The Lunch Hour Workout

No time to work out? Try a lunchtime fitness break.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Charlotte Grayson Mathis, MD

"I'll have a chicken salad sandwich on whole-wheat toast, a tall glass of iced tea, and a 30-minute workout -- to go!"

It still may sound a bit strange, but experts say that combining fitness and lunch is one of the best ways to incorporate exercise into a busy lifestyle.

"From CEOs to college students, working out during a lunch break is growing in popularity, and it really is a fun and easy way to get more physical activity into your life," says Craig Valency, a personal trainer at the Scrippts Ranch Bally Total Fitness club in San Diego.

Some workout facilities, like the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas, have established restaurants on the premises, so members can grab a healthful meal and a full-body workout in a single trip.

But is a lunch-hour workout really effective? And is it really possible to exercise and still have time to eat, shower, and get back to work -- all within 60 minutes?

"It is going to take a little bit of planning and some coordination, but not only can it be done, it's often easier than you think," says Mari Croze, a personal trainer at the Central Michigan State University Fitness Center.