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Sometimes I can’t work out in the morning, so I look to lunchtime workouts as my daily exercise fix. Working out after work is the bane of my existence – from the packed gym and my sapped energy reserves to my insatiable hunger, I hate working out in the evenings.

On Monday night, I barely slept, so I re-set my alarm and instead brought my gym bag to work, hoping to find time to sneak in a lunchtime workout.

Tips for a lunchtime workout:

Lunchtime can be a happy medium for gymtime.

Lunchtime can be a happy medium for gymtime.

Plan ahead:
When you have an hour to change into workout clothes, workout, and then change back into your work clothes, time is of the essence. I tend to pick circuit workouts with plyometrics or a short (three- or four-mile) and fast run to get the biggest bang for my workout buck. Some circuit workouts I like include Julie’s, Tina’s, and Nicole’s.

Pack essentials:
My lunchtime gym bag is packed with much of the morning standards, plus a few essential items. Face wipes for pre- and post-exercise ensure my skin stays clean, and dry shampoo cleans up my sweaty hair. I try to pile my hair on top of my head is a loose bun so that I don’t create ponytail creases.

Plyometrics are an efficient lunchtime workout.

Plyometrics are an efficient lunchtime workout. (www.performbetter.com)

Be efficient:
I used to work about three-quarters of a mile from my gym, and I had the luxury of a shower in my building, so on days I worked out during lunch, I’d run to the gym, strength train, run back, shower, and return to work. Now I live half a block from my gym, I’ll go there, change, do some HIIT, a circuit workout, or a class, change back, and return to work in an hour. 

Working out during work hours is all about using the resources around you to efficiently use your lunch hour. If you have a park a mile away from your office, you could run there or use the equipment there to do dips, box jumps, or pull ups. You could also look for 45-minute fitness classes that work with your schedule. You may not be able to work yourself to exhaustion, but you can certainly work up a sweat and take a break from sitting for hours on end. Happy lunchtime sweating!