You can carve out time to hit the gym in the middle of the day, find a way to clean yourself up, and still find time to eat, so that you can reap the added benefits of exercising at mid-day.
Body temperature peaks between 2 and 4 p.m., suggesting that working out in the afternoon could burn more calories (though experts are divided on when the best time to work out is.) You may notice that you feel tired after lunch, but you just need to get your blood pumping!
One study found that participants who performed 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on their lunch break were 15% more productive in the afternoon and felt less sluggish. You might even like your job better if you take time out to exercise: a study out of Leeds Metropolitan University found that participants have increased job satisfaction when they took workout breaks.
Do you find yourself fighting for equipment or rock climbing routes when you go to the gym after work? Depending on the gym, you may find that it is quieter at mid-day, meaning that you can get the most out of your time there – no waiting your turn! Some gyms offer fitness classes throughout the day, so you may be able to find one that fits your break time.
Eating is important, but don’t you already have the bad habit of eating at your desk? It’s best to eat a snack about two hours before your workout, then eat a protein-packed lunch at your desk afterward. The key is to pack your lunch because you won’t have time to go buy one, plus you can make your own healthy meal that won’t negate all of the hard work you just did.
What about the sweatiness? Most quick workouts won’t make you pour sweat, but you have options if you’re soaked. You can time your workout so that you still have enough time to shower before heading back to the office.
If you have a short lunch break or a long trip to the gym, a shower may not be possible. If you still look shiny after you towel-off, use some oil-blotting sheets on your face, dry shampoo on any greasy hair, body powder all over, and a little deodorant for your underarms.
Admittedly, a full lunch time workout isn’t feasible for every job. If you work in a public-facing job, you likely can’t eat at your desk, and having a short lunch break may make it impossible to get to the gym.
You can get creative, though. Even going for a quick walk before eating your lunch is better than nothing. Intensity is key: an intense 15-minute workout can be as effective as an hour-long workout depending on the intensity.
It’s important to fit exercise in whenever you can; fitting it into your lunch break may be easier than you thought!