Lunch-hour workouts may seem like a whole lot of trouble — lugging gym gear to work, having to shower and get ready all over again in the middle of the day — but it’s worth it if it means you actually exercise rather than not at all. Here are three ways to make lunch-hour workouts more feasible.
When you work full-time, it can be hard to fit in your workouts. If you’re not a morning person, chances are you won’t get out of bed to hit the gym before going into the office, and if you’ve got kids to get ready for school, the a.m. can just be too hectic. After work, there are either kids to pick up at school, rush-hour traffic to get through to get home or you might just be plain exhausted from your day.
All this makes working out during your lunch hour an ideal scenario. Here are some tips to make it work for you.
Even just some physical activity is better than none
Perhaps you can’t afford to be away from your desk for an hour or longer. Don’t skip your workout because you can’t devote as long a period of time to it as you’d like to. Some exercise — even if it’s walking with a colleague in the neighbourhood or climbing the office building’s steps — is better than sitting at your desk and not exercising at all. Look for classes at the gym created for lunch breaks. A 30- or 45-minute spin class, for example, will give you ample time to get changed and back to work within an hour’s time.
Aim for a non-sweaty workout
You can devote more time to your workout if you can eliminate the shower and prep time, which means doing exercise that doesn’t cause you to sweat too much. Think yoga that’s not as fluid and energetic, or Pilates, for example. With a few key toiletries (perhaps a facial towelette and some dry shampoo), you can freshen up quickly post-class and be back at work in no time.
Time your workouts efficiently
If lunch-hour workouts are most convenient for you, plan to start work early or stay late so you’re still logging in the time you need to at work (clear this with your boss if you have to). If you want to make sure you’re in and out of the gym in an hour, you can help maximize time if you take your lunch break a bit earlier or later so that when you get to the gym, it’s not at peak capacity. This way, you can spend more time exercising and less time waiting for a machine to be free to use.