When I was part of the corporate world, I really enjoyed working out on my lunch break. My days were often hectic and full of back-to-back meetings, and I found the time away from my desk gave me the opportunity to clear my head and re-prioritize my work assignments so I could be more productive for the remainder of the day. And if someone dropped an emergency project on my desk first thing in the morning, a 45-minute spin class was often all I needed to gain a little perspective and stay calm.
Of course, finding the time to squeeze 30+ minutes of cardio into an already busy workday isn’t always easy, and when you’re a wannabe fashionista with frizzy hair and horrible skin like me, the time required to make yourself look presentable before an afternoon meeting makes lunchtime workouts kind of tough.
The good news (or bad news, depending on which way you look at it…) is that I sweat more than most men when I workout, and over the last several years, I’ve learned a lot of great tips to get myself in and out of the gym in under an hour while still looking (and smelling) fabulous. And since I know there are heaps of gals out there who are in the midst of making their resolutions to eat less and workout more next year to aid in their weight loss goals, today I’m teaming up with the wonderful folks from Febreeze to share 5 of my best lunchtime workout tips to keep you looking and smelling amazing!
1. BE PREPARED
If you want to make lunchtime workouts a regular part of your routine, you need to be prepared. One tip that always worked for me when I worked outside of our home was to leave a gym bag at the office. I made sure it was filled with all of the things I needed pre- and post-workout – water bottle, iPod, iPod charger, hair ties, bobby pins, dry shampoo, shower cap, body wash, deodorant, perfume, makeup, hair brush, hair smoothing serum, and hair spray – and I either kept it in a locker at the gym, or stored it under my desk. Then, at the beginning of each week, I would take 5 days worth of workout clothes to work with me so that I never (ever!) had an excuse for skipping the gym. I found this strategy worked well as I didn’t have to lug the bag to and from work each day, and could just pick up and go for a power session on the treadmill whenever I could squeeze it in.
2. DON’T SKIP THE SHOWER
If you sweat as much as I do when you workout, skipping the shower is not an option. Period. And honestly? It takes next to no time to lather yourself up with a bit of body wash, so there’s really no excuse. My biggest suggestions to make this part of your workout routine easier are to find a gym with a towel service so you aren’t carting a sopping wet towel to and from the gym each day, and to invest in a good shower cap so you aren’t spending precious time trying not to get your hair wet while you’re washing yourself down. You want to get in and out of the shower as quickly as possible so you can spend time on more important things, right?!
3. FRESHEN YOUR HAIR
If you don’t have time to wash and style your hair before heading back to the office, make sure to have hair ties, bobby pins, and the necessary hair products in your gym bag. I like to pile my hair on top of my head so the ends of my hair don’t touch my sweaty, disgusting neck while I’m running on the treadmill, and after I’ve finished my post-workout shower, I do a few things to bring my hair back to life. First, I spray a generous amount of dry shampoo all over my hair, and then I dry my hair using a round brush and hair dryer. Next, I apply a small amount of hair serum to my hands to smooth fly-aways and add a bit of shine. And finally, I finish off with a bit of hairspray for a more polished look. Another option on days you’re really in a hurry is to tie your hair into a messy bun – it totally depends on how formal your work setting is and what look you’re trying to pull off!
4. TOUCH UP YOUR MAKEUP
One of my college buddies used to be a makeup artist, and she taught me a trick that has saved me SO MUCH TIME when I workout in the middle of the day. After a good sweat session, I remove ONLY the makeup on my cheeks, forehead, chin, and under eye area using my favorite makeup remover and a couple of cotton pads. I then remove any excess makeup and sweat using a damp wash cloth before re-applying my under eye concealer, foundation, and blush. I never touch my eye makeup, and because I use a primer underneath my eyeshadow as well as waterproof eyeliner and mascara, everything stays put. Give it a try sometime – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can remove and re-apply your face makeup, and that mid-day touch-up goes a long way in brightening up your look!
5. BRING THE STINK
While these are great time-saving tips for ensuring you look and smell your best AFTER a workout, what about the time when you’re actually at the gym? Your makeup may not have melted off yet, and you may look cute with that messy bun piled on top of your head, but unless you’re doing laundry as soon as you get back to the office (HA!), there’s a high degree of probability your gym clothes have a bit of a stink to them. I have wrestled with this for years, and avoided group classes for a long time for fear I would offend everyone, because once the smell gets into your clothes, it’s impossible to get it out. But then I discovered Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator and it completely changed my life.
Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator is a laundry aid that works in the washer with detergents to eliminate odors such as perspiration, cooking oil, grease, motor oil, pets, garden soil and mildew from virtually any washable fabric. Other detergents clean the soils, but Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator cleans away odors that get trapped in fabrics.
All you have to do is add a pre-measured capful directly to the wash cycle with your liquid or powder detergent, but I’m going to share a little tip with you. If you don’t have time to do laundry every single day (who does?!), you can add 3/8 of a cap to a container of water and soak your gym clothes overnight. It’s really not necessary – adding the product to my regular wash always does the trick – but I find the added step of soaking my clothes makes them smell even better, which helps lessen the damage when they’re piled in a gym bag or in a heap on our bathroom floor.
I am part of the Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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