Lunchtime workouts: Tips for your daily workout

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When the pressure builds up at work, sometimes it feels impossible to even step away to eat lunch, let alone swap the corporate clothes for the gym gear. Taking regular breaks during the work day and ensuring that you don't work through lunch is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestylei. A workout can restore your energy for the rest of the day and may provide you with a much needed stress relief from your jobii.

Plan ahead

Lunchtime is usually a good time, but it's rarely a long time. Fitting in a workout requires planning. Think about what you will need to pack in terms of exercise clothes and post-workout items in order to get back to the office as quickly as possible. If you plan to exercise outdoors, don't forget to include sunscreen and a hat especially for the summer months!

Join a class at a conveniently located gym for a structured workout.

A balanced program

You may not have the time to do a full body workout during lunch, so why not alternate activities on different days to make the most of your training time and ensure you are covering the main muscle groups of your body over the course of the week. Also remember that your workplace fitness doesn't have to begin and end at lunchtime. By performing simple exercises in the office as well, you are likely to improve your fitness level.

Locations and facilities

If you're near a park, a beach, a pool or a gym, you've got a ready-made location for your lunchtime workout. Consider joining a fitness program in the local park rather than working out on your own. Alternatively, ask some of your colleagues if they would like to join you in training. Use it as an opportunity to motivate each other and get to know the people you work with in a more social and friendly atmosphere.

Why not join a class? Many city gyms offer a variety of classes specifically designed to fit in with your lunch break. When choosing your activities, think about how long your break is, and factor in the time it will take for you to return to the office and prepare for the afternoon ahead.

Shower time

Once your workout is over, you'll want to freshen up with a quick shower. Many offices provide shower and change room facilities for staff, but if yours doesn't you'll need to investigate some options.

The office bathroom can be used as a change room before your exercise. Showering can be a bit more problematic. If you are near the beach, the local surf club change room is a good choice, but otherwise nearby swimming pools and gyms could provide facilities for both your workout and quick change. A sponge down back in the office bathroom combined with a liberal dose of deodorant should only be a last resort!

Hire a trainer or exercise with colleagues to make your workout more fun.

Use a monitor to track your progress

Get a better estimate of your fitness by using a device which measures your activity. Heart rate monitors and pedometers can help you to challenge yourself and meet your fitness goals. Finding out the results of your activity may even encourage you to do more.

Feeding time

Try and organise nutritious lunches that you can eat at your desk when you get back from your workout and be sure to have a healthy snack before you go so you don't have to exercise on an empty stomachiii.

Don't forget to wear a watch!

Make sure you don't get so carried away with your workout that you return to work late, particularly if your workplace is strict on timeframes. Plan in advance: you don't want to be anxious about getting back to work when your lunch break ends. Why not also tell your boss what you will be doing to pursue your fitness objectives: they may even be more flexible than you realise. Emphasise that by getting in a lunchtime workout, you are likely to be more calm and productive when you return to your deskiv.

iGabra, Z 2012, 'Are lunch breaks really that important?', Refresh Leadership, 25 September, viewed 10 November,

iiHarvard Health Publications 2011, Benefits of exercise - reduces stress, anxiety and helps fight depression, from Harvard men's health watch, viewed 11 November 2014,

iiiMay, S 2014, 'Time-saving tips for a lunchtime workout', Women's Running, 22 October, viewed 10 November 2014,

ivSeliger, S, '30-minute lunchtime workouts', WebMD, viewed 10 November 2014,