When it comes to an early morning gym sesh, it often feels like the real high-intensity interval training happens when you hit the change rooms. The mad dash from dumbbells to desk can leave your heart racing harder than a full set of burpees – not exactly ideal for that 9am meeting with the boss. Prefer to arrive at work looking and feeling like the cool, together babe you really are? Try these simple tips for a speedy and stress-free gym-to-office transfer.
Prep your brekkie
The No.1 rule of a streamlined morning? Prep work. Spend five minutes the night before prepping your healthy takeaway breakfast and your future self will thank you. Think portable: cover oats with milk or yoghurt, add a spoonful of chia seeds and a sprinkle of berries, and place in a small jar, ready to grab and go. Or load the ingredients for your fave protein smoothie straight into the blender jug and store in the fridge overnight – in the morning you can simply blitz, pour and dash. Too easy.
Pack like a pro
Nothing will derail your day like realising you left your work shoes at the front door in your mad panic to make the 6am bus. In the interest of maximising your precious shut-eye and minimising your stress levels, sort out two simple outfits the night before: an activewear ensemble you can roll into, and a tried-and-tested work look (including shoes and underwear!) packed into your gym bag. Bonus points for moisture-wicking gym gear (the less sweat to deal with, the better) and crush-resistant fabrics for your work outfit (cos ain’t nobody got time to iron). And if you’re after a really speedy changeover, layer your work clothes in your bag in the order you’ll need them: underwear and towel on top, shoes at the bottom.
Zen out in the shower
You’ve smashed your workout and now your laser focus is trained squarely on the gym showers. This part is key, so don’t rush it: it’s your moment of total solitude to refresh your body and mind, ready for the workday ahead. A scented, purifying shower gel can help you reset as you wash. We like the day-spa effect of Nivea Shower Clay in Hibiscus & White Sage – it’s infused with kaolin clay to deeply cleanse, leaving skin feeling velvety soft, while the relaxing scent centres your thoughts. Plus, clay is naturally hydrating, so you can skip the body lotion. #Winning.
Stop the sweat
Struggling to bring your body temp back to normal after your sesh? High five for giving that workout your all! A sure-fire way to put the brakes on sweating and reduce redness fast is to sip chilled water while you get ready (it’ll cool you down from the inside out). Still dripping? Try splashing your wrists with cold water or placing a cold, wet washer on the nape of your neck while you get ready – these are powerful body-cooling zones.
Go with the glow
Forget fiddling with foundation and fussing over contouring techniques – the upside to a good workout is a great post-workout glow. Make the most of your natural flush and limited time by going easy on the makeup. A sheer tinted moisturiser, a lick of mascara and a swipe of bright lippie create effortless polish, while a slick, pulled-back hairstyle looks chic, takes seconds and disguises sweaty or just-washed strands.
Walk it out
You’re on the home stretch now – resist the urge to panic-sprint to your destination and instead, try a simple moving meditation to start your day on the (ahem) right foot. As you walk (even if you’re at top speed), breathe deeply and bring your attention to your surroundings. Notice the sounds of the traffic on the street, the birds in the trees, or your own footfall. To stay focused, you could try counting your steps up to 10, and restarting whenever you notice you’ve lost count. Even if you only tune in for a few minutes, you’re guaranteed to arrive at your desk feeling calm and collected. Now that’s a good morning.