10 ways to fit in a lunchtime workout

Or, why my hair is always wet at the office.

1. Decide the night before that you're going to work out. Otherwise, you might fritter away 15 minutes simply agonizing over the decision. Pack your gym bag (don't forget socks!) and put it at the front door or your desk.

2. Skip drying your hair. Or if you're at a fitness center, use two hair dryers at once.

3. Save the cool-down stretching for just before bed. Or, if you're drying your hair, lean over into a forward fold to release your hamstrings.

4. My own personal favorite. Shower with (or in!) your workout clothes. Wring them out; they'll be ready to use tomorrow.

5. Skip the shower. Instead, take a quick sponge bath, reapply deodorant and refresh your face with a mineral or plant-based mister like Evian or Biotherm, said fitness professional and author Joan Pagano. Or try peppermint eucalyptus baby wipes. Sprinkle baby powder into your hair to eliminate the greasy look.

6. Don't read while on cardio equipment. Without that distraction, you can work out harder, burning more calories in less time.

7. If you're on a step machine, keep your hands off the handrails unless you're about to fall off. A study at Ohio State University found that women who clutch the handrails have lower maximum heart rates than those who don't. Some treadmills will chastise you for holding the rails while running.

8. Cross-train, suggests fitness instructor Steve Shipside, an ultrarunner and Ironman triathlete. Do 10 minutes of rowing, biking and treadmill for a thorough 30-minute workout. "It uses different muscles and psychologically allows you to put in more effort because you know you're changing soon," he said.

9. Don't rest; superset. Instead of resting 30 seconds between sets, switch to an exercise that works the opposite set of muscles, said Shipside. Pair biceps with triceps, chest press exercises with lateral pull-downs and hamstrings with quads.

10. If it's a cardio day, shorten the time you run but increase the speed and incline.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad