How to Work Out at Lunch

Truly useful get-fit tips from our senior fitness editor
October 28, 2011

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With my early-morning workouts getting depressingly darker as the year draws to a close, I’m starting to wonder if I should try to squeeze in some of my sweat sessions at lunch. The “sweat” part is what gets me, though: How do I do my exercise, stop sweating, clean up, make my hair presentable again, and fix my makeup—all in just one measly hour? In need of some woman-to-woman advice (because, let’s face it, guys have it way easier in the cleanup department), I turned to my four favorite trainers (and great gals to boot)—Ramona Braganza, Amy Dixon, Kristin McGee, and Michele Olson. They responded with a bunch of savvy tips that have left me thinking, Yes, I could do that! Allow me to share them with you.

Choose strength
You’ll sweat a lot less while doing resistance training than you will during cardio, says Braganza, a Los Angeles-based celebrity trainer who counts Jessica Alba and Halle Berry among her clients. If you can, save the cardio sessions for when you have more time to clean up and shower.

exhaustion

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Stay cool
If you do choose cardio, keep sweat to a minimum by drying off with a cold towel, suggests Amy Dixon, a trainer and exercise physiologist based in Santa Monica, Calif. Freeze it overnight at home and pop it in the fridge at work (or keep it in an insulated bag with a cold block) until you need it. So refreshing! To halt sweat faster post-workout, drink very cold water (keep that in the fridge too) to reduce your core body temperature faster, says Michele Olson, PhD, a trainer and professor of exercise science at Auburn University, in Auburn, Ala.

Skip the shower
Clean off with body wipes instead (Nathan Power Shower Refreshing Wipes are a great choice). Or, if you don’t have an issue with dry skin, try ordinary sanitized wipes—the  alcohol in them will help cool your skin more quickly, Olson says.

Rescue your hair
New York City–based trainer Kristin McGee (Health magazine’s own yoga columnist) solves the limp post-workout hair conundrum with dry shampoo (her favorite: Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk)—you just spray it on and brush it through. Got long tresses? Both McGee and Dixon suggest putting your hair up in a bun or ponytail to keep it as sweat-free as possible.

Prep your face
Think ahead and go light on the makeup in the morning—and definitely choose waterproof mascara, Dixon says. Then, just before your workout, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly under each eye, McGee says. That way, if your mascara smudges while you sweat, you can just rub it off with a cotton swab or tissue. Touch up makeup as needed and voilà, you’re good to go!

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