Most people who workout regularly consider themselves morning or evening exercisers, but there is actually a smaller segment of folks who fit their daily sweat sessions in at a different time: the lunch hour.
It can be tough to make this time period work, but for the busiest folks lunchtime workouts can be a savior for keeping health and fitness in check. As the staff manager at a hospital, chances are that you are bombarded with responsibilities. Scheduling a lunchtime workout—just as you would any other appointment—can be your solace.
Many people wonder how to make it work. You must change clothes, workout, shower, and be back at your post within in an hour. Who has time for that? You do—providing you take some of the tips offered here.
1 Be prepared. Pack your gym bag the night before your workout. Having everything you need ready to go is the key towinning your first lunchtime battle. Put it by the door and grab it on your wayout in the morning. Don’t forget to pack:
· Gym clothes
· Workout shoes
· Shower sandals
· Towel (if not provided)
· Change of socks and underwear
· Make-up (if needed)
· Shower supplies
2 Schedule it. Got a work calendar? Schedule your workout just like any other meeting or responsibility. This is your allotted time to get it done. Don’t let anyone disrespect it.
3 Know your routine. Heading to a gym around the corner? Got a workout room in your facility? Know exactly what you plan to do for your workout. Otherwise, you will waste precious time trying to decide what’s best. Get there and get started.
4 Be aware of timing. The first time you attempt a lunchtime workout will be an experiment. Plan something short—no morethan 25 minutes—in order to see how long it takes you to change clothes, shower,and be ready for work again. Then you can plan your workouts accordingly.
5 Meal plan. One of the trickiest parts of a mid-day workout is figuring out when and what to eat. It’s not recommended to eat a big meal before exercising so you should rely on healthy snacks throughout the morning and plan on eating lunch after your workout. Having a solid breakfast is also a good idea. Because you are exercising during your lunch break, eating lunch will have to be quick. Plan on easy meals like healthy sandwiches or smoothies, both of which you can eat on the go.
6 Know the most effective short workouts for your personal goals. If your goal is simply to burn calories then heart-pumping cardio is your best option. Things like running on the treadmill, intervals on the elliptical machine,or taking a spin class. If your goal is overall fitness, including strength training, circuit workouts are the best option. Ideally, your gym will have weights and machines available. Even a small gym should have what you need.
7 Prepare to adapt. Machines or classes may not always be available. The easiest way to work up a sweat is to pop on your jogging shoes and head out the door. Maintain a steady pace for your allotted amount of time and you’ll complete the simplest workout possible. If the weather is bad and you can’t do that, body weight workouts in whatever space you can find will suffice. There’s no need for excuses!
8 Skip the primping. This one may be hardfor some people but you won’t have time to blow dry your hair or put on a full face of makeup. Decide that being healthy is more important than looking perfect. If primping is your priority, you’ll never do your lunchtime workout. Figure out what matters to you.
Planning your first lunch hour workout can seem overwhelming, but after a little practice, it will become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll feel healthier and have more energy in the afternoon. Get ready to use your time as effectively as possible by utilizing these tips.
Ericka Andersen is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a freelance writer working in politics, policy and social media. In her spare time, she writes about fitness on her blog, The Sweet Life.