Look, we get it.
Life. Is. Crazy.
Somedays you probably wonder how you’ll even make it to the end. Between time with friends, office hours, maybe a class or two and just getting from point A to point B, it probably feels like one big marathon.
Finding a way to fit something like a structured workout into it might feel overwhelming. It might feel like too much to wake up earlier, or stay up later, so, you might give it a half effort, or, you might skip it completely. But, what about lunch? Do you really need a full hour to eat? Could you better spend it doing something else, like squeezing in a great workout?
Working out over your lunch hour might require a little extra planning, but, it’s an excellent option for making it happen when the rest of your life just seems too busy. Follow the steps below to turn your lunch hour into a power hour.
It might be tempting to find a great park for a run, or to do something else outside or around the office; but, it might also be a logistical nightmare – unless your office space comes equipped with a shower. Instead, find a local gym that offers the equipment you need, including a place to clean off before heading back to your daily grind. Focus on convenience – how quickly can you walk or drive to the gym? Remember to factor this, along with how long you’ll need to shower/clean up, into whether a location is right for you. One hour isn’t a lot, so, thinking it through is critical.
If you have a limited amount of time to get a lot done, a written schedule might help remove some of the guesswork – and the time that entails. Focus on what you’ll want to accomplish each day, along with your warmup and cooldown. If you’re able to walk briskly to and from the gym, this might help maximize your time spent actually working out. Think it through, write it down and stick to your plan.
There’s nothing quite as great accountability-wise as finding a workout buddy, or at least someone willing to commit to a regular routine with you.
Ask around the office, or, if a friend is working nearby, see if he or she would be interested. If skipping a workout means letting someone down, you’re less likely to take that route.
Do your best to focus in on your workout during the time you set aside for it. That morning meeting that didn’t go so well? That afternoon presentation that you’ve already put in the effort for? Let them go.
Turn on the music, crank up the effort and forget everything else; you’ll be glad you did later.
Planning a lunch-hour workout means rearranging your actual lunch – not skipping it.
Your body is more likely to metabolize fat if you work out on a semi-empty stomach. So, bring a protein-heavy snack for mid-morning, then wait until you return to eat your full lunch. This might mean eating at your desk. Remember, timing is everything.
Between your commute to and from the gym, and your shower/clean-up time before going back to work, you might have around 30 minutes to workout. This means that standard strength routines or straight cardio are likely to leave you wanting.
Instead, look up some HIIT workouts that allow for big results in small amounts of time.
When you’re running around after your alarm goes off, just hoping to get to the car in time to beat rush hour, gym essentials and proper nutrition are likely to take a back seat.
Instead, prepare as much as possible the night before. Pack everything you’ll need for the gym – shoes, clothes, sport earbuds, stopwatch, towel, shampoo, soap and anything else, in a bag that’s next to your work essentials. Set out what you’ll need for lunch as well. The less you have to think about in the morning, the better.
By using time that’s already available to you, for something like a great workout, you could help improve your focus and energy levels, without the stress of figuring out when to hit the gym. What’s better than that?
Ready to make your lunch hour a true power hour? Consider the steps above for success!
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