How to Escape Your Desk: 5 Stress-Free Ways to Spend a Lunch Hour in Philly

Put your lunch break to good use this winter — your boss will thank you.

Picture this: It’s 12:30 p.m., and you’re hunched over your desk, shoveling leftovers into your mouth with one hand and answering emails with the other. You haven’t stepped out of your office all day, and you’ve got no plans to do so anytime soon. Sound familiar?

It’s understandable. Cold weather — and jam-packed schedules — makes desk-side lunching an all-too-tempting proposition. But studies have shown that breaking away can boost creativity, banish stress, and bump up your energy levels. Here, five healthy ways to use those precious lunch-hour minutes — away from your desk — this winter. 

For a creativity boost: Flywheel 45

Consider a 45-minute indoor cycling class at Flywheel an investment in afternoon productivity: Research has shown a dose of cardio can boost creativity for up to two hours after your workout. Showers stocked with Bliss Spa products make freshening up before you head back to the office a treat, too.

For an excuse to lie down: 30-minute session at Healing Arts Community Acupuncture

A quick lunch session with the needle-wielding magicians at this Rittenhouse spot can help ease everything from a wobbly-desk-chair-induced backache to a boss-induced headache. If nothing else, you get to lie down and close your eyes for a half hour. And if you’re looking to squeeze in some lunch-hour shut-eye on the fly, they take walk-ins.

For a caffeine-free energy jolt: Lunch Hour Vinyasa at the Yoga Garden

Recent research from smartwatch company Pebble found that users reported greater jumps in energy after doing yoga than they did after downing caffeine. Get your boost at Bella Vista’s Yoga Garden, which offers a calorie-burning class specifically designed for lunch-break warriors every day of the workweek.

For a destressor: Mindfulness Meditation at Sanctuary Yoga & Mindfulness 

At 1:30 p.m. every Friday, you’ll find fellow lunch-breakers at this Midtown Village studio, learning the art of mindfulness meditation. The class is short and sweet (just 30 minutes!), and the price tag (just $5!) won’t add to your stress.

For a not-too-sweaty mid-work workout: Pilates Mid-Day Escape at Philly Power Yoga & Thrive Pilates

Say hello to your new favorite mat-to-meeting workout class. This low-impact mat class gets glutes burning without leaving you drenched in sweat. If you do start to schvitz, though, never fear: You’re welcome to use the studio’s shower.

This article first appeared as Escape Your Desk in the November 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine.