If you work long hours at an office job, it can be difficult to find time for physical activity. But nearly all employees get a break at lunch, which is actually the perfect opportunity for a midday workout. Exercising at lunch helps you stay healthy and fit, and it also gives you a boost of energy so that you’re productive all day long.
How do you work out during your lunch break when you’re crunched for time and limited in resources? The key is creativity. Stick to these tips and you’ll be prepared to swap your kitten heels for a pair of athletic shoes every day.
The night before a workout, pack a bag with everything you’ll need. In addition to athletic clothing and shoes, bring toiletries so that you can freshen up in the bathroom before heading back to work. Dry shampoo is a lifesaver, and those who wear makeup should have face wipes and cosmetics to touch up before an afternoon meeting.
If you have a gym…
If you have a gym in your office or are a member of a gym nearby, head there during your lunch break. Because you don’t have a lot of time, it’s important to make your workout as intense as possible. Interval workouts are a great way to up the intensity. You can also run faster than your normally would or increase the resistance on a cardio machine to make the most of your time. It’s also a good idea to alternate days between cardio and strength training. If you’re lifting weights, push yourself to lift heavier or do more reps because again, you’re focused on intensity, not the length of the workout.
If you have a private office…
If you have a private office, you can simply shut the door during your lunch break and create your own personal gym. Some exercises that are easy to do in an office space include chair dips, squats, push-ups, crunches and jumping jacks. Store some free weights under your desk so that you can get in a few reps with those as well.
If you don’t have a gym or a lot of space…
Not everyone has a gym available at work or a private office. If that’s the case for you, just go outside! A little sunshine is just what you need, anyway. Go alone or grab a co-worker and walk or jog around the block. You can even choose to go to a restaurant for lunch that’s farther away from your office and walk there and back.
Make sure that you do eat lunch. A midday workout is not meant to substitute food. Pack a healthy, protein-packed lunch so that you can refuel after you exercise. The key word there is after! You don’t want to work out when you’re full. We guarantee that if you exercise every day at lunchtime and eat a healthy meal, you’ll feel better and be more productive in the afternoon. No more sluggish 2 p.m. feeling!