If you can’t motivate yourself to work out in the morning and the couch is calling your name by sunset, break away from the computer and tackle a midday workout. If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare, you can squeeze in a quality exercise session that will leave your mind and body feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon.
Actually making your workout work can be challenging, so follow these simple tips to ensure you’ll be back at your desk on time (without smelling like sweaty socks!).
It’s tempting to skip lunch when you’re crunched for time, but don’t. For mid-day workouts, your meal is more important than ever. Skip takeout from a restaurant and pack your lunch. Bring both a pre-workout snack and a post-workout meal. Make your pre-workout snack a balanced mix of carbs and protein (try yogurt with cereal, an apple with cheese, or a banana with peanut butter). Eat it at your desk an hour or so before your workout.
Studies show that short, intense workouts can have the same health benefits as longer endurance exercises. Try a High Intensity Interval Training workout, which feature short bursts of speed with slightly longer, less intense ‘rest’ periods in between. An example of a HIIT treadmill workout is 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 1 minute of jogging for 15 minutes (don’t forget to include a warmup and cool-down).
CHECK THE SCHEDULE:
Many gyms offer shorter classes during lunch hours. These workouts are designed to get you in and out – think 30-minute spin sessions, shorter dance classes, and 20-minute group lifting.
A NO-SWEAT WORKOUT:
If you’d rather not go back into the office completely red-face, do a lower intensity exercise, such as walking or yoga. You could also do a killer strength training session. If you don’t have access to weights, do body-weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and lunges.
GET CLEAN IN ALMOST NO TIME:
If there’s no time for a full-on shower, take a ‘sink bath.’ Wash your face and armpits with soapy water. Use baby wipes or a wet washcloth on the rest of your body. Blow-dry any sweat out of your hair, and then tousle in some dry shampoo to refresh your look.