Finding the time to exercise between commuting, working, cooking and watching Netflix can be a hassle. When do we really have the most time and energy to get a workout in?
Well, maybe the answer could be a lunchtime gym session…
It might seem unrealistic at first glance. Surely it’s impossible to get in, get out and still have time to put in a meaningful session… and you gotta eat!
But just imagine how you feel after a gym session. You feel energized, productive and ready for anything. What better time of day to bring that kind of energy to work than on the home straight of a Thursday afternoon?
Just follow these five simple tips and hopefully you’ll be skipping leg day with the best of them this lunchtime.
1. Schedule your workouts for the week ahead
Making a plan for your working week is the best way to set yourself up for success. Set calendar reminders on your phone and alarms just before your lunch hour to give you a heads up and the motivation to hit the ground running when 12pm hits.
This pre-rep preparation will also serve to make sure you’re ready to go on the dot, as time is of the essence when it comes to fitting your gym session into your workday.
2. Be prepared
One great way to maximize your gym time is to have your week’s lunches pre-prepared and ready-to-go.
You might even consider wearing some of the clothes you’ll be using in the gym, at work. This doesn’t work for everyone of course, and if you’re a barrister then a ‘Just Do It’ t-shirt could even be construed as borderline inappropriate.
But the less time you spend in the changing room, the more time you can spend on your core. Why not choose a yoga practice once or twice a week as you can wear whatever loose fitting clothes you choose, to work, jump straight on the mat and get changed after.
3. Choose a workout that works for you
Pick a gym that’s close to work and a workout that works for you. By choosing bodyweight exercises instead of weights you can cut out time waiting for machines and make the most of your session.
Body weight exercises also help you build and maintain lean muscle mass, improve your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight.
You need to pick your workout partner carefully too. If you decide to go with a friend, are they going to be ready to go and get with the program? If not, maybe you’d just be better off with your headphones on.
4. 30 minutes is all you need
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, does what it says on the tin. It’s high intensity training for short bursts then a quick recovery period. It’s a great way to work out and it’s awesome for people with a limited time to fit in a gym session.
It’s a challenging workout and also a great way for beginners to see results quickly and your body will continue to burn fat up to 24 hours after you exercise. And as you start to make serious gym gains, you can continue losing weight without losing muscle.
Also, HIIT training is also built for bodyweight exercises so there is no need for the machines, which is good news for us lunchtime legends.
5. Gym now. Eat later
Exercising on an empty stomach helps improve your metabolism of body fat. By working out before eating your lunch, you create a caloric deficit and your body has to get the energy from somewhere, so it will start to burn up that stored fat.
Eat your packed lunch after your workout or even at your desk when you get back to the office. Just remember not to eat more than you would have normally. If you overeat to make up for the lunchtime fast and gym session then you’ll be undoing your good work.
Basically, the key to the lunch hour gym sesh is preparation. Packed kit, packed lunch, stacked workout… And if all else fails and you really can’t fit gym time into lunchtime, then maybe jogging all or part of your journey home could work for you?