How to burn baby burn on the lunch hour

Most of the working world is allowed at least 30-60 minutes each day to take a lunch break. Like the former me, you may be one of those worker bees who keeps on buzzing right through the lunch hour, with food in mouth while reading emails, doing research or typing up reports. About a year ago, I decided that 60 minutes each day would not get me ahead (or even caught up) and I chose to take that hour for myself. Heck, I deserve it. Not only that, a relaxing lunch hour out of the office can get you re energized for the remainder of your afternoon.

Yesterday, I had plans to hit up the boot camp class after work and my SPEED group was hitting the big hilly park behind my office and I didn't want to miss out on some hills. So, to accommodate both wants and personal challenges, I went to the gym for 30 min of sweat inducing hills, speed and recovery. I thought it would be fun to bring you a little "how to" posting based on these lunchtime workouts, so here it is.

What you need: I bring the bare necessities for my lunchtime workouts because there's no time to blow dry, apply makeup, etc. I pack a pair of shorts, a tech shirt, socks, running shoes and Nike watch. Also in my gym bag is deodorant, 3 in 1 Sephora shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath and a brush. I borrow a towel and lock from the gym.

So, how to burn 300-500 calories on your lunch break?

First: If your office has (or is very near) a gym, great! The reason I love the gym is that when my motivation is waning, the gym forces me to get it done. If I didn't have a gym membership, I might just opt out of a workout on those really cold, wet days.

Sample workouts: 15 min elliptical, 15 min squats, biceps, triceps, abs, 5 min stretch; 1-2 min intervals* @ level 4-6 incline/resistance w/1 min rest after each interval for 30 min; 20 min stairmaster, 10 min push ups, mountain climbers, burpees, abs, stretch
*Interval work can be done on the treadmill, elliptical or bike

Second: If you're not close to a gym, no worries. Use what you have! My office is surrounded by hills and parks and even within 5 min of the river. So if I want some great scenery and a quick workout, nature is easily at my fingertips.

Sample workouts: walk hills (or flats if that's what's available) at a brisk pace for 45 min; take a 30 min run, walk for 5 min, stretch; drop down and give me 10 (sometimes I drop down in the middle of a run just to get some extra workout in! It can't hurt to work those biceps!); alternate run/walk 5 min running with 1 min walking for 30 min, stretch

Finally: getting a proper warm up and cool down in is important for the body. Be sure to do at least 2 min on each to get the muscles (heart included) revved up for your workout and then cooled back down afterward.

And, once you've warmed up and worked all those muscles, be sure to stretch while you're still warm and nimble so everything doesn't just tighten back up. As a runner, I've learned this the hard way when I've neglected stretching because I didn't think I had time for it. Find the time. Again, 2 min at least.

Post workout fuel: Ideally, you'll be heading right back to your office to grab your pre-made sandwich like I often do. But if not, be sure to fuel up with some protein and carbs within 30 min of finishing that workout. A Luna bar, apple with peanut butter, or string cheese and crackers are great packable options. And don't forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

So to recap, it takes me about 15 min to walk to the gym, change clothes and get on a machine. I spend 30 min or so getting a quality workout in. Then I shower/rinse off, change, dry hair under hand dryer and walk back to work, which takes about 20 min total. And in about 65 min you have a nice little workout under your belt! Tell me, do you try to fit a lunchtime workout in now and then? Do you even take your lunch break?


Ha, I'm on my lunch break right now! I read blogs on my lunch break. Lol.

Now that I'm only working part-time I only get lunch breaks on Fridays anyways, and I like to get my workout in before work. I would and have worked out on my breaks between work and classes in the past though!
I usually head to Target for lunch - lol, that's kind of a workout, right?

Okay I only do that like once a week, but still. Lots of walking/browsing!

NICE tips up there!! You know how to work the gym, I love it. :)

have a good weekend!
My lunch break is short so I shove food in my mouth, gossip and head back to my desk. I should eat beforehand and then walk on my lunch break though!

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