing fantastic results from both CXWORX and GRIT Strength."

Donate blood

Want to do more for the world, but don't have the time? The Red Cross regularly runs short of blood and anyone aged 16-70 can donate as long as they aren't sick and haven't donated in the previous 12 weeks (plasma donors can donate every two to three weeks).

Donating takes about 10 minutes and it's best to rest for 15 minutes afterwards while you are given a drink and snack. Remember to drink three glasses of water in the three hours beforehand, and bring identification.

For more information, call 13 1495 to find out where you can donate.

Sleep on the job

The Spanish have been doing it for centuries – napping mid-afternoon to extend their working day into the evening. Now some US firms, including Google, have installed alien-like sleep pods so workers can get some shut-eye during their work day.

Science backs up the value of a daytime sleep, with one UK study finding a quick powernap is better for overcoming afternoon tiredness than a hit of caffeine or an extra-long sleep-in.

The study, presented to an international sleep conference in Cairns, involved 14 good sleepers who tested out three popular options for beating the natural mid-afternoon dip in the body clock.

On different days, participants were trialled with either 90 minutes of extra sleep time in the morning, a 20-minute nap at 2pm or a cup of coffee at 2.30pm.

The researchers from Loughborough University in the UK compared these fatigue-beating techniques with doing nothing, and analysed how each affected the person's levels of alertness right throughout the day to the evening.

How do you make your lunch break count?

9 comments so far

  • I'm surprised "go for a walk" didn't make the list.

    Commenter
    walk
    Location
    this way
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 9:53AM
    • I was about to post with the same thing! Going for a quick walk, even if it's just around the block can do wonders for your productivity throughout the day - it especially helps you curb that sleep period around 3:00 in the afternoon.

      Sure, a workout is great, but the humble walk is so often overlooked!

      Commenter
      Agreed
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 2:47PM
  • How could anyone think that spending your lunch hour eating a healthy meal is unproductive? It's much healthier than eating on the run and then participating in a stressful 'speed networking' function! Some people seem to forget that we are human beings and not machines.
    The best thing you can do in your lunch break is go for a walk, get some sunshine and eat a healthy meal.

    Commenter
    RED
    Location
    Near the Beach
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 11:51AM
    • Yes, eating your lunch and going for a walk is a good way to spend your lunch but it's not "the best". It's no better than going for a workout or a yoga class which I quite like, it's not better than going to a lunch time concert at the Sydney Conservatory - it's just one of many good options, some of which were highlighted in the article. Besides, eating lunch/going for walk gets pretty boring if you do it every lunch time.

      Commenter
      KS
      Location
      Potts Point
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 12:31PM
  • how about just "eat lunch"? who are these crazy people and no wonder the (corporate) world is such a crazy place. if people actually took regular breaks and weren't constantly interrupted by trying to do 5 things at once, their productivity would sky rocket without the need to squeeze more meaningless activity into their lunch break.

    Commenter
    jay
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 12:30PM
    • Spot on Jay. Although I sense you are clearly too clever for the corporate world. Let them have it!

      Commenter
      shaken
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 7:41PM
  • 'Why waste time eating when you can do something productive in your break?'

    I don't want to live on this planet any more.

    Commenter
    Caffetierra Moka
    Location
    Sector 7-G
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 10:34PM
    • Be cautious with the Blood Donation option. I've donated during my lunch break, and particularly at the Sydney one, it can get very busy during the middle of the day.

      Even with an appointment, it still is first come first serve (ie, come 20 minutes before your appointment and your right) and being busy, you may have to wait longer to get pre-tests and your donation taken.

      Basically, my lunch donations usually take an hour and a half, particularly in a busy city location. In other words, if your boss is a sticker for being back in time, make sure they knew before what your doing. Maybe you can arrange for a group from work to donate too?

      The food after is delicious though and its worth doing to help save somebody life!

      Commenter
      Ellie
      Date and time
      February 12, 2013, 9:10AM
      • As a person teaching GRIT I can say that its the best 30 min workout! People come in stressed from work during their lunch smash out the workout then leave feeling re energised! Best thing for bosses is to have employees who are more awake and alert in the afternoon.

        Commenter
        Miffy
        Date and time
        February 14, 2013, 10:44PM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        Featured advertisers
        Executive Style newsletter signup

        Executive Style newsletter signup The latest news delivered to your inbox twice-weekly.

        Sign up now