Busy is an understatement some days. We give you major props for fitting a workout into your schedule. It takes dedication to fit exercise into your morning before work or other commitments, or to hurry over to the gym during a lunch break or after work. Remind yourself of your ultimate goal to motivate yourself to stay moving. These tips will help you squeeze a workout in during a quick lunch break or before your next appointment, and still look fresh and fabulous after!

  1. Prep your gym bag. The night before your workout, pack the following: a quick snack, workout clothes, shoes, socks, dry shampoo, brush, make-up removing cloths, deodorant, a cute headband, fresh make-up. The more prepared you are, the better. There’s nothing worse than completing a killer workout and then realizing you don’t have your get-ready-for-work essentials!
  2. Night before. If you’re working out before work, plan your work outfit the night before. Be sure to check the weather and give yourself a few options in case you happen to change your mind in the morning.
  3. Braid it! A loose braid will keep your hair out of your face during your workout and look pretty and effortless when undone post-workout.
  4. Think long-lasting. Prior to heading out the door for your workout, apply some waterproof mascara. You’ll be one step closer to a fresh-faced look after your workout! Other than your mascara, leave the rest of your face bare. Don’t worry about trying to impress anyone at the gym – they’ll be impressed by your workout as is!
  5. Be a natural! Experiment with your natural hair texture after a quick post-workout shower. As soon as you hop out of the shower, work some curl defining or texturizing cream through your hair. Let your hair air-dry if you’re comfortable with that (take a chance!) or pack a mini hair dryer with a diffuser to embrace the fabulous texture your hair already has.
  6. Go light on the make-up. After a great workout, you’re going to be rocking a great post-workout glow. Work with it! Go easy on your typical make-up and lighten up a bit. No, you don’t need to go totally bare faced, but experiment with lighter looks that take less time.
  7. Plan your workout. Just as you should plan your outfit and snacks ahead of time, you can seriously speed up your routine by planning out your workout. You can waste an awful lot of time lingering around the locker room deciding what you’re going to do for your workout. Take some time before heading out the door to decide what you want to work on. For an efficient, calorie-blasting workout – think full body circuit training workouts. Intensity is the key to the most effective quick workout. Research shows that just 15 minutes of high intensity workout can give you the same benefits as a low intensity 60 minute workout. Try the Complete Body Workout or the Fun, Fast, and Fat Burning Workout.
  8. Break it up. Another great option is to fit a few ten minute workouts into your day. Wake up 10 minutes earlier and go for a walk, move up and down the stairs for 10 minutes during your lunch break and take a fast-paced stroll around the parking lot before heading home for the evening. Breaking up your exercise like this on busy days can keep you moving, stress-free and ready to take on the rest of your day!
  9. You’ll need a plan to refuel after your workout, too. If you’re working out in the morning, be sure to grab a healthy, light snack ahead of time. Try a banana, granola bar or english muffin. After your workout, regardless of time of day, refuel and repair your body with a 100-300 calorie nutritious snack. Some great options are Greek yogurt with berries or almonds, a banana with peanut butter or a cup of oatmeal. You had a great workout, reward your body!

Keep these tips in mind before your next busy-day workout. Some tips may work for you or you may come up with some shortcuts of your own! Leave your suggestions and tips in the comments to help each other out; soon we will all be looking fabulous in a flash after some serious workouts!

Manon McGovern

Manon McGovern, creator of The Traveling Trainer, is a fitness and weight management specialist who loves sharing her passion for a healthy lifestyle. She studied Exercise Science at The Ohio State University and started personal training and teaching group exercise classes to introduce herself into the fitness world. She enjoys personal training and teaching Yoga, Spinning, KickBoxing, and strength classes. Now working... Read More

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