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Ditch the packed lunch and MAX out your lunch hour

Whether it is because you don’t have time to hit the gym after work, have irregular work hours or are just insanely busy, when it comes to getting into shape it pays to make the most of any and all time to work out.


A perfect time to hit the gym is during that hour-long lunch break which would likely see you otherwise trawling the internet or gossiping with colleagues.


There are many benefits of getting your heart rate up during your lunch break. For example, exercise can help to improve mood, making you a happier member of the team, it can also boost energy levels which can help to beat that afternoon slump, which in turn can help boost productivity – win-win!


The trick to making a lunch-break workout work for you is to get organised. Obviously, it being lunch time you will need to eat, so maybe have a pre-workout energy snack before working out followed by a balanced post-workout meal that you can eat back at your desk such as a jacket potato with tuna.


Remember to pack the night before everything you will need for your workout, and don’t forget you also need to consider the time it will take you to shower, change and get back to your desk when planning your training.


While it isn’t always feasible to do a complete workout, I’ve come up with five ways to get active and make the most of your lunch break…


1.     HIIT – You can choose to do a cardio or weight HIIT workout, just remember to keep the intensity up with rest time between reps to a minimum.

2.     Circuit – A quick circuit workout is ideal for when time is short and what’s more you can adapt it to the areas you want to work out.

3.     Walk – We should all be aiming for at least 10,000 steps a day but when putting in long hours at the office, this can sometimes be hard to achieve. An all over workout, walking has many advantages, it is free, adaptable and perfect for those short on time. Keep your stride brisk and aim to walk fast enough to get your heart rate up.

4.     Swim – If you are lucky enough to work near to a gym or leisure centre, consider hitting the pool for a workout that will boost your cardio, endurance and strength.

5.     Gym class – Classes such as spin, body pump and even Pilates are great ways to get your body moving and keep your body goals on track.


If heading off for a lunch time workout just isn’t feasible, don’t worry, you can still up your activity levels at the office by using the stairs instead of the lift, walking to talk to colleagues rather than phoning and even parking the car in a spot further away than usual. 


Sam Yassin

With a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and coming from the country’s most elite sporting town, Loughborough, Sam Yassin is an experienced strength and conditioning coach. He is a member of the UKSCA and is currently working towards his full accreditation. Having passed his examination and LTAD (Long-term Athletic Development) case study, he is well on his way to becoming a gold standard S&C coach. Sam has long been involved in the sporting world, having competed in a wide range of sports from a young age, despite being born with bilateral talipes and having had more than 5 lower body surgeries. In his final year of university, he gained valuable insight into what it takes to be part of a professional team as he interned at Leeds United Football Club as a strength and conditioning coach.

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