I’m lucky enough to work 6 minutes from the Lunch Loop Trail System here in Grand Junction. As the name indicates, when people began adding loops to the Tabeguache trail system out there, they wanted loops short enough to be ridden on a lunch break. They got their wish, and then some! The Lunch Loops have expanded and have become quite popular with locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s lunch time, after work, or midday on a Saturday, you can always find people hiking, running, and biking here.
Back to my first point: this place is 6 minutes from work. So a few days ago when the trails were dry and the temperatures were hovering around 40, I set out for a lunch time bike ride. I just did a variation of what’s referred to on Strava as “Lite Lunch.” I rode up the doubletrack then cut over onto Pet-y-Kes, took that up to the top, then crossed over to High Noon, Coyote & Raven’s Ridges, and rode down Curt’s Lane at the end. It took me 39 minutes. You might not think 39 minutes is much but…
1. I was out of the office, away from my desk and in the sunshine for 39 minutes on a Wednesday. My mood changed, my brain had a chance to focus on something other than a computer, and my whole attitude shifted. I find this is especially helpful if I’ve gotten stuck trying to create an advertisement or when my brain just seems to have slowed down.
2. I wasn’t sedentary! I sit all day long at work. We all know that various studies show people with sedentary jobs are more likely to have heart problems, be overweight, etc. To be able to get out and get my heart pumping and racing for even 39 minutes is a huge plus.
3. I was more alert and focused once I got back to my desk. I was able to come up with new ideas, work out a few complicated problems, and just focus more on my work. Usually by 3 o’clock I’m yawning. This day I was still full of energy.
4. Finally, I slept better. That 39 minutes of sunshine and exercise helped me to rest easier and sleep longer.
I don’t always bike on my lunch break. Sometimes I run and some days I practice yoga. Still, I always try to get out and move. As this article from the NYTimes shows, lunch time exercise is beneficial to us all!
Your Turn: Do you bike on your lunch break? What positive effects does this have on the rest of your work day?