On Monday, I headed to the gym in my office building (that I also teach at) for a lunch-break workout. For so long, I avoided lunch-break workouts because I hated the idea of having to get ready for work, workout, then get re-ready for the rest of the work day. However, I’ve recently been doing lunch-break workouts once a week or so, as I’ve realized how nice it is to have an evening off on my non-teaching days (rather than going to the gym after work and getting home late). Because of this, I’ve had to strategically plan my workouts to maximize my workout time and minimize my locker room time… biggest bang for ya buck, right?
Since the weather is getting warmer and afternoons are likely filled with more after-work drinks (what is it about warm weather that makes you want to get drinks outside after work?!), maybe some of you could take some of these tips and incorporate lunch-break workouts into your day.
1. Skip or limit the cardio
I’m a sweaty beast when I workout, but especially when I do cardio inside. Getting that sweaty requires me to take a full shower (washing my hair), which really just makes the locker room process too long. However, if I do just weight training, I’ll get sweaty, but not TOO sweaty. I can usually get away with just a quick rinse or use sanitizing wipes to clean all the important areas (don’t judge). But, if you must do some cardio, pull your hair back into a tight, low pony tail and wear a headband to help soak up sweat from your forehead/hairline area. This really just doesn’t work with me because my hair/head gets too sweaty, but I guess if I just let my hair air dry after, it wouldn’t be so bad… no one else would know 😉 If you have straight hair anyway, just blow dry it again!
2. Plan out your workout before you get to the gym
I usually put what I want to do on a sticky note and put it on the back of my phone so I have it handy. By doing this, when I get to the gym I can start immediately on my workout instead of standing around wasting time figuring out what type of format I want to use, what exercises I want to do and what weights and equipment I’m going to need.
3. Wear something easy to change in and out of
In other words, don’t wear tights or a lot of jewelry or other things that might take more time changing out of and back in to. Similarly, pack light in your gym bag so you’re not rummaging around sifting through things you don’t need. I just pack 1 top and 1 bottom and since I usually walk to work in my sneakers, I already have those.
4. Put it in your calendar at work
If I don’t block off time on my calendar, I’ll just keep putting off my workout until I realize I’ve lost all opportunities to do so during the day. In addition, if my calendar isn’t blocked off, people can schedule calls and wouldn’t know that I had plans for a workout. Also, I plan my workouts between my morning snack and lunch that way I’m fueled for the workout and know I’ll be eating lunch soon after I get back… what can I say? I usually plan my day around workouts and eating.
5. Find a coworker who wants to go with you
Having a workout buddy helps hold you accountable for actually getting the workout done. It can be hard to separate yourself from your work, but if you have someone else doing it with you, it’s better motivation! Even if your office doesn’t have a gym, you can bring sneakers and just go for a power walk, which probably doesn’t even require a locker room to clean up in 😉
Now, here’s for the workout I did during my lunch break on Monday. The whole thing took me 35 minutes, start to finish. I wore my heart rate monitor and my heart rate was up for most of the workout, especially because I moved quickly between exercises and sets.
I really enjoyed this workout! Lately, I’ve been just doing upper body lifting when I’m not doing cardio, but I was craving some leg stuff on Monday so it was fun adding it in.
Questions for you: do you like to workout during your lunch break? Do you have any tips that I forgot to mention? Do you ever skip out on a shower and using sanitizing wipes instead (please tell me I’m not the only one!!)?