Getting to the gym in the morning is never easy. It's even more difficult when you've got to get to work right after your workout. It's easier than you think, though. Here are some ways you can make gym-to-work totally work for you.
Plan your week around when you are going to work out; your morning routine will be much easier. Commit to working out on the weekends, so that you only have to get up a few mornings each week. Let's say you plan on exercising in the a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays — that also means Monday and Wednesday you'll know not to go out for late-night cocktails. (Go for happy hour on Thursday; you already got your workout in.)
Get to bed early the night before
You don't want your workout the next morning to be your arm slamming on the snooze button, and you also don't want to trudge through a workout on little to no sleep.
Shave your legs the night before
You'll shave (pun intended) minutes off of your shower routine by taking care of the stubble 12 hours earlier.
Pack your gym bag
Photo credit: Rubberball/Nicole Hill/Getty images
You want to shave minutes off your morning routine wherever you can, and packing your gym bag is a place you can save time easily.
But double check what you've packed
Did you pack absolutely everything you need — two clean socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, change of clothes, plastic bags for sweaty post-workout clothes? And don't forget the less obvious — a lint roller, Tide To-Go and wrinkle release spray... in case of any emergencies.
Keep spare toiletries and clothes in your desk at work
You'll want an extra change of clothes, deodorant and toothpaste just in case. Save yourself the anxiety.
Brown bag it
Your mom did it when you were a kid, and so can you. Pack a healthy lunch the night before, so that you don't have to do it in the morning. (An added bonus is that you'll save money that way, too.)
Have a quick protein-packed breakfast
Protein bars, a yogurt — or even a banana with peanut butter — offer you the energy you need without costing you a ton of time.
Sign up for a class
If you take a heart-pumping class, like spinning, you know you'll get a full 45 minutes to an hour of intensity, which will be well worth it. With someone timing your workout and pushing you to work harder, you won't have to tack on extra minutes in case you felt like you were lagging.
Cold water, as unpleasant as it can be, will get you in and out of the gym shower in no time. Save the spa shower for the nighttime. But if the gym locker room still has you feeling dowdy, spritz yourself with your favorite body spray.
Gotta dry your hair?
Blot it with a towel first to help it dry faster. A microfiber towel is especially useful for curly hair .
Use a quick-fix beauty kit
Benefit has some amazing kits that will leave you looking and feeling gorgeous and fresh for work. Confessions of a Concealaholic will quickly conceal any zits or puffiness. Cabana Glama gives you a quick beachy glow, with a foundation faker and a posie-colored cheek stain. Remember — you can look fresh, awake, flawless and work-appropriate without a spa makeover. (Plus, you're gorgeous anyway, and you're glowing with workout endorphins.)
Don't have a quick-fix beauty kit? Do the basics
A little concealer, mascara and lipstick go a long way. Tart's Maracuja concealer is a cure-all, and makes you look like you're totally rested. Good-bye, bags under the eyes! Dab the concealer under your eyes and only uneven spots, and use some mascara (Clinique's High Impact mascara does the trick), and then dab a very light amount of lipstick on your cheeks. It's the original cheek stain, and it gives you a natural, fresh, awake look.
Consider getting a permanent locker at your gym for your sneakers
With one less thing to lug back and forth, it could potentially make your gym-to-work routine easier.
After you get dressed, take one final look in the mirror...
... and see just how fresh, beautiful and work-ready you look. Who's that dewy lady with a morning glow? That's you. And you still have time to grab coffee before work. Not so hard after all, right?