Tricks For the Time-Crunched Gym Goer

It goes without saying that squeezing in a gym session is not always easy, or even possible, when you’ve got a zillion other things on your plate. But what I’ve found, even after carving out a portion of my day to huff and puff on purpose, is that my poor planning can sabotage even the most valiant effort to work out.

gym bagBelow I’ve compiled some personal experiences and tips that hopefully translate into time and space savers, and maybe some motivation:

#1. Place your gym clothes by the door? Nonsense!

I’m sure you’ve read articles telling you to pack your clothes, maybe even setting them by the door, to motivate you in the morning. I tried it. Guess what I did? Trampled over it on my way out the door with a croissant in my mouth. I challenge you to take a step further (hygiene police, go easy on me): wear them threads to bed. Don those yoga pants, stretch pants, jeans (just kidding) between the sheets, sports bra and all, and you’ll just have to slip on some sneaks with a coat. If you go straight from the gym to work or class, however, you will have to pack shower stuff and clothes for the next day. Daunting, but not impossible. See next section.

#2. Two words: Beach Towel.

Packing for a shower and then dress clothes for the day can be a pain, not to mention—where do you PUT all that stuff? For a towel, to save money and space, I bring a beach towel. It’s thinner and takes up about half the room as my thick shower towels, and I don’t have to pay a dollar each time (but bonus if your gym provides them for free!). Keeping dress shoes at your desk is key to saving space in your bag, even if you look a little dorky and Working Girl-esque. If you have a multi-purpose tote, bring plastic bags for your dirty clothes if your gym doesn’t provide them.

#3. Pack multiples

Keep backups of small, easy to forget items, like pairs of socks,  headphones, or hair ties. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten a hair tie. Working out with your hair down is just plain awful. People assume you’re a vain snob and it’s the most irritating feeling in the world having your greasy locks flying in your face.

#4. Upload some new jams

Spending $10 on new songs sure can be a motivator. First, you spent money so you may feel obligated to have Beyonce pump you up on the treadmill, but also, it’s just exciting to spice up your playlist every once in a while.

Now, even after utilizing these tips myself, there are days when I forget something (like work pants. Or one sneaker. Talk about a let-down). Or I just plain don’t feel like going. We all have those days, but hopefully there are more instances where you roll out of bed, slip on those sneakers and are out the door before you can fully open your eyes. And once you do that, that’s half the battle!

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