Exercising in the middle of the day?!

I’ve been experimenting with something kind of crazy lately: exercising in the middle of the day. What?! you might say. People usually exercise in the morning or the afternoon (although there are those who exercise in their lunch break instead of having lunch). I usually also prefer the afternoon for exercise, but hear me out…

Recently, I experienced some neck and back issues that tended to get worse the longer I remained sitting. Now, I work at my desk, so that’s kind of unavoidable. “How can I break up the periods of sitting?” I wondered. I began by looking at what my typical day looked like: identify the problem.

A typical day

Here’s what a typical day looks like for me. In the morning, I walk to daycare with William and then back home. It’s nice to start the day with a walk outside, and I’m glad I have this opportunity. Then, I come home and sit at my desk for the whole morning. I take brief breaks, but in the end I still spend about 3 hours sitting.

After that, I have lunch while sitting as well, albeit at the table instead of at my desk. Then, I work for a few more hours, after which I get up to exercise, cook, or run an errand. At the end of the workday, I walk to daycare to pick up William.

Did you notice that basically I’m sitting for ~5-6 hours straight? Yeah, no wonder my back and neck weren’t happy. An interesting idea occurred to me…

Would it work?

I decided to try exercising around lunchtime. I was a bit reluctant at first. There appeared to be many issues:

“Would that break my concentration and my workflow?” Well, by lunchtime, I usually needed a break from work anyway. I felt hungry and low-energy, so I was out of flow for sure.

“Wouldn’t I be too hungry to exercise?” Most likely yes. I usually get hungry around 11h, but I stick it out until 12h (biting my tongue by that point). Instead, I decided to have a snack once hungry and then train.

“Would I stick to it?” I had to put it on the calendar! And I had to make it realistic. I had to allow enough time to change into my workout clothes and arrange my equipment (I exercise at home)… I couldn’t make the planning too tight, or I’d never stick to it.

The current schedule

So, this is how I do it now:

8:00: Walk to daycare with William

9:00: Start working

11:00: Eat a snack while doing some admin (emails, etc.)

11:30: Get up and get changed into workout clothes, do hair, arrange equipment, etc.

12:00: Exercise!!!

13:00: Put back equipment, change back into regular clothes, prepare lunch

13:30: Eat lunch

14:00: Work some more

17:00: Walk to daycare to pick up William

Break up the long period of sitting

It works like a charm! My neck and back are much happier with me, even though I end up sitting for the same total amount of time as before. It turns out it really helps to break up the long period of sitting.

Also, that snack at 11:00 works really well to help me exercise properly. If I were hungry, I’d get lightheaded and wouldn’t be able to workout in the way I like. Also, I drink a delicious electrolyte drink during my workout which helps me feel energized the entire time.

I enjoy having these little bursts of movement throughout the day: a walk in the morning, a workout in the middle of the day, and another short walk in the late afternoon. In that way, I also get a little bit of feel-good hormones several times per day 🙂

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