3 Reasons Why Taking a Short Break to Exercise Will Improve Your Workday

3 Reasons Why Taking a Short Break to Exercise Will Improve Your Workday

A little movement goes a long way.

By Amy Gurvitz Updated June 14, 2022


We’ve all been there: Your to-do list is a mile long, so you skip your morning workout and clock in to work early. Then you shelve your plans to exercise at lunch and power through your projects, calls, and meetings instead. It might seem like this approach will lead to the most productive workday possible, but making time for a 5- or 10-minute exercise break is actually a better choice. Here’s why.

1. Exercise Improves Your Mood in Minutes

Has your mood ever been worse after exercising than before? We didn’t think so. On those extra-busy, extra-trying days, squeezing in a workout—even one that’s five minutes long—will boost your mood and get you through the rest of your workday with a better outlook.

“Exercise, even in short bouts, improves your mood,” notes Dr. Jay Alberts, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic scientist and member of the Peloton Health & Wellness Advisory Council. “Plus, if you are in an office environment with others, they will likely appreciate a coworker with an improved mood.”

As Peloton instructor Jess Sims always says, the hardest part of your workout is simply showing up. Once you’ve checked that box and decided to take a few minutes for yourself, you’ll get a pick-me-up that both you and your coworkers will appreciate.

2. Exercise Lowers Stress Levels, Stat

The jam-packed, stressful days are the ones where you need an exercise break the most. When you can’t get a full workout in, block 10 minutes out on your calendar and treat it like a meeting with someone you would never think of canceling on.

You don’t even need to break a sweat (or change into workout clothes) to start dialing down the tension. “A calming meditation class could have dramatic benefits in terms of stress reduction, and if nothing else, it would serve to get a person out of the environment that could be causing the stress,” says Dr. Alberts.

Next time you feel your stress levels creeping up, grab your phone, open the Peloton App, and take a yoga or meditation class from wherever you are. If you want to feel the burn while burning off stress, go with a 10-minute core or bodyweight strength (no equipment required!) class instead. “These can be fairly intense and aerobic without requiring the person to take a shower,” offers Dr. Alberts.

3. Exercise Resets Your Body and Perspective

Sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, especially when you’re already feeling tense, can do a number on your neck, shoulders, and back. On the flip side, being on your feet all day can cause all sorts of tightness and unease. A quick break for a 10-minute yoga or full-body stretch can act as a reset button and help you feel more comfortable and, in turn, more productive for the rest of the day.

When you’re feeling burned out or uninspired, your head might need a reset too. Give your brain a break—while getting your blood flowing—by hitting up a 10-minute HIIT cardio class. When you’re done, chances are you’ll feel mentally sharp, reinvigorated, and ready to take on whatever work throws your way.

Ready to take a break from work to get moving? We’ve got tons of classes to choose from on the Peloton App!