Time is precious, and sometimes it’s difficult to find enough of those precious minutes to work out. You’re way too tired to hit the gym before work, and after a long day the last thing you want to do is hop on a treadmill. There’s good news, however – if you get a lunch break, you can get the body you want. Just follow these tips, and you’ll be able to fit in a workout and a shower and still have time to eat – all before your boss even notices you’re not at your desk.
Know your (time) limit. Do you have an hour for lunch? A half hour? No matter how much time you have, you can make it work, says celebrity personal trainer Adam Friedman, an expert with Gold’s Gym who has coached athletes such as Lisa Leslie, Reggie Jackson and Ryan Kalish. “Even five minutes can be effective,” he says. “You just have to take advantage of the time you have.”
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, so taking 30 minutes out of your lunch break every day to go for a run can reap major benefits, including a reduction in your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Use what’s close. Are you near a gym? If so, you can probably walk there, change, exercise, shower and get back all in the time allotted. If not, it becomes a little trickier, but it’s definitely doable, Friedman says. “Do you have equipment and a locker room near you?” he asks. “If so, use that. If not, there are plenty of exercises you can do without any machines.”
Have a plan. When you’re limited on time, you need to know exactly what exercises you’ll be doing and how to do them before you start, says Janice Kuklick, chair of the Department of Physical Education at Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania. “Focus on cardio and strength, which will give the most bang for your buck in a workout,” she says. “Sandwich timed cardio with timed body weight strength training. This keeps your metabolism at a high level throughout the entire workout, minimizes boredom and maximizes focus. The only equipment you need is a timer, and it can be done indoors or outdoors with little space needed.”
Try interval training. When you’re short on time, interval training, which involves switching quickly between various high-intensity, short-burst exercises, is a great way to get your heart rate up and really feel the burn, Kuklick says. For example, take five cardio exercises – jumping jacks, high knee jogs, burpees, skaters and mountain climbers – and five strengthening exercises – push-ups, superman, plank knee twists, X squats and lunges – and alternate them. “Perform each exercise twice for 40 seconds. Then rest for 10,” she says. “Repeat with the next exercises down the line until you get through all 10 exercises. This should take about 20 minutes. If you have time, you can repeat it all over again.”
The best thing about interval training, Kuklick adds, is that you can adapt it to your needs. “You can add more exercises or change the format or even lengthen or shorten the intervals to keep things interesting depending on your available time,” she says. “High-intensity interval training is definitely the way to go for lunchtime exercise.”
Pack your lunch. Whether you hit the gym or just go for a run, it’s unlikely that you’ll have enough time to stop off to grab food before you have to be back at your desk. Since you still have to eat, bring your lunch from home and eat once you get back to your desk, Friedman says, which saves both time and money. “Packing your own lunch means you can save time and ensure that you’re eating the proper foods and portions.” After a tough workout, a protein-packed lunch will refuel your body and give you the energy you need to make it through the rest of your work day.
Make it a routine. “Working out in the middle of the day is not going to have a significant difference on results compared to someone who works out at a different time of day,” Friedman says. “What matters the most is consistency. So if the middle of the day is what works for you, then that’s when you should exercise.”
Ultimately, working out midday is a great choice for people who can’t get to the gym before or after work, Friedman adds. And besides helping you slim down, you might find that it even helps you perform better at work. “Taking a break from a focused mental job is proven to lead to increased productivity and creativity,” he says. “Exercise reduces stress, and you work better when you’re not stressed.”
Article Source: USnews.com