Everybody knows that going to the gym in the morning is a smart move. Not only will it help you build strength, lose weight and lower your risk for developing life-threatening diseases, but sweating it out in the early a.m. will also set you up for a day of success at work. In fact, studies show that working out in the morning improves your ability to pay attention, learn and make decisions. Plus, the morning exercise sesh sets you up for the day with more energy and leaves you in a better mood.
If you’re like most people though, you’re probably turned off by the idea of a pre-work workout because you don’t want to show up looking (and smelling) like you just went to the gym. On top of that, it can feel plain weird to get ready for work somewhere other than home. But there are some brilliant little things you can do to set yourself up for success so you crush it at the gym and at the office, all while looking your best.
1. Pack Your Gym Bag the Night Before
You’re much more likely to get up and get going as soon as your alarm goes off if all you have to do is brush your teeth and grab your gym bag! Be sure to lay out your gym clothes so you can toss them on without thinking when you wake up. The night before, make sure to pack everything you need for work and the gym, especially:
- Your outfit for the next day plus shoes and a fresh pair of knickers.
- Toiletries for getting ready, especially deodorant and if you’re a dude, you want your preferred men’s hair products to instantly transform messy hair.
- Items to help pump you up for your workout, including a water bottle (go insulated so it stays cold all night) and your headphones.
- Breakfast and lunch so you’re not tempted to grab fast food or something unhealthy from the cafeteria during the day.
- Your signature fragrance is great to have on hand during a workout. Pack a roll on perfume or a refillable smaller bottle for example and for guys, a small, refillable travel sprayer so you don’t have to take up a ton of space.
2. Have a Game-Ready Toiletries Bag
If you’re one of those professionals who throws the free hotel-sized shampoo, body wash and any additional beauty products into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and calls it a day, we need to talk! No, but seriously. If you haven’t already, now is the time to up your toiletries game. Do so by investing in a pretty new toiletry bag to start with, to safely store your new beauty essentials, both quality haircare and skincare is necessary, and for dudes, we recommend packing a roomy men’s toiletry bag with travel-sized grooming products with the actual good stuff. You’re so much more likely to put effort into getting ready if you like the beauty products you have. Building a neat ready-for-anything toiletries kit and keeping it on hand makes it so much easier to grab and go.
3. Make it an Obligation
Think of your morning workout like you would an important meeting with a client or a conference with some higher-ups so you’re not tempted to skip it. One of the best ways to do this is to quite literally make working out an appointment, either by setting up a schedule with your personal trainer or signing up for a spot in a group fitness class. And since research shows that exercising with a friend can improve your results, you could also ask your workout buddy to meet you there.
4. Make it Enjoyable
For you to have success in anything in life, it has to be something you enjoy doing on some level. A great way to do this while working out is to look at your time doing cardio as an opportunity for catching up on the news, listening to music or enjoying some entertainment via podcasts or audiobooks. The key? Make sure you’ve pre-loaded your phone (and charged your Bluetooth headphones) so everything’s ready to go as soon as you hop on the treadmill.
5. Get Energized
Use the valuable time you spend getting ready and driving to the gym to help you get energized so you feel ready to tackle your workout of the day with no dread whatsoever. You’ll feel ready to conquer your calendar when you start your morning off with an energizing glass of water (maybe with some lemon or lime for a little extra punch) or a piece of fruit. Don’t forget to go to bed early the night before and practice positive sleep habits so you get a good night’s rest and wake up ready.
6. Invest in the Right Clothes
Besides showering, doing your hair and slathering on the deodorant, looking good is all about what you wear. You want to make sure your clothes don’t look like they just emerged from a locker or gym bag. Where possible, prioritize investing in “performance” work apparel that won’t get wrinkly or smelly after a few hours in the locker room. If you have to dress really nice for work, you may want to consider investing in a travel-sized steamer or using the gym’s ironing board so your clothes look freshly pressed.