Monday, January 5, 2009

Lunch Date: Noontime workouts

How would you like to get on the weight machines without waiting in line, and gain the undivided attention from the staff at the gym? How about reclaiming your evenings and a better body to boot? If that's not motivation to start working out at lunchtime, then we're not sure what it's going to take. Why not make a date to start noontime workouts today?

Does Golf Count?
Ask anyone at the gym why they're there and you're sure to hear familiar reasons. Baby boomers keen to keep with physical demands from their kids, office jocks on the corporate basketball team who don't want to get injured, women aiming to feel comfortable in a new swimsuit, and of course, those who say 'I just want look good' or 'feel better about myself".

If asked, 'Do you exercise regularly?' would you answer 'Does golf count?' If so, you are probably among the thousands of weekend warriors who drag your feet through the week without exercise in your routine and try to make up for in on the weekend. It's time to incorporate exercise into your week - let your lunch hour change your routine and possibly, your life.

A Great Way to End the Day
"During lunch hour you will have energy," says Paul Juris, Ed. D. Director of New York's Equinox Fitness Training Institute. "Plus, it's good to get out at noon if you work in an office. You will feel invigorated and de-stressed, enabling the rest of the day to go smoother. In the middle of the day, gyms are less crowded, there's far less intimidation from hard core users, and you're likely to find you get better attention from the staff."

Working out at noon can also help prevent that "late-in-the-day un-motivated" attitude - when the hour grows longer and the day slides away - it's suddenly too late and you are too tired to do anything more than head home.

If You're Not the Work Out Type
But what if a party size bag of Doritos sounds more appealing than a work out at the gym? "Try simply moving on a regular basis" says Juris. "Even walking up to your apartment on the third floor is a first step. Do the math. Add this to walking instead of taking a cab, plus a weekend bike ride and you're on track. Small changes can often promote a sense of getting started without really committing. These in turn can motivate you to go further and get in to the gym."

What's the best way to overcome the feeling of lack of self-confidence and discomfort of unfamiliar territory? Any good exercise facility will do some type of initial assessment that gives you feedback about how fit you are. Put your ego aside and take advantage of these services. An introductory - and often complimentary - personal training session, free demonstration of equipment or a free fitness assessment can lay a good foundation for advancements and variety. And however fit or knowledgeable you may feel, you'll find that you'll eventually crave variety."

Being Busy is Not an Excuse
Earlier this year, Juris developed the 'Type A Workout' offered at Equinox Gyms, NYC. Designed for busy business people with limited time, it allows the participant to experience a full workout featuring flexibility, cardio and core stability in a forty-minute personal training session. The percentages spent on each area vary according to the individual. In 40 minutes, you can get a structured workout and feel invigorated instead of rushed in, rushed out and more tired.

The Bottom Line?
Before you head out for the vending machines or the nearest fast food outlet at noon, consider starting a lunchtime fitness routine. While you are puffing and sweating away, you'll have time to think about what you'll do tonight with all of your newly found free time.

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