Who has time for exercise? Well, if you want to lose weight, you should. But if you are someone who has tons of obligations between your family schedule, work responsibilities, and a busy social life, you might need to work out during your lunch hour. If a lunchtime workout is your best option, here are the realities of working out at lunch and how to make sure you get your workout done no matter what.
It’s easy to say you will work out during your lunch break but sometimes the reality is tricky.
- Do you change clothes?
- Is time on your side?
- Are your coworkers supportive?
- Do you have flexibility?
- How close are you to a gym?
For some people, working out at lunchtime is easy. Their company has a gym on the premises and encourages employees to exercise. That’s your best case scenario, but it’s not all that common.
If your workplace doesn’t have a gym, here’s how to overcome some of the real challenges of working out during your lunch hour.
1. Determine how long you have.
If you get a 60-minute lunch break, you will be lucky if your workout runs to 30 minutes. By the time you leave your office, change into workout clothes, get to where you are going to work out, get your workout done, and reverse the process, an hour will fly by.
Be okay with a good 30-minute workout because that’s better than nothing. Make the most of your time by doing a workout that burns calories fast and gets your heart rate up. For example, if you are walking or running, alternate your speed using fast and slower intervals to burn more calories. If you are at a gym, use circuit training to increase your calorie burn.
2. Have everything you need.
It stinks to be ready to work out during your lunch hour and realize you’ve forgotten your shoes or don’t have the right undergarments. A friend of mine who regularly works out at lunchtime has two workout bags, one she keeps at home and one she stores under her desk. That way she is never caught without her shoes, socks, or other workout equipment.
3. Explore workout options near your work.
There may not be a gym within driving or walking distance of your office but is there a kickboxing studio, a barre workout studio, a yoga studio, or a martial arts dojo? Any of those options can give you a great workout and likely has a changing area.
If none of the above is available, hit the streets and take a walk or run.
4. Get freshened up.
After a good 30-minute workout, you will be a bit sweaty. If you are at a facility that doesn't have showers, you’ve got to clean up in your office bathroom. It’s not impossible to feel fresh after a workout if you are prepared.
Have a clean towel in your gym bag, deodorant, a bar of soap or body wipes, and extra makeup if needed.
5. Enlist management support.
If you find it challenging to work out during lunch because of a lack of facilities or time, ask for support from your office management.
Talk about options like converting an unused office into a gym with a few treadmills and a set of weights, being flexible with lunch times, or offering discounts on health insurance for people who exercise regularly.
The reality is that many businesses are facing increasing health care costs and having employees who are healthier improves their bottom line. For this reason alone, you may be surprised by the positive feedback you get when making your request.