With the season of shandy grapefruit beers and Summer Fridays spent gorging (and lounging) from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. now over, we’ve found a renewed vigor for the wellness and fitness goals we once made. To boot: A 6 a.m. alarm set to sneak in a morning workout class before the drill of to-do lists and meetings begin. The only drawback? Saying goodbye to our leisurely morning routine and finding a new speedy regimen that still guarantees we look pulled together for those 9 a.m. meetings.
It’s hard to feel put-together after spending an hour in a sweat sesh followed by a sweaty locker room. Between having to lug a gym bag to and from work, and waiting in line for a shower, sticking to your morning fitness goal can be challenging. But don’t let vanity impede you. Ahead, we’ve uncovered simple hacks to streamline your après-workout process into a 20 minutes or less. These tried and true time-saving techniques will ensure you stroll into work with nary a strand out of place.
Opt for a moderately intense workout
Of course you want to get the most out of your morning workout, but that doesn’t mean you have to sign up for Tough Mudder. There are plenty of moderately intense options that allow you to work hard without being completely drenched afterward. By sticking to workouts at a moderate level—think a barre-based class, yoga, weightlifting, a two-mile run or a brisk walk on the treadmill—you’ll be able to regroup and refresh much faster than after a high-intensity cardio class.
Shop for performance textile activewear
When shopping for activewear, pay attention to the fabric. Buy pieces made with wicking materials that pull moisture from your body to the exterior of the clothing where sweat can evaporate quickly, keeping you fresh and dry. Joylab, a new activewear line from Target, is our go-to brand for chic workout tops and leggings made with performance textiles that are cute to boot. That means, if you’re running from barre to a breakfast meeting, you can stay in your chic leggings and look appropriate for both.
We’re all about a recent French beauty trend that simplifies our skincare regimen. Micellar water, a no-rinse formula made from primarily water, removes dirt without drying out your skin. Instead of waiting in line to use a sink at the gym, simply douse a cotton round with micellar water (there are many brands now available on the market), swipe your face, and move on to the next!
Drinking water before, during, and after your workout may seem obvious, but if you drink iced water while getting dressed it will help cool your body temperature and keep you from excessive sweating.
Another tip that can be credited to the très-chic French woman: Less is more when it comes to makeup after working out. Increased blood flow from exercise actually helps nourish your skin by carrying nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells; so let your skin breathe and skip heavy foundation. Opt for light makeup like loose powder, a swipe of blush, mascara, lip balm, and a spritz of (travel-sized) perfume. Simplifying this routine will keep your gym bag lighter—so your face and shoulders will thank you!
Embrace Uniform Dressing
Post-gym is not the time to get creative with your wardrobe. You’re in a rushed and crowded dressing room, so stick to what you know. Plan your outfit the evening before and pick the simplest look that won’t wrinkle easily. Think a sophisticated black dress, flats, and a chic accessory that pulls your look together like a neck scarf or statement cuff. With chillier temps on the way, find a layer that works over your workout clothes and with your work outfit, like this chic wrap shirt from Joylab.
To completely refuel, it’s also important to take time for a nutritious breakfast. When you’re in a rush, grabbing breakfast is likely to be pushed aside, so pack a meal that is easy to eat at your desk or en route. It can be as simple as a banana, yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs and a side of fruit. Whatever you do, don’t skip this step or you’ll find yourself in a midday slump.