by Kelly Brown
We get it; there’s a stigma around the lunch workout: You’re either deemed a health nut or a slacker. Making time for exercise is challenging enough, let alone figuring out how to fit it in an hour when you’re supposed to slam a sandwich while answering emails. The truth of the matter is, most people really won’t care about your midday workout if you’re still checking everything off your to-do list. Bonus: working out can increase your energy levels meaning you’ll return to work more focused and ready to crack down for the rest of the day.
Chat With Your Boss
A midday workout is never going to go over well if you just disappear every day for an hour without anyone knowing where you went. Before you start booking those workouts or purchase that gym membership, bring it up with your boss. Most reasonable bosses share the same mentality of, “Do what you need to do, just make sure your work is done.”
Add time to your calendar each day so that your team knows where you are when you head out at noon. Make sure your boss knows that you have your phone on you should something come up. Top Tip: Do your research and remind your boss why working out over lunch will increase your productivity.
Work Before Workout
Making a lunch workout work means knowing your priorities. In a perfect world, we would all leave our desk for a workout every day! But, in reality, your boss asks if you have a minute, or a co-worker asks for help on a project. In this case, skip the workout. This is tough if you’ve prepaid or pre-booked the workout. In that case, remember the mantra, “A lunch workout is a luxury, not a given.”
Don’t Forget Dry Shampoo
We all know dry shampoo is the temple of life. And that’s especially true after a lunch workout with no shower options in sight. Plan on putting your hair up in an invis-bobble (elastic hair tie that doesn’t leave creases) or twist and clip curls into a bun. Immediately after your workout, shake your hair out, spritz with dry shampoo and blast it upside down under the hand drier, or with a blow drier. The dry shampoo and upside-down drying will add lift back to your hair and keep it feeling fresh.
Your mom’s sage advice applies to your workout, too. Stock your gym bag like you stock your car – ready for any event. Barre and spin class require different footwear than CrossFit or running. Keep multiple pairs of top and bottom options. Who knows what you’ll feel like wearing that day! By having multiple options available, you prevent yourself from saying, “Well, I’m cold today, and I only packed shorts and a t-shirt for working out…” Better safe than sorry!
Never. Skip. Lunch.
A lunch workout does not equal skipping lunch. Post-workout food is so important! Just like breakfast sets you up for a strong day, a post-workout lunch keeps you full until dinner and provides the nourishment your muscles crave to repair. The key to lunch post-workout is brown bagging it. Pack something light like an apple or banana to eat an hour before your workout. Post class or lifting session, unpack that sandwich or salad and munch at your desk as you catch up on emails. Don’t forget a snack for midday. Not only do smaller meals throughout the day make it feel like you’re eating more, it also breaks up the 9-5.
Finally, When In Doubt, HIIT That Workout
Even on the busiest days, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can fit into your routine. Prep yourself for busy days with a few HIIT workouts written down or entered in your iPhone. When you head to the gym, start with a short warm-up and active stretching. Then, set your timer for intervals, whether that’s Tabata style or your own version, and get to work. Twenty-minute HIIT workouts are proven to be as effective as hour-long fitness classes. Remember to really HIIT it during those high-intensity intervals. Give it all you’ve got!