The Lunch Hour Workout


Skippers may recall fondly the old college days when free time was abundant. In that seemingly distant past, exercise was easy to come by; you could fit it in whenever you liked. Not so today.

For most skippers, daily agendas are full. This is a good thing, an essential thing for a skipper (as we’ll discuss in another post), as busy hours are spent meeting the responsibilities that skipping bachelorhood has placed upon his shoulders. However, this leaves little time to take care of himself. To find time to exercise, a skipper–particularly the fathers among our skippers–must either get up before the family to workout, workout with the family, or use any spots of down-time that appear throughout the day. Today, we address the last of these, highlighting the glory of the lunch hour workout.


Working out with your wife has its own benefits, but we’ll cover that another time.

Perks of Popping Out

When men pop out of the office for an hour, they’re not just benefiting themselves physically. The lunch hour workout gives a skipper a chance to slow his intensely fast pace. By working his body instead of his mind for just this short time, a skipper relieves some of the mental stresses that his sought-after responsibilities necessarily place upon him. He has a chance to meditate on his values, to appreciate his good fortune. And he leaves the workout feeling good about himself–sometimes a difficult task for skippers, many of whom are constantly measuring themselves against their heroes and finding themselves wanting.

The lunch hour workout has an at-home benefit, too. Instead of living in the tension of spending time with family or slipping away for a bit to exercise, the skipper who works out on his lunch break is only leaving the office, a place where his attachment is time- and activity-based, not love-based. As a result, he feels that he is not cheating his family by taking an hour for himself.

Types of Lunch Hour Workouts

  1. The Cardio: For the skippers who like to run or bike or who haven’t had the chance to workout much and are just getting into walking, the Cardio is everything it sounds like–going for a circuit. Not recommended for skippers who work next to a busy road. Try to find a long sidewalk, a city greenway, or a quiet road on the outskirts of town (if your job has you near any of those).

    You can even bring a friend!

  2. The Gym: For skippers who want to include weight training in their lunch routine, the Gym provides access to above-standard exercise equipment. This is the most comprehensive option, but it’s also the most expensive. Since skippers must be frugal–their funds are dedicated to the family–try to track down a budget-friendly spot. Skipping Bachelorhood recommends Planet Fitness and Workout Anytime.

    Short shorts not required.

  3. The Outdoor DIY: For skippers who are creative enough to see workout equipment in objects that weren’t designed to be workout equipment, the Outdoor DIY workout is best performed in city parks and playgrounds. Benches, retaining walls, monkey bars, and many other random objects make up a great DIY gym. Skippers can even pair the Outdoor DIY with the Cardio by running or riding to and from their workout destination.

    But don’t creep out the kids.

  4. The Pickup Game: For skippers who can’t stay interested in exercise for exercise’s sake or who simply prefer to play sports, the Pickup Game makes for a fun, fit lunch hour. Combining athletics, pleasure, and companionship, the Pickup Game works best as a lunch hour exercise when it involves sprinting. Backgammon won’t cut it. Community colleges, YMCAs, and parking lots with a hoop make great spots for this workout.

If anyone ever went to the Pickup Game with style…

Getting the Most Out of Your Lunch Hour

The lunch hour workout is a simple thing, but a skipper can make it even simpler by following these tips:

  • Bring a bag with essentials: a towel, fresh skivvies, and a workout-only pair of socks and shoes are must-haves for your gym bag.
  • Bring a separate bag for your shoes. You don’t want that stink spreading to the place you put your work clothes while you’re out. A plastic bag will do.
  • Use time rotation workouts. The 30-minute shred, the 45-minute build, the 7-minute burpee challenge, whatever. regularly posts new workouts, and many of them are time-based. This style of exercising will help get you back to work before your lunch break ends.
  • Learn the towel shower. If you go for any option besides the Gym, you’ll likely not have shower access after your workout. Bring a towel to the bathroom, wet a quarter of it in the sink, and rub yourself down with the wet part. Use the rest of the towel to dry off.

Have another type of lunch hour workout? Another tip for getting the most out of one? Share it with your fellow skippers in the comments section!