At this point there really are no more excuses for not exercising, but many people still struggle to squeeze in a workout, but have you thought about a lunchtime workout? Some reasons for not exercising are valid: Successfully juggling a demanding career and taking care of family obligations usually requires long hours of your day. But if you spend your precious free moments managing a handful of fantasy football teams or keeping up with every new Netflix drama—that’s on you.
And science has proven that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of health issues. So if you’re not ready to make your training work after work, why not work inside, like, say, your lunch?
If you have an hour to get away in the middle of the afternoon, then you have more than enough time to get in a solid workout. Even if you drive to the gym, getting dressed, showering and going back takes half the work. of that time, a 30-minute workout puts you back on the training track and puts you miles ahead of those waiting in line for a midday machioto.
A short workout is always better than no workout—and getting the work in over the long haul leads to healthier habits that can lead you to find other ways to stretch out on those 30 minutes.
The first step to creating an effective lunchtime workout starts by considering it as an option. Here’s how and why it can work for you.
Why choose a lunchtime workout?
Lunchtime workouts don’t cut into your sleep or your evening free time with family, or force you to go to bed early so you can get up earlier. You also get a mental break from work and an afternoon energy boost. Exercising consistently improves your energy—which results in improved focus and productivity. You may even find that you are more efficient during work hours and need to take work home less often on evenings and weekends.
Committing to a lunchtime workout also ensures that you take your lunch instead of working through it. Even the smokers at your work take their breaks. Committing to a breakup sets boundaries around your work and your well-being.
Lunchtime workouts are less likely to be skipped due to late nights and poor sleep or evening family or social commitments. An added plus: You also avoid the chaos of packed early evening gyms.
Ideally, you have access to a gym nearby. A lucky few will have a gym in their work building and an employer who considers health and wellness a priority. Most cities have gym options within a short walk or drive. Comfort is your top priority, even if the equipment or facilities are lacking. If you can keep your total turnaround time under 15 to 20 minutes, you have more than enough time to get in a good workout. Search online for all the gym options in the immediate area. You might be surprised to find some small private facilities or group exercise studios nearby. Some people hire a trainer or attend a class as a commitment to exercise.
More employers understand that healthy and active employees are often happier, more productive and take fewer days off. Employees who feel their employer values them and has the flexibility to prioritize their fitness are less likely to leave. Many employers are more flexible with regard to working hours as long as the work is done or you have worked the agreed hours. Getting to the office 15 minutes early or staying 15 minutes late so your lunch “hour” becomes 75 minutes creates more turnaround time to get to and from the gym.
Talk to your supervisor, express your effort to maintain your physical and mental health, productivity and energy, and suggest a little more flexibility around your lunch hour – while ensuring your boss doesn’t take advantage of his gym generosity (nothing good will come if you turn an hour into a three-hour workout). Only the most myopic (or powerless) supervisors will refuse. If you’re the boss, learn to give yourself (and your employees) the time needed to put your health first. Business owners can be the worst at sacrificing health for the short-sighted illusion of productivity.
In the worst case scenario where there is no reasonable option to reach a gym, you can opt for body weight circuits if you can find a space to hide and exercise. Famous trainer and Muscle and fitness cover athlete Don Saladino is one of many trainers offering inexpensive, quality bodyweight workout plans. Barring all other options and having good weather, a walk during your lunch break can be one of the most energizing and health-promoting behaviors available.
Tactics for creating an effective lunchtime workout
You may believe you need at least an hour for a good workout and won’t bother trying if you don’t have this window. Exercising even 30 minutes a day, especially from nothing, will be life-changing. Even gyms can do a lot with 30 to 45 minutes in a gym. We just have to change our tactics.