This article was created in partnership with Peerfit.
When it comes to squeezing in a workout, early risers and night owls have it easy. But what about those of us who feel our most energized in the middle of the day? Are we doomed to deskercise our way to stronger muscles? To monotonously count our steps around the office in hopes that hitting 10,000 will help us reach our fitness goals?
If getting your sweat on in the middle of the day is what works best for you, who’s to say you can’t make it happen? In fact, studies show exercise can boost energy, creativity, and productivity—exactly what you need to get through the rest of your nine-to-five.
We partnered with our friends at Peerfit to find the best ways to fit in a noon gym sesh. The fitness platform partners with companies and insurance carriers to make it easier (and cheaper!) for employees to work out. As long as you’re getting your work done, sneaking out for a lunchtime fitness class might be easier than you think. Here are our top six tips for pulling it off.
1. Keep extra workout clothes in your desk.
Not only is sitting in sweaty clothes post-workout a bad look for the office, but it’s not great for your skin either. Because sweat is wet and warm, it promotes the growth of bacteria and yeast on your clothes and body, which often leads to less-than-ideal skin conditions such as yeast infections or folliculitis. Keeping a spare set of workout gear (even down to your skivvies) in your desk guarantees you’ll stay fresh during and after your workout.
2. Pick your workouts wisely.
There are two key factors for choosing a workout in the middle of the workday: First, you’re more likely to make time for a workout you actually enjoy. Second, you want to find somewhere close to the office that makes the transition from studio to conference room a cinch.
But how to find those coveted locations? Sign up for Peerfit, a workout treasure map that gives you access to a long list of amenity-rich fitness studios and gyms across 48 states. Peerfit has a diverse list of class types—boxing, barre, CrossFit, you name it—and there’s no blackout times or price hikes during high-traffic hours. WFH and would rather not leave the house? Use Peerfit to stream workouts on your computer or TV.
Even better: You can get your work to foot the bill. Peerfit works with employers and insurance companies to pay for your gym time. Pretty sweet, right?
3. Enlist an accountabilibuddy at work.
Midday workouts are prime time for excuses—to-do lists pile up, meetings magically appear on your calendar, Susan from accounting just got a puppy and wants to show you 500 photos. That’s why having a coworker who is as committed to the workout as you are is a big help (even science agrees).
We recommend planning ahead and blocking off time on each other’s calendars so there’s no chance of ditching. It’ll feel like a meeting (who’s to say it isn’t?), and physically canceling an event will be a lot tougher than just saying, “Eh, let’s skip it.”
4. Fake a shower.
A blowout isn’t an option when you need to rush back to a meeting. And walking in with a drenched head of hair is a surefire way to feel self-conscious (and probably cold). A quick blast with a hair-dryer and generous dose of Gym Hair or dry shampoo into your roots will almost always do the trick. But, of course, not all scalps are the same, so check out this list of suggestions for managing sweaty locks of all types.
5. Remedy your red face.
Sure, you can change your clothes and dry your hair. But one dead giveaway that your doctor’s appointment was really a trip to the gym? Your face.
Oxygenated blood levels during aerobic training (we’re looking at you, cardio junkies) can lead to a red, blotchy complexion. For some people, the redness goes away pretty quickly, but for others (hello, us), it takes its sweet time.
If you’re a lunchtime runner or Spinner, try products that help to reduce redness and calm irritated, sweaty skin. Look for ones with ingredients such as aloe vera and tea tree oil, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and save the redness for the next time you have to present in front of your CEO.
6. Plan your lunch ahead of time.
Working out during your lunch hour should never replace, ya know,lunch. Meal-prepping makes post-exercise fueling a breeze—not to mention saves you time and money. Take 15 to 20 minutes the night before to pack a lunch that gives you the nutrients you need to recover from your workout and make it through the dreaded afternoon slump. Bonus points if it’s not another sad desk lunch.