7 No-Sweat Workouts for Your Lunch Break

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7 No-Sweat Workouts for Your Lunch Hour

Written by Natalie L. Nichols, Health Writer

If you are like most people, your average workday is one filled with meetings, deadlines and stress. By the time you make it home, you probably just want to order some takeout for the family and relax on the couch rather than head to the gym for an evening workout to burn off some calories (and steam). But what if I told you that you can get real results from quick and easy workouts you can perform during even the busiest of workdays?

These eight office-friendly exercise ideas will help you get healthier and stronger without having to break a sweat.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer.

Tone with Tubes

You can build strength by using a portable and inexpensive resistance band (tube) while on your lunch break. Resistance exercises help reduce injury and increase strength while improving your range of motion. So, grab a resistance band and try this 20-minute workout while you stretch your way to your strongest self!

Static Sculpt

Yes, you can still build strength and get fit without moving a muscle! Isometric training is a great way to change up your resistance training without ending up soaked in sweat. And, when you hold a single position for a while, it will teach your body how to keep the correct form while helping your ligaments and tendons build strength, too. Try doing a static lunge next to your desk, a wall sit behind your workstation, or move to the office floor with some plank exercises.

Roll With It

Working out at the office is the perfect opportunity for you to get cozy with your versatile foam roller. Grab this piece of equipment when you want to relax tense or sore parts of your body (think your neck, back and shoulder muscles), practice some yoga poses and even work on some strength exercises (try this 5-minute foam roller video). Oh, the possibilities!

Find Balance

You dont necessarily need to lug around a balance board or other pieces of equipment to provide your body with better stabilization and balance. In fact, all you need is some stable ground or a simple yoga mat to stand on. Try one of these equipment-free balance challenges while resting your hand on your desk or desk chair for support.

Just Say 'Om'

A quick, 10-minute yoga routine at the office will help calm an anxious mind and help you feel rejuvenated so you can tackle that big afternoon meeting. Not only will you feel less stressed, but yoga can strengthen your core, help boost your immune system, improve your posture and give you more energy in the middle of your workday. So, roll out your yoga mat next to your desk (or try this chair-based routine), and reap the healthy rewards.

Blast that Belly

Want an effective, low-impact workout that will help flatten your tummy and strengthen your core? Look no further than a time-saving Pilates routine. Though even a five-minute core workout might not seem like much, it can make a big difference (without getting you too sweaty to return to work)! Pilates will also help improve your posture so you can return to your desk sitting taller instead of slouching over your computer as you near the end of your workday.

Walk at Work

FYI: You can fit a good, effective cardio workout into your workday without returning to your desk sweat-soaked. It's true! Just take a break from your desk for a moderately-paced walk around the parking lot, building, or office park. walking is a great way to strengthen your heart, boost your heart rate and burn off fat. So, slip off those workday shoes, pull on a pair of comfy shoes and walk away the pounds at work!

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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9/10/2015 8:56:32 PM

GAILITCH's SparkPage
Thank you to the writer, Natalie Nichols, for encouraging me to think creatively about exercise-- how I could fit it in different situations I hadn't considered before.

I am going to practice your suggestions at home, so I recognize when I'm in a situation in which I could use some destressing and I feel cramped from sitting in one position but cannot escape from an office location for my lunchtime walk (sometimes I work in a factory setting, sometimes a formal office, sometimes from a not-fancy hotel meeting room when at a workshop).

Mostly, thank you for modeling an upbeat, helpful attitude toward exercise. I'm trying to grow that attitude for myself!


9/10/2015 4:40:12 PM

HMG7466's SparkPage
Walking is really the only one I could get away with at my medical office I work at. I do that on breaks and lunch 👏


9/10/2015 2:52:43 PM

If I do any of those "No-Sweat Office Workouts". I will sweat! The only one that I have done is walk during lunch and breaks. I'm a sweater....LOL!


9/10/2015 9:55:48 AM

I walk at work and I sweat anyway. I probably need to bring a change of clothes.


9/10/2015 8:39:55 AM

This article is odd. So many of these exercises require a good bit of space. And a plank? How is that going to work in a suit or a dress, exactly? The writer seems like she doesn't know very much about her subject. So much of this was unrealistic. I expect better from SP.


8/22/2015 12:07:34 PM

Even walking in my building's parking lot makes me sweat (I live in the tropics), but afterwards, I feel great walking 10 minutes three times for a 30 minute workout. I have a fan on my desk, so I cool down pretty quickly. Will try the bands, static lunge and squatting against a wall.


8/14/2015 7:08:29 PM

I enjoyed this article. Great motivation for even an at home person.


8/14/2015 5:42:54 PM

These have given me some great ideas not only for at work but at home too.


8/14/2015 1:52:01 PM

There are some great suggestions here. Thanks so much for posting. I have worked out in my office a few times over the past three weeks. I am lucky enough to have an office, but one entire wall is glass and so anyone walking by can see. I wanted to try it many times before I could work up the courage. In truth, I did get a few weird looks the first day. No one even glanced by the third. There are several free iPhone apps with office workouts you can do seated in your chair and other Spark Articles with seated workouts. I think its a good option for some. I am obese. I figure anything that gets me moving is better than nothing. Sooner or later the spark is going to flame...


8/14/2015 11:50:25 AM

HOLALOLA's SparkPage
Also, once people know that you are the kind of person who exercises at work, they stop thinking it's strange and just think that it's your thing. They won't encourage or join you but they will not look down on you for it.


8/14/2015 11:48:48 AM

HOLALOLA's SparkPage
These may not be right for everyone but it seems everyone could get some ideas from this. It does say they are to be done on your lunch hour, not at your desk. Maybe you have a break room or another part of the building where you could go and do some balance poses or bending or overhead stretches with a band. I find a lot of privacy in the stairwell (not too many people walking in there!) for stretches, squats, and knee raises, even a quick 20 jumping jacks.


8/14/2015 11:31:35 AM

PURKEY01's SparkPage
Even though I have an office with a door, I have windows everywhere. Besides, if I'm in my office, people just come on in. I think I'll stick to walking.


3/29/2015 1:49:06 PM

LOULOUWLG40's SparkPage
I'm retired, but there was no where in the office I worked where you could do any of these exercises except walking outside, which we did, on a good day! I can't even do the rest of those exercises. I hope everyone has a blessed day on the Lord's Day and on Palm Sunday! lyl!


11/10/2014 1:56:28 PM

MIZSQP's SparkPage
Great stress busters and a way to get around the excuse of sitting at a desk all day that keeps you from exercising.


10/17/2014 7:41:30 PM

I really like this article. Doing some of these exercises will also wake you up during a slump.

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