Guide to a lunch time workout
“There aren't enough hours in the day” Is a sentence we've all muttered, when another deadline has pushed our workout back again. Coupled with lagging energy levels and a jam-packed diary, trying to fit your regular training session in can be challenging. Changing up your day to include a lunch time workout could be the key to keeping your social life, and your honed physique. So resist the urge to work through your lunch break, or catch up with last night's House of Cards, and break a sweat; it's a lot easier than you think.
1. Be Prepared
One of the biggest misconceptions of midday workouts is not having enough time to do everything. It's true, you do have to be a little more organised but it's completely doable. Make sure you have healthy snacks to hand, to fuel up mid-morning, such as a banana or a handful of nuts. Stop eating an hour before and drinking 45 minutes beforehand to eliminate a sluggish, full feeling or dashing to the loo. Make sure you prepare lunch the night before, which could be a nourishing soup or healthy salad, which includes protein to help your muscles repair.
2. Get Kitted Out
Making sure you have everything you need to resume work in a presentable state, is key to a lunch time session. If your office has shower facilities, lucky you. For the rest of us, make sure you bring a towel and cleaning wipes to freshen up and re-apply your deodorant. Dry shampoo will be your best friend, and can hide a multitude of sins. Ladies, make sure you include make-up remover in your kit bag if you want to completely strip back and re-apply, otherwise dab on a tinted moisturiser to take the redness out of your face, and remove any eye make-up smudges. Always bring a change of socks and underwear as well.
3. Condense it All
Whether it's 30 minutes or a full hour, tailoring your workout to what you want to achieve, against the time you have, is key. Going for a run is one of the simplest and most effective forms of getting your heart rate up when you're time-poor. To maximise the results, double your calorie burn by adding in HIIT training, with a 30 second sprint followed by a 30 second jog. If you can, use what's around you to squeeze in some toning exercises; performing push-ups against a tree, or single leg lunges on a park bench, are fab ways to vary your workout without equipment. However, if you're a little more limited on time, you can still squeeze in a circuit training session. Combine bodyweight exercises such as squats, planks, reverse lunges, push-ups and burpees in succession, to drive your heart rate up and engage large muscle groups. Perform each exercise for a minute until you've filled the entire 30 minutes.
4. Reap the Rewards
Having a stressful day? Thanks to the endorphins released during exercise, a quick 20 minute workout can give you the release to return to work calm, invigorated and ready to tackle any problem. We're all familiar with that 3 pm slump at our desks, but with a quick training session in the middle of the day, it could leave you buzzing for the remainder of the day. Research in the British Medical Journal found that 10 to 40 minutes bursts of exercise led to an immediate boost in concentration and mental focus; likely by improving blood flow to the brain.
So make the most of your next lunch break with a quick work out and reap the benefits.