How many times have you set your alarm for 6am, determined to get up before work and go for a run, but hit snooze as soon as you’ve opened your eyes?

It’s a mission just to wake up early, let alone squeeze in a manic day at the office after getting all sweaty. And the resolution of going for an evening workout quickly falters, as soon as you start missing beer nights with mates.

But there is an alternative. Instead of sitting at your desk during that precious one-hour lunchbreak, go out and do something less boring instead. Here are our top five, one-hour workouts.

1. The DIY workout

What: This only works if your office has showers you’re prepared to use.

Bring your exercise gear (make sure you’ve got decent trainers) to work, then log on to Walk Run Jog and plot a route according to your ability – decide how far you want to go and how difficult you want it to be.

Even a 3mph, one-mile walk will burn about 85 calories. When you work up to a run, you’ll see the benefits – weight loss, improved sleep, stronger immune system and increased happiness – and that’s just for starters.

How much? Free.


2. Get your groove on

What: Can’t wait for the weekend to start? Now you don’t have to. Burn about 200 calories an hour, instead of stuffing your face, at this lunchtime disco.

Held by the funky Drink Shop Do, expect some top-class DJs playing a mix of “always dance-worthy” party music. It’s held every month – in a former sex shop – and you can BYOS (bring your own sandwich).

How much? £3 in advance, £4 on the door.

When & Where? Last Friday of each month, 12pm-3pm. Caledonian Road, N1 9DX.


3. Military Fitness

What: Now there’s a glimpse of sunshine, this doesn’t seem so much like hell. So if you relish the prospect of being barked at during your lunchbreak, this is for you.

You’ll be put through your paces by a no-holds-barred instructor. All classes are outdoors and you’ll be part of a team, meaning there’ll be others to spur you on, should you lose your resolve. Expect high-energy workouts.

How much? First class is free, then membership options vary according to location and number of sessions per week.

When & where: City of London, Tuesdays 12.30pm; Canary Wharf, Wednesday 1pm.


4. The gym – Xtreme workout

What: Going to the gym doesn’t always have to mean pounding on the treadmill. This 50-minute Xtreme workout assault will push you to your limits, with intense, short bursts of exercise – “double the fitness in half the time”, as the official burb says.

How much? Bag a £30 a week membership over the summer. 

When & Where? Canary Wharf, E14 5ER. Wednesdays in August 12.05pm-12.50pm.


5. Empowering Yoga

What: If you’re a bit of a stresshead, this 50-minute (12pm-12.50pm) exercise class will mean you’ll return to your desk calmer and more composed.

You’ll start with a warm up, then stretch yourself into dynamic poses which aim to build strength, improve flexibility and tone the body. This class fuses hatha and vinyasa yoga.

How much? £64 for eight classes, or £12 per session .

When & where: Tues: Little Albany  St, Regent’s Park, NW1 4DY. Thurs: Northwood, HA6 3AA.



Photos: Thinkstock

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