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Hello MT community,

Anyone working out during lunch hour? How do you work it? Would you recommend it?

I was wondering what you think about working out during lunch break. I have listened to the Podcast: How to Eat Lunch and didn't hear anything about exercising during lunch breaks.

The increase in energy (at least for me) is great, but I can see the problems with it. 45 minutes isn't enough, but I could fit in a 20-30 minute workout into an hour? 2-3 times per week is what I am aiming at. What do bosses think, about their directs leaving for an hour to work out?

Maybe I have missed a podcast on this?

erinkristi's picture

Yeah, let me know when you figure out the best way. I've been telecommuting for 5 years and getting in a 45 min run two or three times a week is super easy. For now I can show up sweaty and out of breath and only my dogs notice. However, I'll be taking on a new job in a few months and will have to return to a standard office environment, meaning...well, you know.

Is working out during lunch perceived any differently in England (specifically London) than anywhere in the US? I'm in Virginia now, but the new job is in London. 

Erin

 

"If you can't describe what you're doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing."

W. Edwards Deming

tmliz's picture

 A big thing these days seems to be employee wellness programs - perhaps you could start it as an initiative in your office? Plan to run a 5K as a team and then work out to get ready for it? I'm on a college campus (so a little different), but we have group runs at lunch break.

Mark's picture

Folks, it's totally fine to work out during lunch.  Please do so.  Some simple guidance:

1. Not every work day.  The folks who do that act as if that time is sacrosanct, and if you're a professional, work at work comes first.

2.  Not based on the workout.  If your "normal workout" is an hour, you don't get a 90 minute lunch to accommodate your "normal workout." You get whatever seems reasonable for your workplace.  If there's no guidance, it's probably an hour.  That means back at your desk working an hour later.

3.  Hygiene.  You have to fit in a shower.  FULL STOP.  Otherwise, you're saying others need to deal with your workout, versus you fitting your workout in.  Not cool.  So, bring a gym bag, change of clothes if you have to, toiletries.  Being sweaty at work is not a badge of honor, it's a dunce cap.

4. When you miss, it's gone.  If you don't get your workout in at lunch time because of a work crush, you've lost it.  Those that miss lunch at noon-ish don't take an HOUR later.  They get a 15 minute snack, probably at their desk.  There's probably no workout equivalent, and that's that.

5.  I wish more people would do it, if they needed it.  But it's not important to everyone else.  Ladies and gentlemen do not talk about money, or their relationships, or how they stay fit, generally, with their colleagues.  That's not old fashioned...it's polite.

 

Good timing - this cast comes out shortly. :-)

Mark

 

 

TSJ72's picture

One of my most successful transformations is due to working out at lunch. About 13 years ago I moved across the country and started a new job. Going out with colleagues became my new lunch routine and before I knew it, I was over weight and in the worst shape of my life. So, I started working out at lunch which meant I was not going out to lunch and was able to eat a lot healthier. I lost 35 lbs. That said, I have since switched to working out in the morning because my current job has too many conflicts and I was missing too many workouts. Getting in a workout first thing in the morning is best if you can motivate yourself to get out of bed. If you get it in, you are done, you will feel good all day and you will not waste any cycles on trying to figure out when you will squeeze your workout in. In other words, you are in control of whether you workout or not, not work or other commitments that may come up during the day. It is hard to get out of bed sometimes though and I would still prefer to workout mid-day if my schedule would CONSISTENTLY allow it.
Mark's guidance is good as always. If you don't have a flexible schedule and shower facilities, it will likely not work. If you don't have an environment that encourages this people may look at you the same way as anyone who takes extra long lunch. I personally don't think it is worthwhile if you only have an hour. By the time you factor in travel to and from the facility, changing, working out and showering you will likely only have ~20min workout and you will still need to eat something after. But, if you have a good environment and flexibility to take a little longer at lunch, than it can be a great time to do it.

brewerdom's picture

I recomend racqueteball/basketball for a good lunch workout.  You can get a game done in 15 to 20 minutes and still fit in a shower. They also provide a great opportunity to network or build a relationship. 

