Posted on 09 October 2017
Working in an office is hard enough without trying to fit in a workout. It’s a struggle to stay on track when you need to dodge the doughnut stand, skirt past the sugar and avoid takeaways. Plus, it’s always someone’s birthday, amiright?
Good for improving your productivity and energy – and who doesn’t need a little help over the mid-afternoon slump? – working out during your lunch break may be the key to unlocking your healthy lifestyle change.
So, if you’re getting home at the end of a long day and flopping straight on the sofa, rather than going to get yourself a booty to rival JLo, then you probably need to find a way to optimise your day and work out in your lunch break.
Look, we get it – sweating up a storm during work hours does not sound like fun, but how would you feel if we told you that working out during work can actually help destress you? Would you be interested then? Good – let’s take a look at how to kick-start your seamless transformation into a worktime workout warrior.
Organise Your Time
Every great fitness tale starts with organisation. Let’s start with the task of time management – how long is your lunchbreak? Is there flex if you go over slightly?
Approach the subject with your boss and explain that this is how you’re going to be using your lunchbreak going forward, so you would be grateful if no meetings were scheduled immediately before or immediately after lunch.
Next, pop a daily time slot in your calendar to work out and make this time unavailable to anyone else that wants to book a meeting in with you. You have to be ruthless and not accept meetings that are anything less than urgent in order for this to work.
Pack Your Bag the Night Before
The classic. Remember your mum getting your school bag ready the night before – that’s because no one likes to rush in the morning and also because this way she was less likely to forget things. Same goes for you and your gym bag.
Join Local Clubs
If you’ve only got 30 minutes to do the workout, chances are HIIT is going to be your best friend. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has lots of gyms, schedule your classes a week in advance to ensure you’re booked on, then just hop along to your daily class.
Rope in Your Colleagues
Nothing motivates colleagues more than a challenge. Be the positive change in your workplace, so that instead of everyone trying to outdo how tired the other is, try to compare how many steps you’re all doing or who is hitting their daily fitness target.
Avoid Peak Lunchtime
If possible, take your break a little earlier or later than peak lunchtime. This point is particularly key if you’re heading to your local gym to use the equipment, as you won’t have time to wait around for machines to be free, especially if you’ve planned a specific workout – busy gyms can really throw you off your rhythm.
Plan Your Outfit Accordingly
Wear your sports bra under your work clothes so it’s quicker to get changed and get going. Don’t forget to bring a spare bra to change back into though, or you’ll be left with no alternative but a sweaty sports bra. Trust us – this does not feel nice.
If your office leans more towards the casual side of smart casual, you could even have a pair of plain leggings under a long jumper or cardigan to reduce the time you’ll need to change into your workout gear on the dot of lunchtime.
You’re also going to need to get pretty strategic about your hair. If you’re not the type of girl that can wash your hair, let it dry naturally and not look like you’ve done a day’s work on a farm, you’ll need some handy tips and tricks to keep your hairdo looking slick without looking greasy and sweaty.
The best bet is to avoid working out on hair-wash day. You’re only going to add to the problem and there is only so much dry shampoo can salvage.
While we’re on the subject, dry shampoo is the one. Invest in bottles of the stuff.
We find styles that keep your hair off your face and neck are best at lasting a day of meetings as well as a workout – you’re less likely to play with it, making it dirty and you can start your workout without having to spend time plaiting or tying your hair back.
Freshen Up Quickly
The obvious choice is to have a shower. However, if you don’t have the facilities at your office, didn’t work out in a gym, or you’re just trying to optimise your time, all is not lost.
There are loads of products to freshen up with after a workout, but you’re likely to form a close relationship with body wipes for your underarms and neck. Deodorant is your new bezzie, and do not forget those two all-important words: Dry. Shampoo. Pop these products in a bag of essentials at your office so they’re always to hand.
If you really can’t bring yourself to have a body wash instead of a shower, simply reduce the amount of time you’re in the shower instead. Pop on a shower cap, jump in and jump out.
It’s important to stretch – it really is! – but if you haven’t got time to do a deep stretch session post-workout, try scheduling in a weekly, dedicated rehab session for stretching and mobility. This way, you’ll only need a couple of minutes at the end of your workout for some main muscle stretching.
Prep Food Ahead
We are not advocates of desk dining, but sometimes needs must. If you’ve used your valuable lunch time working out and subsequently freshening up, you will have to eat at your desk and sink back into your afternoon workload.
The best way to ensure you get a nutritionally dense meal that’s ready to go, even if you run out of time, is to prep food ahead. Either prepare your lunch the night before or find a couple of hours on a Sunday night to prep all of your meals for the week.This is something you won’t regret and it will revolutionise the way you use your time in the week.
It’s really important to move your body throughout the day, as we are just not designed to sit, so even if you genuinely can’t find the time to work out at lunch, try to find at least 20 minutes to go for a short stroll. Or just offer to make the coffees to get your steps in.