“Gimme a break.”
Not long ago, I mentioned in a blog that my personal and professional wellness lives seem to collide more as I get older and write more. Here we go again.
Those of you who work in an office, have you ever squeezed in a workout over the lunch hour? I’ve gone for plenty of mid-day walks prior to grabbing a bite and getting back to work, but I’ve never gone full-on workout mode then gone back to the office.
Even though lunch hours are pretty flexible these days, getting in a workout, getting in a shower, getting ready, and getting back to work takes time – and, some days, even with a more forgiving “hour” for lunch, that’s a tough feat.
But also as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s tougher to get in workouts and I have to find the time. One particular day last week, the time I found was during my lunch hour. I decided to go for a run at lunch aka a runch.
I stepped away from my desk and the day’s work, and took a break to log a few miles. And I loved it.
What I Loved About Running at Lunch
Here’s why running at lunch is definitely something I plan to do again.
At least a couple days a week, I work through the lunch hour. Who doesn’t, right? Work needs to get done, you get on a roll, or meetings pop up. Whatever the reason, it’s not uncommon to skip a break in favor of more productivity. But sometimes, this practice actually harms productivity.
There’s research that shows taking a break or stepping away leads to better creativity, thinking, and energy, ultimately leading to more production. And I don’t know a better way to ignite those juices than with some blood-pumping exercise!
2. Midday Mindfulness
Similar to taking a break for better production, stepping away during the day to clear the head is a great step towards more mindfulness.
Again, at least for me, there’s no time that I’m more mindful and have been thoughts than when I’m running. It’s part of the reason why I don’t wear headphones when I run.
3. Fitting It In
Some people favor evening workouts, others swear by rising early to get their sweat on. These days, I work out when I can fit it into my schedule, which includes my husband’s and son’s time. I no longer have the luxury of being able to work out when I want – which is okay, Chris and I just have to be very intentional and plan ahead to make sure we both get our exercise time.
When planning my runch, I chose a day that I knew would be quiet at the office, I didn’t have any meetings or calls close to the time, and I blocked off my calendar so people would know I was busy. And guess what? The world went on.
The Challenges of Running During the Lunch Hour
As much as I loved my runch, it didn’t come without some drawbacks. Here’s what I found to be the toughest parts about running at lunch.
1. Felt Rushed
From the time I left the office to the time I got back, I felt like I was on a ticking clock. Sure, I planned it well and felt okay stepping away from work for a bit but I’d be lying if I said getting back to the office wasn’t on my mind most of the time.
2. Less Relaxed
Closely-related to the rushed feeling, my run itself wasn’t as stress-relieving and relaxing as it would be another time of day.
The upside to this though? I ran my fastest miles and 5k in at least two years!
3. Taking the Time
I knew a runch would take more time out of my day than a typical lunch. And, again, as well as I planned, it was tough to actually go through and take the time to run during the day. I’ll be honest, I felt guilty.
Why is it so tough to take a little time for ourselves when we need it – even if that might be during “normal” working hours? This could lead me into a discussion on workplace wellness or mom guilt or a few other directions…but those are all potential blogs for another day.
While I realize I can’t run at lunch regularly, even once a week, I’m going to try to work it into my schedule more often – especially when it’s nice outside. Winter, as always, will be here before we know it.
Do you runch? Whether you work in an office, from home, or in your home, how do you make it work? Do you have tips for prioritizing and making a runch happen? The comments are your space to share thoughts so please do so. Or, connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.