Getting in a workout when you’re swamped with work, family, friends and numerous commitments you can’t say ‘no’ to can be a real challenge. Especially when you barely even have time to take a much-needed breather. And that’s where the lunch-time workout comes in.
While working out during your lunch break might seem inconvenient and way too much of a hassle, the benefits are more than worth it.
As we mentioned in our previous post, a good midday sweat gives you a mental break from all that work-related stress and, in turn, improves your productivity and energy for that extra burst you need to tackle the rest of the day. Exercise also gets your endorphins flowing to keep you feeling good for hours.
With that, here are five easy ways you can make the most of your lunch-time workout.
#1 Location, location, location
With so little time to spare, the last thing you want to do is waste it travelling to and from your gym or studio. That’s why you should always look for a gym near your office. Cutting down on travel time means you can spend those precious minutes cooling down, squeezing out another rep or taking a shower.
#2 Put your workouts in your calendar
Working out takes commitment. And when you’re juggling work, meetings and a ton of to-dos, it’s easy to just reschedule or forget you even had a workout planned in the first place. Scheduling your workouts as firm appointments not only serves as a reminder that you need to get off your butt, it also ensures you won’t accidentally plan a meeting or discussion over your sweat sesh.
#3 Plan your outfit
One of the biggest gripes about lunch-time workouts is the hassle of changing in and out of gym clothes. So why not just wear part of your gym outfit to the office? For ladies, the easiest item is the sports bra. Take it one step further by layering a cardigan over a dry-fit tee or pairing those black leggings with a long sweater or top. For guys, simply wear your workout tee under your shirt and keep your running shoes under your desk.
If you’ve no time to shower after your workout, just be sure to pack plenty of deodorant, no-rinse body wipes, facial cleanser and dry shampoo. Don’t forget to bring clean clothes you can change into when you’re done.
#4 Bring your own lunch
When you’re up against the clock, every second counts. And you definitely don’t want to waste time waiting in line for an overpriced (and probably unsatisfying) salad or ‘healthy’ wrap. Packing your own lunch not only saves you time but also ensures you’re fuelling up with something clean and homemade.
Doing cardio? Prepare a balanced meal of carbs and protein to keep your energy up. If you’re focusing on strength training, load up on protein to repair those muscles and keep your metabolism humming.
#5 Create a workout plan
Hitting the gym without a plan during your lunch-time workout is like visiting a country without a map. You’ll spend half the time wandering around deciding what to do and before you know it, you’ve wasted most of your lunch hour. Pre-planning your workouts helps keep you focused on what your goals are and how you can achieve them. It also ensures you get the most out of each workout based on the time you have.
Consider planning HIIT routines or weight training for shorter sessions and cardio or spin training for longer lunches.
Have other tips on lunch-time workouts? Share your stories and questions in the comments below!