Gk26's picture

 I have put on some weight, but luckily not too big that I can't "fit in the shower", though the nozzle is a little too low for my 5' 10" height.

I am a big fan of interval training.   We have enough fitness-minded folks here that we can usually find someone to go with.  Typically we will run 200m sprints at the track or one of the fields nearby.  I am compiling a list of bodyweight exercises.  If I can remember to post it here, I will.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

warrenjl's picture

My approach on a mid day exercise committment has been to be open with the manager on needs (versus wants).  In the end, a noon hour exercise committment models effectivenessto directs, and the boss sees how these behaviors can positively impact performance.

That said, work comes first. But, everyone needs a break midday for at least 30 - 60 min. 

I suggest not doing a heavy workout over the noon hour and leave that to early morning or after work.  You want to be ready for that post lunch client issue, or attend a meeting without looking drained and/or drippy. 

There are benefits to a noon hour 45 min low impact exercise - yoga, walking - alternating days with meditation.    It blows off steam, and perspective returns. And the benefit of networking with others during a group exercise activity encourages growth.

It is best to transition from desk and back smoothly, with minimal interruptions to work. 

vjlyons's picture

Many bigger corporations are now very encouraging of working out and provide facilities to do so.  The last two companies I worked for had facilities on-site to encourage this.   Depending on your role and schedule will allow you to choose what and when to do.  

I eat at my desk and work through "lunch time" and I either exercise at 10:00 or 2:00  depending on the day.   I have a few minutes to change, warm up and then I run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, quick shower, change and back at my desk in about 50 minutes.  

We have a limited amount of equipment (and showers) so I leave the traditional lunch time for employees with a more defined schedule.  One of my colleagues who I often pass in the hall runs at 3:00 because we are on the East Coast, but her manager is on the West and she runs during his lunch when she will not be needed.

I bring my workout gear everyday, though I realize that my schedule can change, so I may not get to work out, but you will feel better about it if you have your stuff and you try for it everyday.

Bottom line is to be willing to be flexible and thoughtful about how you can work it into your schedule.

vjlyons's picture

Many bigger corporations are now very encouraging of working out and provide facilities to do so.  The last two companies I worked for had facilities on-site to encourage this.   Depending on your role and schedule will allow you to choose what and when to do.  

I eat at my desk and work through "lunch time" and I either exercise at 10:00 or 2:00  depending on the day.   I have a few minutes to change, warm up and then I run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, quick shower, change and back at my desk in about 50 minutes.  

We have a limited amount of equipment (and showers) so I leave the traditional lunch time for employees with a more defined schedule.  One of my colleagues who I often pass in the hall runs at 3:00 because we are on the East Coast, but her manager is on the West and she runs during his lunch when she will not be needed.

I bring my workout gear everyday, though I realize that my schedule can change, so I may not get to work out, but you will feel better about it if you have your stuff and you try for it everyday.

Bottom line is to be willing to be flexible and thoughtful about how you can work it into your schedule.

brianr5's picture

I am fortunate my company has an onsite gym and fitness classes.  I like to workout at lunch, it gives me more energy in the afternoon and is a good break.  I switched to mornings about a year ago.  My work schedule became more unpredictable and I couldn't reliably get a workout in often enough.  If you do it in the morning it guarantees it will happen (much like work). 

I think Mark's guidance is dead on about you need to be back at your desk working when expected, and if you get a late start, you are out of luck.  If you follow all of Mark's guidance on this I think working out at lunch is a positive thing.

The only exception I have made to that is when I have been on projects that required working until 9pm - 10pm for a month or two, I would run for an hour a few times a week at lunch.  It may not have been the best career move, but it did make working the extra hours easier.

misysinc's picture

So, I'm guessing your management would frown on taking 15 minutes to change into your workout togs, taking an hour run, another 15 minutes to cool down and towel off (no shower) and change back, then taking 30 minutes for lunch and socialization.