I know I’m not the only one who has trouble getting myself up an hour earlier to fit in a morning workout. And with family, work, and friend obligations most evenings, I end up skipping my p.m. workout plans all too often. So how do I make working out a priority with such a busy schedule? My very favorite time to hit the gym is actually midday. I love how a lunchtime workout breaks up a busy workday. It leaves my mind and body feeling refreshed, and makes it so that I’m not just sitting at a desk all day. I call this my ‘lunch hour workout,’ but the truth is that you’ll really want an hour and 15 minutes to fit in a full sweat sesh. But if you have a job that allows for the flexibility of a slightly longer lunch break, it’s so worth it! Here are my tips for squeezing in a workout at lunchtime…
Choose Your Workout Wisely
When you’re working out at your leisure, you might opt for an extra-long yoga class or a favorite cross-town studio. But when you’re working out on your lunch break, you want something quick, highly effective, and conveniently located. Think of it as a ‘power hour’ workout. Start by scoping out gyms or workout studios near your office. When you only have an hour or so, you don’t want to waste any precious time driving. Many gyms and studios offer slightly shorter versions of popular workout classes midday, knowing that most of the people attending will be rushing to get back to work. You’ll also want to make sure the studio you choose has showers, since you’ll need to make yourself presentable enough to go back to work afterward!
To recap, here are the three main things to look for in a lunch-hour workout studio:
- Less than 5 minutes away
- Offers a 45-minute class (or machines that you can use on your own time)
- Has showers and a locker room attached
The Post-Workout Primp
The most common reason that people avoid working out at lunchtime is their concern over going back to the office post-workout. No one wants to look like a sweaty mess in front of their coworkers. But with the right products, I’ve found that I can get myself office-ready again in 15 minutes or less. My post-workout routine involves a quick rinse-off shower (don’t bother washing your hair); applying dry shampoo or throwing my hair up in a bun depending on how sweaty it got; using blotting papers or reapplying some powder; and touching up my lip-gloss and mascara. I also keep a travel size bottle of makeup remover handy just in case my mascara does run a bit during class.
When Do You Eat?
Of course eating at your desk is an option, but there’s something kind of sad about picking at a wilted salad while staring at your computer. If I opt for a sweat sesh over a lunch break, I will usually sip a protein-packed smoothie afterward. If you’re lucky enough to have a gym with a smoothie bar attached, that makes things super easy. Otherwise, I recommend packing a single-serving smoothie in a bag. Portion off the right amount of frozen fruit, greens, protein powder, nut butter, etc. to store in your work fridge. Then, just dump the contents in a blender at work, add some ice and liquid, and you have yourself a light yet filling lunch.
I always like to see things in timeline form, so I wanted to share a minute-by-minute breakdown of my lunch break workout:
What do you think? Are you going to start working out on your lunch break this year?
I hope you get into the habit like I do!