With most individuals leading a fairly hectic and busy lifestyle it has become increasingly difficult to consistently allocate a specific time block per day that you set aside to perform your exercise routine.
As you create your exercise workout schedule, you may find that your lunch break that you take every day at your place of employment is the ideal time block for you to perform your workout. This can be especially true if your office happens to be in close proximity to the fitness center or location where you intent to exercise.
However, cramming a high quality workout routine into a time period normally reserved for munching and relaxing can be a little stressful for some individuals.
This being the case for many individuals, in order to effectively maximize your lunch hour workout routine, and still find time to grab a quick bite, you will need to plan accordingly, manage your time wisely and ensure that your body and mind are prepared for the physical challenges that lie ahead.
Getting the Most Out of your Lunch Hour Workout
Because we understand that it is difficult to consistently perform your workout routine during your lunch break, we have put together several tips to consider when developing a workout routine that you intent to perform during your lunch break. Below are several items to consider before, during and after your exercise session:
Before heading to work…
1. Plan your route from the office to the gym. Many cities experience higher traffic levels at noon in addition to during morning and afternoon rush hours, and you might find that utilizing public transportation or sticking to side roads is faster than hopping on the freeway. You might also decide to walk, jog or bike to the gym, further enhancing your workout and saving you from traffic.
2. Pack a set of clean clothes that you can change into after your workout. Your coworkers will appreciate it if you don’t return to work smelling like you just ran a marathon.
While you’re still at work…
3. Stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels by noshing on a quick, healthy snack with plenty of complex carbohydrates approximately one to two hours prior to your workout. Trail mix, yogurt with granola and whole grain cereal with skim milk are all excellent choices.
4. Save yourself a few minutes by changing into your workout clothes during a bathroom break. You can save even more time by wearing workout-appropriate clothes, such as a spandex tank top, under your work clothes. Remember, every minute counts, especially if your lunch hour is shorter than you’d like.
5. Multitask on your way to the gym, so long as you’re on foot or using public transportation. You can use this time to take off and pocket jewelry, tie up your hair and put on your heart rate monitor, for example. Never attempt these activities if you’re driving yourself to the fitness center.
In the locker room…
6. Never arrive at the gym with a disorganized gym bag. Choose a gym bag with plenty of pockets and easy accessibility, and avoid the temptation to store things in the bag that you’ll rarely need during a lunch hour workout.
7. Choose a hairstyle that’s appropriate for the office and conducive to a workout, such as a braided up-do. Unless you plan on having an especially intense exercise session, you should be able to get away with returning to the office without washing and drying your hair, a potentially huge time saver.
During the lunch hour workout…
8. Focus on interval training, in which you’ll exercise intensely for a short period of time before slowing the pace for another period and repeating the process. This type of exercise is highly efficient and packs more burned calories into each minute than exercising at a steady, uniform pace.
9. Check the fitness center’s schedule for short and appealing fitness classes that align with your lunch hour. Most gyms offer abbreviated classes in aerobics, spinning, yoga and other fitness activities at and around noon.
After the workout…
10. Keep a healthy, portable snack with protein and carbs, such as a fruit and nut mix that you blended yourself, in your gym bag. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, try a lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with light mayo. This will allow you to replenish your energy levels and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs for post-workout recovery, all while you travel back to the office.