A busy work schedule can mess up any personal life you had or thought of having. In the midst of all this, do you have time to even think about working out? Yes, you do. The perfect solution to a hectic work life is lunch workouts. If done right, you can fit a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout regime into just 60 minutes. All you need to do is follow these few tips and plan it out.
1. Carry Your Workout Gear
There’s not much you can do with just an hour of lunch break. So, come packed with a bag to work. Pack a pair of workout clothes, socks, and shoes because exercising in work clothes is out of the question, and you need to come back to work fresh, not sweaty. Ensure you wash your workout clothes every day or keep a spare. This way, you start off fresh every single day.
2. Keep A Bag Of Toiletries Handy
Always carry a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, and anything else you need to freshen up. Going back to work in fresh clothes but stinking, nevertheless, does nobody any good. Learn how to freshen up quickly: shower, or just rinse, in less than 5 minutes, use a dry shampoo for convenience or just learn to tie your hair up in a bun, and go for a basic makeup routine that’ll get you through the day. Give your body and health more priority than your appearance.
3. Pack A Healthy Lunch
Your dedication and hard work can go to waste if you eat unhealthily. Take some time off the previous evening or the morning to pack a fresh lunch. Fill your lunch with enough carbs and fiber-rich foods like potatoes or bread, healthy fats like nuts, protein-rich foods like eggs and meats, and fresh veggies. Plan the entire week’s diet over the weekend so that it’s easier to prepare and cook.
If you couldn’t pack a lunch or if you aren’t too hungry, go for a protein bar with no sugar and less than 20 g of protein and 10 g of fiber. Alternatively, make a smoothie with protein powder and fruits. Aim for a calorie count of less than 300 kcal.
4. Find A Gym Close To You
No matter the type of workout you choose, if you have to travel, you lose precious time. And you have just 60 minutes! Even if you’re too used to going to the gym near your house or with your favorite trainer, choose a different one, one that’s just a few minutes away, for your lunchtime workout. If your office has enough private space, use that for your workout.
5. Choose The Right Workout
What workout could you possibly fit in to, let’s say, 45 minutes of free time in the middle of the day? Well, absolutely anything! There are no restrictions as to the type of workout you could choose. All you need to do is increase the intensity to match the duration.
Start walking and warm up to a brisk pace for the first few minutes. Go on a slow run for the next mile. Then, slow down and give a few minutes for your body to cool down. This will be your warmup session. Once done, get off to a run at full pace for however long you have and the distance you can manage.
If running on the roads is not really possible and no parks are close by, practice this on a treadmill.
An ideal yoga routine usually takes anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of your time. But you can tailor it to fit your needs and fit into your lunch break. Discuss with your yoga trainer and stick to specific poses that meet your requirements. For example, you could do about 8 reps of sun salutation and a few reps of leg raises and get your rest in the end.
Give yourself a full-body workout by working out quickly. Practice quick reps of resistance exercises using weights. Follow this up, after little-to-no rest, with a different set of exercises targeting a different muscle group.
Depending on your body type, on your goal, and any injuries you might have, discuss with your trainer and schedule the perfect short-duration, high-intensity lunch workout.
If stepping out is not an option, be it due to the distance or the weather, make do with your office space. Find an empty room, the ladies’ room, or anywhere with a little space and privacy. If nothing’s available, shut the door and do it at your desk. Here are some sample exercises:
- Move the chair away from the desk. Get up and sit down rapidly and repeatedly as long as you can.
- Do a forward bend in your chair. You can go for a single-leg variation to avoid falling off the chair.
- Move your arms backward and try to touch your palms in an attempt to make a reverse salutation, behind your back.
- If you constantly face back problems, go for a short walk and stretch once every hour.
6. Take Your Mind Off Work
Easier said than done. After that one hour, it’s you who has to face deadlines! You’re right. But, worrying about work while working out does you no good. By doing so, you don’t get a proper workout, a decent break, and you anyway don’t get work done. So, train your mind to focus on the present. Learn to worry about work only after you go to work. Give your body all you have during the break.
7. Do Not Skip Lunch
Never forget to fit in a bit of lunch during your lunch break, even if your workout took slightly longer than you thought it would. Muscle recovery is as important as the workout itself. While resting too long is not an option during your lunch break, eating well and healthy will give the body enough to recover and heal the sore muscles. Even if it’s just a protein bar, eat up!
With guidance, planning, and willpower to stick to a routine, lunch workouts will keep you fit, reduce the risk of diseases, and have you feeling energetic and fresh all day long.