Authored by Ty Bostic – Fitness Instructor at Hilton Head Health
Getting your workout in during your lunch can be a great way to maximize your time during the day. You’re already away from home for work, so why not get your workout out of the way while you’re at it? And since your lunch break is a structured part of your workday, you’ll be more likely to stick with an exercise routine.
The first benefit you will notice by working out during your lunch break as you will sleep better. By freeing yourself of the idea that you need to wake up super-early, you can set reasonable alarm time.
The second benefit is you will diminish the dreaded mid-afternoon slump (you know what I’m talking about). Usually, there are at least 5 minutes in the afternoon where it seems you’re walking through a fog, and could just fall asleep sitting up, but not anymore.
The third benefit is a more restful evening. You won’t be calculating how many hours of sleep you’ll get if your alarm is set too early to go work out. So since you’re not trying to wake up extra early to get your exercise in, you won’t panic. Instead, you can climb into bed knowing you got your daily exercise in and achieve restful sleep. And finally, you are guaranteed a persistent workout plan. When you’re on a tight schedule, your workouts are going to more efficient than ever over a long period of time which is where the true results are. You’ll get in and get out without dilly-dallying, which means exercising and (planning when you’re going to exercise) takes up less of your time daily.
For your routine it’s important to remember to maximize results by keeping your workout full-body, focusing on compound movements for strength and lean muscle gain (working more than one muscle), while also incorporating your cardio-conditioning. Your body will reap the benefits of efficient exercise. To save precious time, I recommend keeping an exercise band at your desk drawer. There are bands out there that can even deliver up to 250 pounds of resistance. So with resistance bands, you’ll be able to mimic the entire gym at your office during a timed workout.
In your game plan of movements, you should always incorporate a push, pull, core, and lower body exercises. By doing these in the following ordering with little to no rest between the movements you will also be incorporating your cardio conditioning which is vital for your health and fitness. This will also save you time on the treadmill or elliptical during your lunch break. To further increase your heart rate try to focus on keeping your repetitions between 10-20 reps while aiming for 3-5 total rounds. One of the best tips I have given my clients is to set your timer or phone clock for 24 minutes (still leaving you time for lunch or your smoothie) and see how many rounds or your exercise you can achieve in the 24 minute time frame. Trust me. By following this method you will break that much-needed sweat!
Here are two examples of short lunchtime workout routines listed as workout A and B for each movement pattern listed I also gave you the option of various exercises to use within the parenthesis so remember to just choose one:
*Horizontal Push 10-20 reps – (Pushup from a wall, chair, or floor, or Resistance band push band anchored to a door)
*Horizontal Pull 10-20 reps – (Row with a resistance band anchored to a doorway or strapped under your feet bending over while keeping your shoulders and back straight)
*Core Plank 30-60 secs – (Plank from a wall, chair, or ground to increase intensity)
*Lower Squat 10-20 reps – (Squat from a chair, or Resistance band squat)
Move from one exercise to the other with little to no rest to keep your heart rate increased. Only resting when all exercises are complete which is then considered one round. After each round keep your rest within 60-90 seconds before you move on to another round. See how many rounds you can achieve in a 24-minute time-frame.
*Vertical Push 10-20 reps – (Overhead press with a resistance band strapped under one or two feet or dumbbell)*for shoulder issues you can do a lateral raises with a band
*Vertical Pull 10-20 reps – (Resistance band pull-apart holding band above your head, Pull-down machine, Pull-ups)
*Core 10-20 reps – (Crunches, Knee raises, Sit-ups, or Oblique twists)
* Lower 10-20 reps – (Side-steps with a resistance band, or Alternate step-ups on a step)
You can alternate these workouts in any fashion you would like depending on how many days a week you want to exercise (ex: Monday A, Wednesday B, Friday A) or (ex: Monday A, Tuesday B, Wednesday rest, Thursday A, Friday B). Remember to always listen to your body for adequate rest. Just as important as nutrition, persistence, and sleep are to your fitness. Proper rest between your workouts is needed to avoid overuse of repeated movements. That is the reason for workout A and B. Different movement patterns that focus on all angles of the body. With these two routines you can always change up the exercises, increase the intensity, increase or decrease repetitions, increase or decrease your rest time between exercises and the rounds, and lastly increase or decrease the days per week you incorporate this routine. The options are endless for a consistent lunchtime fitness plan. Consistency is key and the most important factor is sticking to it!
Fitness Instructor at Hilton Head Health