Tips for Sneaking in a Lunchtime Workout

As you may have noticed, I’m doing something a little bit new this week.  Or at least it’s new to the blog, but not new to me.  Because of the looming half and my crazy schedule, I’ve been putting in some #lunchmiles.

When Ben and I lived in Boston, my company had a gym downstairs, so I did most of my workouts on my lunch break.  I would do some form of cardio three days a week, and a class like Arms and Abs or Bootcamp twice a week.  I loved being able to squeeze it into the middle of my day because it meant that I could sleep in later in the mornings and go straight home after work.  It also made it a lot harder to skip a day.

These days, my gym is 10 minutes from the office and 20 minutes from home, which means that zipping over there on lunch isn’t really feasible.  But here’s the thing:  my office is a mere half mile away from the bike path–14 miles of gently rolling, scenic pavement that I can take advantage of.  I can do two or three miles and have enough time to wipe down, change, and eat lunch.  It’s brilliant, especially since the weather is so agreeable right now.

I know lunchtime workouts aren’t doable for everyone, but I thought I’d offer some tips and tricks to help you give it a try.

  1. Pack wipes–equip your gym bag with baby wipes, makeup cleansing wipes, or get some specially made active shower wipes.  You’ll want something to quickly get the sweat and dirt off your face and banish the stank from your pits and nethers before going back to work.  I definitely don’t have time to shower (even though my building has one), so wipes are a must.
  2. Have a morning snack to make sure you fuel your workout.  I usually have an apple and a handful of nuts around 10:30 am, which is enough to keep me from getting hangry before I run.
  3. Do what works for you.  If you can lock yourself in your office and bust out a 30 minute yoga session or follow along with a Nike Training Club strength workout, go for it!  If the weather is nice and your neighborhood is safe, go out and get a run in!  If you’re lucky enough to have an on-site gym, take a class!
  4. Enlist a buddy.  This is a well-known exercise motivator, and it works great here, too.  My friend Erin and I used to meet for classes on our lunch break.  Knowing that she’d be there always got me to go, when I might not have otherwise.
  5. Keep your eyes on the prize.  Remember that working out in the middle of your day means that after work, you can just GO HOME.  No schlepping your crap to the gym, changing in front of a bunch of strangers, and staring at a sea of grunting muscle-heads and hard-bodies while you grind out treadmill miles.  And tomorrow morning, instead of waking up at o’dark thirty to get your sweat on, you’ll still be in dreamland.  Pretty cool.

Do you ever work out on your lunch break?  

Do you have any tips or tricks to add?

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14 thoughts on “Tips for Sneaking in a Lunchtime Workout

  1. dgobs says:

    Good tips! I second the wipes one for sure… I only made that mistake once 🙂

    There was a few-month span when I had 2 hours to kill between jobs and I’d try to squeeze in a run then (I work at a university, so I had access to a track as well as the bike path by the river), but it’s become more difficult lately. Especially since I work in an archive where we’re not allowed to eat at our desks, so I need to fit in eating with changing, working out, changing again, and it’s a bit too complicated. I’m still hoping to figure out a way to make lunchtime workouts an option though!

  2. runsaltrun says:

    These are great tips! Runches used to be my life. Now I really don’t get any kind of lunch break so if I want to get a good workout in, I have to do it super early in the morning.

    I miss runch breaks.

    Good luck with the half!! You’ve got this!

  3. Falyn @ Slacker Runner says:

    I love the idea of running on my lunch, well when I get one and can leave the building. But I’ve never found a way to make my hair recover. :(. Add in the ocean air and I return with a pouf. But going home after work sounds awesome!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Yeah, the hair thing is tricky. One of the many reasons I’m growing it out after a pixie cut. At least if it’s irrecoverable after a workout, I’ll be able to put it up.

  4. kebe51 says:

    I do my CrossFit classes during lunch. I get up SO early as it is and get home so late, I know that if I don’t do it at lunchtime it won’t get done! I haven’t gone for a run yet during lunch though because a- I’m too slow and b-I would NEED to shower…no wipes can save me after a run lol

    • DarlinRae says:

      Lol! In the summer time it’s tough for me to go without a shower, but now that it’s much cooler, I don’t sweat quite as much! I need to get some dry shampoo though…

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