Winter Fitness: 5 Awesome Lunch Break Workout Ideas

Get outside and get fit.

By: Jen Weir
January 20, 2016

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Lunch break...those beautiful 30 to 60 minutes that signify your work day is halfway over and you’re that much closer to escaping the confines of your office. If you’re looking for a way to fill this time with some sweat-inducing action, but don’t have the time or desire to hit the gym, experiment with a few of these ideas. Get in some mid-day movement that will strengthen your body and mind but mainly just take the opportunity to get outside and break up the monotony of the work day.

Explore Red Rocks Park in Winter | Photo: Jason Hatfield

1. Cardio

When you’re looking for a quick, effective, no-fuss lunch break workout, look no farther than those two things you walk around on all day long. A quick run will clear your head, and lungs, and prepare you for the rest of the day. If you have a bike handy, take it for a spin. Utilize any trails in the area or just stick to the roads. Don’t let the weather thwart your efforts - running in the rain or snow can be downright peaceful and fat bikes are getting more and more affordable...what’s better than plowing through some drifts while everyone else is holed up inside?

2. Strongman It Up

You’ve seen the beasts on TV, those crazy-strong guys who never actually lift weights. Take a cue from them; find a log or heavy rock (check out your local park for supplies or bring your own) to tote around for 20 to 30 minutes, carrying it anyway you can to keep your body moving. If you work from home, you could even get your lumberjack on and chop some wood in the backyard. If your parking area allows and your boss is cool with it, throw your car in neutral and push it around until you’re sweating and exhausted – it shouldn’t take long. Be especially careful with this one and don’t do it next to a hill or incline or you may not have a car to push around next week.

Snow Bike in Alaska’s Arctic | Photo: Matt & Agnes Hage

3. Use Your Body or Your Buddy’s Body

Your own body is your best workout tool – you already have resistance and every movement will bump up your heart rate. The best part is, you already have it with you so, other than changing into some sweat-friendly clothes, you’re good to go no matter where you are. With this type of workout, go old school; squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, burpees, chair dips, pull-ups, squat jumps, mountain climbers, you name it. Pick a handful of exercises, knock out 20-25 reps of each as fast as you can, repeat two to three times and you’re golden. If you’re looking for more of a challenge and have a willing sidekick, throw your buddy over your shoulder and do a few fireman carries. They should do a sufficient job smoking you in a short amount of time.

4. Take Advantage of the Terrain

Leave the office every day and explore the surrounding landscape. If you’ve got a hill nearby, hike it; a neighborhood pool, swim; a glorious snow-covered park or walking path, snowshoe it; miles of concrete and pavement, break out the roller blades and short shorts and get crazy (might want to save this one for warm, sunny days...or at least dry).

5. Adapt to Your Surroundings

If you’re afraid of what other people think of you, go ahead and skip this one. If you don’t give a damn, party on! If your surroundings are one hundred percent urban, try a little parkour – it doesn’t have to be good parkour, just move your body. If your office is close to a park, experiment with a MovNat, climb trees, use branches for pull-ups, string a slack-line and see what you can do.

Hike the Coyote Song Swallow Trail Loop | Photo: Johnathan Valdez

Cover photo: Matt Clark

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Get the gear you need to track your fitness this winter:

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.