Work starts early, your morning is rushed, and by the end of a long day and frustrating commute, you’re stomach is growling and you’re too exhausted to hit the gym. You want to get fit, but when are you supposed to find time for a workout?!
Lunchtime may be the best time for you to squeeze in some exercise. But then there’s the problem of what you can manage in 30-60 minutes without excessively sweating and turning into a hot mess in the middle of a work day….oh, and still have time to eat.
This blog (and workout video) will give you some ideas for workouts you can do in limited time and tips for how to freshen up afterwards when you don’t have time to shower and re-apply make-up.
2 Quick Workout Types
When I have 25-30 minutes to workout before running off to work, I’ll choose one of two options (these are not all there are, just my preference):
1) A fast-paced, intense full-body workout – this will probably include a big strength exercise, a more cardiovascular exercise with weights, and a plyometric exercise. Ideally, if time allows, also a core exercise. This is a great way to burn a lot of calories and do some functional movements, hitting various muscle groups at once. Plyometrics may need to be kept to a minimum to prevent profuse sweat (for those of us that don’t have time for a shower).
2) Pick one body part and lift heavy – Shoulders, for instance. Pick 3-4 exercises and hit them hard. This is great for preventing sweat while still working hard, because you should go slow for best results. This also allows you to really focus in on specific areas and grow muscles. You might want to do supersets, where right after a shoulder exercise you do an ab exercise to maximize your time while still allowing muscles to rest.
25-30 Minute Full-Body Circuit
I did this workout in a little less than 25 minutes the other day when I was pressed for time. After a 2-minute warm-up on the rower, I repeated this 4 times. Try it out, or use some of the alternates if you can’t do some of these or just want other options.
- 20 Kettlebell Swings (start lighter to warm up, increase weight each round)
- 12 Squat Thrusters (start slightly lighter, increase weight each round)
- 20 Speed Skaters and/or 20 Box Hop-Overs
Repeat 3-5 times with 30 seconds or less between sets.
Post-Workout Hacks to Stay Fresh
Ok, so now you’ve worked out and are probably “glowing”. But you don’t want to smell or feel sticky the rest of the day or walk around with disheveled hair. Don’t worry, a few simple drug store purchases stashed in your gym bag will do the trick.
I don’t have time for showers after a workout. I suppose I could make time, but I’d rather put that into burning calories and building muscle. Plus, my hair and make-up take way too long to re-do! So I keep a few things in my bag to freshen up post-workout. It’s not perfect, I don’t always leave looking my very best, but I’m heading to a desk with no one to impress, so it works for me. Hopefully these tips will work for you, too, unless you’re headed out to a big meeting or date 🙂
Post-Workout Freshening Up Routine
- Wipe Off Sweat – The simplest, quickest way to freshen up is with some body, hand or face wipes. I simply use those wipes to get rid of sweat, wherever it is.
- Re-apply Deodorant – A travel-sized deodorant fits easily in any bag and is an obvious essential for staying fresh
- “Powder Your Nose” – Make that “glow” matte by touching up your face with powder, and if you fill in your eyebrow, touch them up with a pencil since that easily gets messed up when wiping off sweat.
That’s it!….But, if you end up sweatier than anticipated or want to take it a step further for maximal freshness and have more time…
4. Re-apply Make-up – You can also use those wipes to take off your makeup and reapply if you have time.
5. Dry Shampoo – Get rid of any moisture around the hairline and get your hair back to normal with some dry shampoo. They make travel sizes as well that won’t take up much space. Just make sure to pack a hair brush for working it into your hair and smoothing it out.
Your Gym Bag Essentials:
- Body or face wipes
- Travel-size deodorant
- Dry shampoo
- Eyebrow pencil (and any other make-up you want to fix)
- Hair brush
- Hair ties
- Body spray or perfume
Eat a Healthy Lunch!
Then with any spare time you have, you can still scarf down lunch. Or, do what I do and just eat lunch at your desk while you work, which will also cause you to eat slower for better digestion. Pack something healthy with high protein and carbs, like chicken with sweet potato to replenish that glycogen and help build muscle! You can also do a protein shake for something super quick and easy.
What about you? Do you have any lunch time workout tips that have helped you?