Health and Wellness
May 2016

From Sweaty to Stylish, Fast!

Tips to go from working out to out on the town.

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We’ve all been there: a brunch that starts at the end of your Saturday-morning spin class, or a happy hour that you’d enjoy more if you could get a run in before. These days, it’s common practice to transition from working out to the rest of your life without missing a beat, and that often means going from the gym to happy hour in a matter of minutes.

Here, unlike in your workout, shortcuts are encouraged. Step one: Be prepared. “Make sure you’ve got your nice clothes handy so you don’t have to stress,” says Robert Reames, a Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert member. That said, if you get a text in the middle of your workout about grabbing coffee afterward, you don’t have to change out of your gear to make a good impression. Read on for tips on going from training to playing in no time.

Go low (intensity).

If you’ve got a dinner date Thursday but want to work out before, plan to do a low-intensity workout that won’t generate a lot of sweat, like flexibility or strength training. “It may not be the day to do HIIT training,” says Reames. “If you do a workout that’s based in strength, generally, you’ll perspire less.”

Cool down on your own turf.

Taking five or ten minutes to stretch helps your body cool down, and doing it on a clean surface is best. “You’re going to feel clean after a workout if you’re stretching on your own mat versus the grass,” says Reames. You can also try drinking cold water which will lower your body temperature internally.

Brush your teeth.

It’s not intuitive post-workout advice, but Reames encourages it if you’re meeting people afterward. “Your body releases toxins in a workout and you want to feel your freshest self,” he says.

Pack your essentials.

“Face wipes are an absolute necessity in my gym bag,” says Erica Hood, the head trainer at Body By Simone, a dance-based fitness program with studios in Los Angeles and New York City. She also carries a makeup bag with powder and mascara, deodorant, and body spray to “spritz on liberally before going back into the real world.” Even if your gym stocks body wash and shampoo, consider bringing your own. “You want your own body wash that’s your favorite versus putting on whatever’s in the shower dispenser,” says Reames.

Make it a good hair (or hat) day.

Hood keeps a cap in her gym bag for when her hair is too sweaty to deal with, but sometimes she goes for a high bun or a low ponytail. “I’ll take it down, shake it out, do a side part, pull it back into a low ponytail and tease it out at the roots, so that it’s kind of pulled together at the bottom but teased and full up top,” she says.

Layer up.

Going beyond shorts and a tee is key to making workout gear work outside the gym. “I’d never just go out in a tank top,” says Stephen Cheuk, a personal trainer in New York City. “I’d always layer up. I’d put on a hoodie and a nice jacket over it—maybe a bomber, a denim jacket or a leather jacket.” Toppers are key for women, too. “I like to do a nice draped jacket versus a sporty coat,” says Hood. “I really focus on the top part so it doesn’t just look like a tee or something basic. Sometimes I’ll even add a necklace.”

Dress to impress.

Avoid a quick-change act by embracing the “athleisure” trend. “I always wear sort of high-end gym gear,” says Cheuk. “The designer Nike, or the H&M X Alexander Wang collaboration—that stuff always looks pretty stylish.”

Kick off the kicks.

Hood almost always changes her footwear before leaving the gym for something social—even stilettos are fair game. “I won’t wear my actual Newtons that I work out in,” she says. “I’ll put on a trendier pair of Nikes, or a flat or a heel, depending on where I’m going.”

Wear wicking fabrics.

Hood says leggings make the post-workout look, and she favors colorful ones from VIE Active and Carbon38. “Both brands dry quickly,” she says. “You don’t want to be sitting at brunch or coffee in sweaty leggings. It’s the worst.”