Training on a lunch break: how to organize yourself and what are the benefits

Finding a time during your day to exercise is essential. Here's how to use your lunch break to stay active.

Working out during the early hours of the morning has countless pros, but the main cons is related to the difficulty of getting up early, when the whole world is still asleep.
The perspective is different for those who decide to take advantage of the lunch break to focus on their daily sporting activity. In this case, the main problems are related to the workplace.

Most people do the classic eight-hour office work, away from home, with just one hour of lunch break. Then there are those who do not have the opportunity to disconnect a little earlier in the evening, such as those who work in contact with customers in shops. More fortunate are those who, on the other hand, can manage their time independently or who do not have rigid and pre-established schedules. In all these cases, it is still possible to take a moment to break up the day and dedicate an hour, or even less, to sport.

How to make your lunch break more active

To save valuable time when you are running out of time, the first thing to do is remember to pack everything you need for training the night before. This way, the next morning you will have everything ready and not risk forgetting anything. This advice is valid not only for those who leave their home to go to work, but also for those who stay there or can return during the break. Furthermore, having everything ready avoids the risk of finding some imaginary excuse and giving in to the desire to skip training.

It is also important to plan your training down to the second, which refers not only to the carrying out of the actual sporting activity, but also to the phases of dressing, showering, changing and a quick lunch.
Many people prefer to dedicate more time to sport than the lunch break, for fear of having too little time available. However, a short time does not mean that it is impossible. On the contrary, it means reducing and concentrating everything into a shorter period of time. If you are used to running for sixty minutes, during your lunch break you can decide to dedicate just half an hour to training, varying your habits. Instead of a classic workout, you can focus on muscle strengthening with a cross training or stretching session or a quality session based on short but intense repetitions (perhaps on a treadmill). The same goes for those who dedicate themselves to swimming, to the gym or to any other sport (cycling is the one that perhaps pays the most for the time it takes).
Another problem related to training in the lunch break is where to do it, even if running offers many possibilities. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a locker room with shower within their company or a gym (or swimming pool) nearby. Using one of these facilities is the simplest thing to do.
On the other hand, for those who can freely manage their time, the work break to be taken into consideration to train fully should be about two hours: a quarter of an hour of preparation, an hour of training, a quarter of an hour to get washed and changed, half an hour to eat. The more time is reduced, the more you will have to try to optimize what is available.

All the benefits of training during your lunch break 

The benefits of exercising during your lunch break are varied. First of all, break the working day into a before and after: mentally it is easier to face four hours of work at a time, and a regenerating workout allows you to manage the second part of the day better. With the advantage, very often, of also being able to find a solution to all the problems that arose during the morning.

Another benefit is linked to the fact that, as with physical activity carried out in the early hours of the day, even that during lunch breaks increases the levels of calcium in the blood. This, in turn, increases the production of endorphins and dopamine, the hormone that allows you to feel euphoric, satisfied and fulfilled. Once back in the office, you will feel full of energy (and no longer tired!), hyperactive and in a good mood, also performing much better from a work point of view.

For those who train outdoors, doing it during the lunch break is especially advantageous during the cold season, when the hours in the middle of the day are usually the mildest ones. Running or cycling in winter under the sun and the blue sky is satisfying and relaxing, not to mention that it allows you to activate, even if minimally, the processes of vitamin D synthesis. During the hottest days, and especially in summer on the other hand, training during lunch breaks can get quite tiring. It is always necessary to assess what the external temperature is and take all necessary precautions to avoid getting sick during and after training. In this case, the indoor option becomes essential, given the option of taking advantage of air conditioning and cooler environments. It is also important to remember that the body will take a lot longer to stop sweating, so you will need to calculate a few more minutes post-workout before returning to the office.
From a nutritional point of view, running during the lunch break is an excellent habit because it allows you to correctly divide the five meals that should make up your daily diet. If you run in the middle of the day, you need to fill up on nutrients during your morning breakfast, not limiting yourself to croissant and cappuccino, but trying to get the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. During the mid-morning snack, you can make an additional supply of carbohydrates in view of the physical activity that will be carried out shortly thereafter. On the other hand, lunch can be used to complete what is consumed during sporting activities in the post-workout, also paying attention to the amount of liquids lost and to be replenished. One tip is not to overdo the quantities of food, thus avoiding going back to your desk and napping in the afternoon. You can treat yourself to something more delicious with an afternoon snack.

Not everyone is addicted to sports but being an example for more sedentary colleagues by encouraging them to do activities, alone or in a group, is a habit that will be good not only for them, but also for overall productivity. Try it out for yourself! 

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