You don’t have to sacrifice eating to squeeze in a workout on your break

By Ea Francisco

Finding time to exercise on a nine-to-five schedule is tough, especially if you have to leave early or go home late to avoid traffic. It’s not entirely impossible, though. Your one-hour lunch break might be your only window to work out, but there are ways to sweat it without rushing or half-assing it.

Go in with a Plan

If you’ve already decided when you’re going to work out, plan it beforehand. Otherwise, you’re going to be wasting what little time you have trying to figure out what to do. You’re less likely to ditch your workout if you already have something you’re looking forward to. You’d also be able to better balance out all the muscles you wish to exercise

Do a Full Body Workout

“Do a full body circuit routine for lunch to get the benefit of strength and cardio for a short period of time,” says personal trainer Migie Felizardo. He says that you can do this for 30 minutes and still have time to eat. With this midday routine, you can maximize the exercise you do in the short amount of time you have.

Alternate Cardio and Weight Days

“Working out during your lunch break is a great habit, provided you will have enough time to eat something afterwards. My advice is to alternate lifting days and cardio days during the workweek so that you can lift MWF and then have some form of cardiovascular training during TTH,” says Herbalife fitness ambassador Chappy Callanta.

Work out Before Eating

One thing you should definitely not do is skip lunch. After your workout, refuel to replenish energy for the rest of the day.  Working out before eating can actually be better for weight loss rather than the other way around. If you eat before, your exercise is going to start burning whatever you ate first but if you haven’t, then your body would run out of sugar to burn and will start targeting your fat. Your meal afterwards would then be used to refuel and energize you for the rest of the day.

Forget About Work for a While

You may have a lot of stuff to do, but thinking about work means you’re less focused on the exercise at hand. All your energy will be diverted and you might not be able to maximize your efforts in your workout. Thoughts on work are distractions that can lead to bad form or rushed workouts.

“You’ll have an easier time focusing on the goals of your workout when there aren’t other items demanding your attention,” tells Gregory Chertok, a certified sport psychology consultant, to Shape.

Make Walking Your Warm-up

If you choose to go to a gym, it’s best to find one near you, preferably within walking distance. Getting there can be your warm-up as opposed to spending time stretching when you get there. Warm-ups are basically anything that preps you for something harder, so walking does just enough to raise your core temperature and get your blood flowing to prevent cramps.