I get it. You’re busy. I’m busy – we all have things to do and somehow working out never quite makes the cut when it comes to priorities. We have others counting on us: our coworkers, kids, family members, spouses, etc. how in the world could you take an hour to yourself? This isn’t a blog post that is going to convince you to make the time for yourself or give you tips on how you can turn it all off and focus on you for an hour. Nah, you gotta do that yourself. BUT once you think you can make time for yourself, focus on these 8 rules for making the best of your lunch break.
1) START WITH CARDIO
Getting started when you have the most energy is a great way to jump your heart rate up and start burning calories that will continue throughout your workout. I often do after-work fitness classes that are half strength and half cardio and I always see a significant difference in the number of calories that I burn by just starting with cardio. Your elevated heart-rate will help you continue to burn as you move into strength training. I usually do 20 minutes of cardio and 15-20 minutes of strength with a small warm up and cool down after. I try to do the super sweaty workouts after/before work and focus on a little cardio to get me going and then mostly strength and weight training at lunch.
2) TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Whether it’s a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Motiv, or general heart rate monitor get something that will track your progress. It will help you see how many steps you took throughout your workout (and the entire day) as well as set milestones for future workouts.
3) DO A LITTLE BETTER
While you can set goals to run a 5k or bench 150 pounds, your goal every single workout day is to just do better. If you give yourself 15 minutes to run, try to add a little more distance every time. Make small strides like an extra few reps, increased speed on your last sprint, or taking a shorter break in between pushes.
4) GET HEADPHONES
Actually, have two. There is nothing worse than being at the gym without headphones. Zoning out is the best way to get through your workout and you can listen to something you find stimulating, especially when you have no control over the scenery or TVs. I like listening to my most exciting murder mystery podcasts while I run – is that weird?
5) FIND A FITNESS GURU YOU LOVE
There are so many great fitness coaches on YouTube that can help get you through your workout. I love Cassey Ho from Blogilates and I use her app for my strength training. She uses no equipment so it makes the workouts easy to do anywhere. The Classpass app also has a video component where you can see popular videos and sort by duration and focus are.
6) PACK THE ESSENTIALS
You should keep a mini makeup bag of the essentials to fresh up and get back to work. I keep dry shampoo, a hairbrush, mascara, lipstick, fresh wipes, deodorant, and powder in a small compartment in my gym bag.
7) DRESS THE PART
Unless you work in a super corporate environment, you should try to dress for your workout. It’s usually only 3 or so hours into your workday so the discomfort would be minimal. I like to wear black leggings, a sports bra, an oversized sweater, and high boots. Afterwards, you can swap out your leggings and sports bra for more “work-appropriate” pieces – which for me is usually a different pair of black leggings and a bralette. (yay for working in technology!) I usually go with a ponytail or topknot bun of workout days.
8) PACK YOUR LUNCH
A 45-minute lunch workout doesn’t leave a lot of time to go out for lunch. Pack a salad packed with protein to feel good about your workout (or just buy one – who has time to cook?) and be sure to put yourself on mute while you chomp down on your 1 PM conference call.
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