The New Power Lunch

REGION – The term "power lunch" may conjure images of suit-clad executives vying for career advancement over expensive noonday meals at exclusive eateries. But increasingly, local business people are redefining the lunch hour. They're incorporating a midday workout to power their bodies and minds through a stressful workday, saving their precious after-office hours for family time and fun. The TCBN chased down four local professionals who have dedicated their workday lunch hour to the good of a higher heart rate:

When Jeff Owens' first daughter was born, he realized the long, daily bike rides he took after work were no longer viable. "When you have kids, you can't just leave the house for two hours," says Owens. As the owner of Max's Service in Traverse City, Owens is able to carve out an hour or two each workday for a powerful workout before heading back to the office, then home to his family. He rides 20 to 40 miles each day in the summer and prefers the light noon-time traffic along the off-beat roads of Cedar, Maple City and Old Mission. In winter months Owens rides indoors or plays squash at The Grand Traverse Athletic Club and does Pilates twice a week, all year.

Sue Triplett leaves her home by 6:45 a.m. each day for work as a dental hygienist at Suttons Bay Dental, leaving little time to squeeze in a morning workout. So at 12:30 p.m., depending on the weather, she either hops on her bike for an hour-long ride along the county roads or attends yoga at Body Balance in Suttons Bay. When the snow flies, Triplett heads to the groomed Leelanau Trail for cross country skiing. A lifelong fitness buff, Triplett competed in her first triathlon after turning 50 years old. "I just try to somehow fit working out into my day. It's like (preventative) medicine," she says.

As owner of Bay Mortgage in Traverse City, Dave Durbin's flexible schedule allows him to workout in a variety of ways at different times during the day. Whether engaging in what Durbin describes as "brutal" one- to one-and-a-half hour intense P90X video routines, running, biking or cross county skiing, he aims for focused exercise at least five days per week. Citing the easy access to "beautiful trails" like the TART Trail, Durbin believes everyone should get out and do something as simple as walking during lunch. "It's a nice way to break-up the day … to get outside, shift gears and get refreshed," says Durbin.

Part of Tena Evans' job at Tom's Markets is to sample deli foods and other products they sell. A year ago, the 55-year-old senior merchandiser began her quest to shave off the extra weight those nibbles helped accumulate. Today Evans is 30 pounds lighter and a regular attendee to the noontime support class at Nourish in Traverse City. After grabbing her lunch- a fresh protein shake whipped-up in just about any flavor imaginable, Evans joins the other dozen or so folks in the meeting room for a support and motivation session she feels is key to her weight loss and fitness routine. "I get a sense of fulfillment, support and motivation that keeps me on track. And I go back to work with more energy," said Evans.

Trainers Weigh In

Get-fit hints for 9-to-5ers

Dorothy Sirrine

Instructor, Union Yoga in Suttons Bay, as well as leader of lunchtime yoga in the Leelanau County Government Center

A believer in the philosophy of "third time's the charm," Dorothy Sirrine advises people to commit to a class or find a buddy to set goals, even if it finding a location is challenging. "Sometimes the newness of trying something different can keep the benefits from sinking in until the second or third time," she says.

Tara Ziegler

Spa and Fitness Manager, The Homestead in Glen Arbor

Tara Ziegler says there are a variety of exercises one can do in an office without equipment. She suggests trading in the office chair for a physio ball engages the body core all day long. Shoulder presses and shrugs, along with lateral raises and curls, can be done with makeshift weights (water bottles or soup cans). Wall sits, squats and calf and hip raises will tone the legs, hips and glutes. "I always advise people to seek a certified trainer for individual recommendations," she says.

Doug Petersen

Owner, Rock Bottom Gym in Traverse City

Doug Petersen wants you to move as much as possible throughout the day. So much in fact, he recommends his clients outfit their office with a Tread Desk (combo treadmill desk machine). Realizing the high cost may be prohibitive to many, he suggests modifying an existing machine with a desk if possible. At the least "integrate movement into your whole day … walking meetings are great," says Petersen.