MoYoga Power Lunch Plan (PLP)

We’ve all read the articles and listened to the NPR story about how sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health. Studies show that sitting for extended stretches can disrupt metabolic function leading to a variety of ailments. One study in particular found that sitting for 11 or more hours per day increased the risk of death by 40%, regardless of other activity levels.

When I started to hear these grim predictions–in my mind akin to those for the end of the world as we know it–I saw a big, glitzy Vegas billboard flashing “Welcome to the rest of your life. You are S.O.L. suckers. ” So, are we truly shit out of luck?

Fear not my fellow office drones, you are not doomed to this fate. How come? There are a lot of things you can do to counterbalance your sedentary occupation. From sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair (all the cool kids are doing it) to breaking up your day with a couple 15-minute walks, it may be easier than you think to transform your daily routine for better health. While it is the small things like those I just mentioned that will make a difference in the long-term, if you want more immediate results–more energy, burning off those omnipresent holiday cookies, etc–the bottom line is you need to get up and move. To help you with this try my work-week, Power Lunch Plan (PLP). And yes, I did just create my own acronym…this is D.C. after all.

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The Urban Dictionary defines ‘Power Lunch’ as the following:

A gathering of co-workers or of mostly young male corporate douches (see yuppies) for a 3-hour lunch on the clock that includes such things as a motorcade of Lexus and BMW automobiles, motivational speakers, cheers, steak, and talk about something like the “bottom line” or bonuses or something. Supposedly a motivational event, but usually turns out to be a feast of gluttony and ruined neckties. Newly motivated and encouraged participants are expected to go back to the office and make phone calls and fire off emails and achieve results, but most usually end up at a local boozer and get tanked before happy hour even starts.

My version of the power lunch is quite different. It’s all about using your precious lunch break a few times a week to get up and get moving.

MoYoga PLP*:

30 min interval training on a treadmill, 5 min cool down, 5 min stretching, 3 days a week:

  • Begin at 4 mph, incline level 10 for 2 min. Increase to incline level 12  for 2 min. Increase to incline level 15 for 2 min.
  • Reduce incline to 0 and increase speed to 7.5 mph (or a comfortable running–not jogging–pace for your body) for 2 min. Increase speed to 8.5 mph (or a challenging running pace for your body) for 1 min. Reduce speed to 6.5 mph (or an easy running pace for your body) for 1 min.
  • Reduce speed to 4.1 mph, incline level 13 for 2 min. Increase to incline level 15 for 2 min. Decrease to incline level 13 for 2 min.
  • Reduce incline to 0 and increase speed to 7.5 mph (or a comfortable running–not jogging–pace for your body) for 2 min. Increase speed to 8.5 mph (or a challenging running pace for your body) for 1 min. Reduce speed to 6.5 mph (or an easy running pace for your body) for 1 min.
  • Reduce speed to 4.2 mph, incline level 15 for 2 min. Decrease to incline level 12 for 2 min. Decrease to incline level 10 for 2 min.
  • Reduce incline to 0 and increase speed to 7.5 mph (or a comfortable running–not jogging–pace for your body) for 2 min. Increase speed to 8.5 mph (or a challenging running pace for your body) for 1 min. Reduce speed to 6.5 mph (or an easy running pace for your body) for 1 min.
  • Do 5 min cool down followed by at least 5 minutes of stretching.

Do this workout on three lunch breaks a week for a month and I guarantee you’ll look better and feel much more motivated for the second half of your workday. Your boss will be amazed at how breaking a sweat will boost your afternoon productivity.

Use the impending doom that is the predicted end of days as motivation to start making healthy, lifestyle-changing decisions for your lunch breaks today. No time like the present, right? And when the world doesn’t magically implode tomorrow (knock on wood), use your renewed sense of gratitude for the ground beneath your feet to take out your own personal insurance policy for a happier, healthier more energetic future.

* Unfortunately your ability to try my PLP is contingent upon access to a gym in or nearby your office. Luckily, for many folks in D.C. employers are wising up to the importance of providing employees access to fitness facilities.

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