Your lunch break is not just for eating… upgrade it to a runch!

Thursday, May 04, 2017. Author Geraldine Campbell

Pull on your running shoes and get out into the city on your break

‘Runch’ is a phrase that has been used in the health and fitness world for a few years now but many people may not be familiar with it (myself included even though I have undertaken a fair few of them!). Runch is the term used for a lunchtime run…Makes sense.

One of the most common excuses for not exercising is the lack of time. Pressing work and family commitments spark the frequent cry of ‘but I just don’t have the time!’ But everyone does have a lunch break. Whether it’s an hour long or just 30 minutes; fitting in a good run or perhaps a quick HIIT session could be the perfect opportunity enjoy the physiological, psychological, and performance (work wise!) benefits of exercise.

Work productivity

Exercise increases blood flow to your brain which increases your alertness and clarity for the tasks you must complete at work. This is a better way of getting that mid-day boost than reaching for a fizzy drink, caffeinated energy drink or sugary sweet. At FitnessGenes, we provide a score on your blood flow and vasodilatory capacity using your genetic and lifestyle information. You can see how your gene variants on ACE, PGC1A and PPARA may mean that running at lunch is even more beneficial.

Runching is also a fantastic way to help you destress and reduce the number of mental distractions limiting your productivity in the office. If these stressors are work related, taking the opportunity to get away from your working environment and clear your head while running may be just what you need to have a better second half of your working day.

Health benefits

Running, and exercise in general improves all aspects of your health. Running improves your cardiovascular health, strengthens your bones and joints, improves your metabolic health (insulin sensitivity for example, which is one of the physiological traits you can discover your score for at FitnessGenes!) and aids weight loss. The benefits of running are explained more in this blog.

Self-esteem and confidence

Exercise can help raise your self-esteem and confidence particularly if you’ve set goals to achieve. Reaching these goals and improving your lifestyle will increase your self-esteem which may positively impact other aspects of your life – including your workplace. Overall, positive mental and physical health are important for success at home and at work, so get moving, and enjoy the overall health benefits.

Planning your runch

Here are some key pieces of advice for starting your journey into the world of runching:

  1. Leave a bag at work with all your running essentials in (shorts, tops, change of clothes, body wash, deodorant, towel etc.) or pack one the night before to bring in.
  2. Plan your route the day before so you are all prepared for the next day.
  3. Get a running buddy to join you (this will help with motivation on those days where you would rather just have a normal lunch break as well as being a good opportunity to socialize with a colleague).
  4. Have a pre-workout snack an hour or so before running. Some good examples are Greek yogurt and fruit, a banana and some nuts, a small bowl of cereal or oatmeal; or an energy bar.
  5. Schedule your runch in like you would a meeting. This will make sure you do it but also keeps others aware that you are busy at that time.
  6. Make sure you have also packed a nutritious lunch and late afternoon snack to satisfy your hunger when back at work.

Nowadays, most of us have sedentary jobs that involve sitting down for most the day. We all know that being sedentary is not good of our health, so it is important to utilize these breaks in our days to be active. And with the summer months approaching, let’s make the most of the nicer weather. Get your running shoes on, get outside, and get runching!


If you enjoyed this blog, you can read my other posts here:

Resistance Band Training

Get to know your heart 

How Alcohol May Be Limiting Your Progress

Running and Genetics 


Genetic Dominance of East African and Jamaican Runners 

Sprint and Power Performance

The Nordic Diet


Oxidative Stress



Lee, D.C., Pate, R.R., Lavie, C.J., Sui, X., Church, T.S. and Blair, S.N., 2014. Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 64(5), pp.472-481.

Opdenacker, J., Delecluse, C. and Boen, F., 2009. The longitudinal effects of a lifestyle physical activity intervention and a structured exercise intervention on physical self-perceptions and self-esteem in older adults. Journal of sport and exercise psychology, 31(6), pp.743-760.

Kim, I.H., 2002. The effects of exercise therapy and exercise-behavior modification therapy on obesity, blood lipids, and self-esteem of the obese middle-aged women. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 32(6), pp.844-854.

Levy, S.S. and Ebbeck, V., 2005. The exercise and self-esteem model in adult women: the inclusion of physical acceptance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6(5), pp.571-584.

Spence, J.C., McGannon, K.R. and Poon, P., 2005. The effect of exercise on global self-esteem: A quantitative review. Journal of sport and exercise psychology, 27(3), pp.311-334.

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