Early-morning workouts aren't possible because you're far from a morning person, and evening workouts just seem too late. That leaves the good old noon workout, but that too can have its drawbacks. Here are four things that make midday workouts hard to swallow, and how to fix them.
I've Got Food on the Brain
Noontime is lunchtime, and many of us have been programmed to eat at 12 p.m. ever since elementary school. In order to prevent hunger pains from ruining your workout, plan ahead and eat a healthy snack around 11 a.m. Focus on a mix of protein and carbs and keep your snack to under 200 calories. If you forget to eat, here's what you can nosh on 15 to 30 minutes before you exercise. You'll have the energy to exercise at noon, and once your workout is complete, you'll have a satisfying meal to look forward to.
The Crowds at the Gym
Noon is a popular time to sweat it out since most people find it easier to make a break for the gym with schedules loaded with calorie-busting group classes. If your schedule allows for it, try shifting your workout 30 or 60 minutes earlier to beat the rush.
If that's not a possibility, choose less-popular ways to exercise. If most people are on the treadmill, hit the indoor track. If the indoor cycling class is consistently packed, hop on a stationary bike and do this interval workout. If the crowded gyms really annoy you, take a workout or two away from the gym: hit up a local yoga studio, meet a friend for a run in the park, or bring a fitness DVD to work and exercise in your office.
Keep reading for two more noon workout gripes and two solutions.
Work Makes It Hard to Steal Away
Meetings that last all morning, surprise deadlines, and computer issues can make it impossible to leave work at noon. The only time you'll consistently fit your midday workouts in is if you schedule them like you would other important work meetings. Make it known to everyone you work with that you are unavailable from noon to 1 p.m., and make sure you stick to it.
Showering Afterward Takes So Much Time
A good workout usually means you don't look very cute afterward, and a shower is in order. That tacks on an extra 20 minutes or so that you'll be away from your job. You can speed up the process with these time-saving locker room tips. Or instead of showering in the morning before work, skip it and head to work 30 minutes early. That way you won't feel bad about taking the time to freshen up after you exercise. If that's not possible, do longer, less-intense workouts that won't require a post-shower, and instead quickly freshen up with a change of undies, some dry shampoo and deodorant, and a washed face.