What do you normally do during your lunch hour? Do you head out to pick up some fast food? Catch up on a favorite show or Netflix or HBO? Do you ever feel like that time passes by so quickly that you didn't really get much accomplished? What if you could optimize that hour to get you closer to your goals? Whether you're working from home, in the office, or wherever else you normally work for your career, these are ways that you can make the most out of your lunch hour that will have you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day!
Pack Your Lunch
If you are leaving home for work, you can capitalize on your lunch hour better if you already have lunch prepared. Instead of spending time leaving to grab food or waiting on delivery, you can quickly heat up and enjoy a great meal you prepared at home. More importantly, you can add things to your lunch that contribute to your fitness goals. Proteins, healthy fats, and good carbs will set you up for the rest of the day. You'll feel more energized and able to knock out to-dos before the workday ends.
Go for A Walk
Feeling kind of stale and sleepy after working all morning? Step outside for a walk! This is an easy way to refresh and clear your mind, so you feel more focused once you return. Listen to your favorite music, podcast, or simply be alone with your thoughts – the choice is yours. You can maximize your walk by working up to a fat-burning heart rate so the exercise you get in the lunch hour is even more effective. This walk can be a quick 20 minute one, so you have the rest of the hour to eat and do whatever else you'd like.
Complete a HIIT Workout
The great thing about HIIT is that it doesn't need to take longer than 30 minutes to achieve results. Seriously, 15 to 30 minutes is all you need! Best of all, you won't need much in the way of equipment if at all. Many HIIT workouts rely on bodyweight movements. You won't need much space either, so they can be knocked out in your living room, office, outside, or wherever else you feel comfortable exercising on your lunch break. Find a HIIT routine that you want to try and give it a go on your next lunch break. These rapid fire movements only last a short time, but in the process will get your heart rate soaring! The elevation in heart rate will improve your cardiovascular health and release those feel-good endorphins to put you in a great mood for the rest of the day!
It's been proven that sitting all day at work is no good for your overall health. Take time during your lunch hour to get some good stretching in with focus on your hips and back. Your hip flexors can get really tight from sitting, so stretching during lunch can really help loosen them up. There are many different ways to stretch your hip flexors, some of which include air squats, one-legged pigeon pose, garland pose, butterfly stretch, and more. These take just a few minutes to do and will keep your hip health in good shape. Plus, if you enjoy squats at the gym, these stretches will help make them more comfortable when squatting down.
Plan Your Evening
Maybe you hit the gym or yoga studio once you've finished up at work for the day. Maybe you have a couple things you need to do after that. Use time in your lunch hour to plan out your evening to make sure you get everything crossed off your list. The last thing you want is to go to bed and suddenly remember something forgotten. You can even create a list for the following morning to help yourself get a head start on the day ahead. Optimizing your time in this way will help you achieve more in a faster, more structured manner.
A lunch hour is a mere 60 minutes, but there is so much you can do within that timeframe. Whether you choose to knockout a quick HIIT workout or prefer to stretch and plan for the rest of your day, there are many ways you can capitalize on your lunch hour. After a week of actively choosing some of these or other ways to spend that time, you'll likely wonder why you ever spent it any other way!