How to Work Out Effectively During Your Lunch Break

Staying fit and healthy is of the utmost importance. Not only does it improve your mood and strengthen your muscles, but it’s a well-known fact that physical activity boosts your immune system. However, not everyone has the luxury of time for a lengthy gym session. Even a work-from-home setup can be extremely demanding. This is why we need to take every opportunity to relax, and squeezing in a workout during lunch might just do the trick.

How does exercise benefit work?

Not only will your immunity get a healthy boost, your work productivity might see some significant gains, too. According to experts from Harvard University, exercise has a positive impact on your cognitive abilities. These include better memory, concentration, learning ability, and creativity.

And although some people prefer exercising before or after work, a lunchtime sweat session might be more beneficial for workplace productivity. In fact, Gala Bingo states that exercise can help you beat the afternoon slump — or that sluggish feeling that usually hits you between 1PM and 3PM. A quick cardio session can help counter those effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and mood swings, all of which affect your ability to work productively.

So, here’s how you can maximize your workouts at lunch:

Dress for success

Sleeping in your exercise clothes is one useful trick that many fitness enthusiasts swear by. Getting dressed truly is half the battle and putting on your workout gear the night before, or even laying them out, can help you find the motivation you need.

But you might not want to wake up all sweaty in your leggings. Instead, you can opt to get dressed in exercise gear after your morning shower. Preparing your equipment ahead of time is another hack, but make sure to display your gear where you can see it. This way, you won’t forget about your lunchtime workout.

Plan ahead and prepare

Scheduling your routine ahead of time is another key to success. You can use a calendar to schedule your workout plan for the week. It can be something like this:

• Monday – HIIT
• Tuesday – 45-minute yoga
• Wednesday – Rest
• Thursday – 30-minute cardio
• Friday – Isometric exercises

Writing down these goals can keep you motivated. And if you’re having a hard time, you can always sign up for an app to plan your workouts for you. All you have to do is to put in the actual work.

When in doubt, try HIIT

A lot of people don’t have access to equipment right now. But there’s no reason to worry, because body weight exercises will always be available to you. To make squats and push-ups even more effective, incorporate them into your high intensity interval training or HIIT.

Studies show that 20-minute HIIT routines can burn more calories than steady-state workouts, like running on a treadmill. And that’s perfect, given the limited amount of time that you have! But don’t be fooled by the short session — HIIT will definitely get your heart pumping.

Or, try desk exercises

Desk exercises can give you a quick energy boost on days when you just can’t get away from work even to eat lunch. For instance, you can try doing sideways rows using Activ5 and work on your upper body strength. For a lower body exercise, you can work on pistol squats without leaving your chair.

Another example of a desk routine is chair yoga. Simple moves like seated cat and cow or sideway stretches can help you release tension along your spine. It’s perfect for people who are always hunched over their computer for work.

Meal prep your lunch

Preparing your meals over the weekend or even in the morning can free up some time to work out during lunch. You can simply enjoy your food later at your desk when you get back to work.

But while a lunch break workout may just be the boost that you need, there’s no reason that you should be limiting yourself to this period. You can always adjust and work out in the morning or in the evening — the important thing is that you’re getting a healthy amount of exercise no matter the time of day.