Even if you love your job, feeling shackled to a desk all day is frustrating for everyone.

While some offices have showers and facilities in place to make exercise during the day easier, not everyone is so lucky. But that doesn't mean you can't still get a workout in.

Get away from your inbox and give your a muscles a shake!

Most of us have at least one precious hour we can shoot out of the office and get in a little exercise.

Not only will you feel great, but you'll be more focused and productive in the afternoon. This lunchtime, get away from your inbox and give your a muscles a shake!

Here are our tips for squeezing in a workout at lunch - and how not to look like a sweaty mess for your afternoon meetings...


If you're used to long swims, runs and spending over an hour at the gym, you might think that you have no time to get a real workout in the time you have away from your desk.

Instead of just shortening your workout, change it. Look for high intensity, maximum effort workouts in centres close to your office.

Super spin classes usually last for 30 minutes, upping the effort of a normal spinning class and reducing the interval time spent on each portion of the class.

HIIT workouts can be as short as 20 minutes. They have been said to have the same effects on the muscles as an hour long traditional gym session, as well as keeping your metabolism higher for longer post workout.


When choosing a gym bag, think pockets and lots of them.

By packing your gym bag the night before with each different item in its own place, you'll be amazed by the time you save in the changing room.

Do you know how long it takes to find you hairbrush, lose your keys, check you've got deodorant and every thing else we all do when were trying to get out of the gym in a hurry?

Being canny in your packing will save you both time and stress, giving yourself more time to get to the gym and back to your desk.


If you choose to spend your lunch running around, you don't give yourself time for one important thing... Lunch.

On a gym day, change your office eating habits to suit your needs.

A big breakfast before work is a must. Choose something high in protein and nutrients such as poached eggs, spinach and toast. You're going to be using more energy than you're used to.

We tend to have a small second breakfast halfway through the morning to stave off hunger and give us energy to make the most of our workout.

Carb-loaded snacks like trail bars are great, not too filling and easy to take with you to work. Eat alongside a piece of fruit and you're ready to go!


We've found that certain pieces of clothing are a big no on workout days.

Heels with complicated clasps? Look forward to an extra five minutes sat in the changing room.

Tights? After the first couple of ladders we gave up.

Fiddly jewellery? Don't even think about it.

Go for comfortable yet smart clothes. Shift dresses are a life saver.


If you have long and unruly hair (like us), instead of battling with the hairbrush before heading back to work, choose a hairstyle that can survive a workout with no fuss.

We love this braided look. With the right amount of pins, it can go from desk to gym to meeting room without a hair out of place.

Check out our survival bag later in this article for how to keep your hair looking (and smelling) fresh when there's no time to shower.

Germany, Bavaria, Young woman applying red lipstick in bathroom

We all know the jokes about girls in the gym with a full face of make-up. No one wants to be the one the treadmill who has eyeliner streaks down her cheeks.

If you don't want to go to work with a totally bare face, choose tinted moisturiser instead of foundation.

Not only will it not cause any problems mid workout, it's also easy to wash off and reapply in a matter of seconds.

Waterproof mascara is great for the gym, but make sure not to apply too much in the morning. Make up companies can only do so much and HIIT workouts are pretty intense!

You can always apply another layer for the afternoon, along with some tinted lip-gloss and a flick of eyeliner.

No one will guess where you've been!


While you obviously need to pack your gym kit and towel (if you'll use one) the night before, our lunchtime workout lifesaver bag can be put together and left in your workout bag all week.

This bag of gym essentials is small, light and will never leave you caught short on the way back to work

  • Mini Deodorant
  • Mini dry shampoo
  • Roller perfume
  • Spare pair of tights
  • Sports bra
  • Hair bobbles
  • Hair brush
  • Chewing gum
  • Mini shampoo and conditioner
  • Face wipes
  • Small pot of moisturiser
kitchan platter

While you might not feel like you need to eat again after your mid morning snack, remember that you're not having a sit down lunch today and eat again afterwards.

We love the idea of homemade protein pots. Make a mini tub of high protein goodies such as almonds and spinach leaves or chicken, peppers and sunflower seeds.

Leave this in the office for a lovely snack to grab on way back in before you face the rest of your day.