Question: I try to make fitness a daily part of my routine, but work keeps me pretty busy. Often, I end up squeezing in a run during my lunch hour. The workout is just fine, but the problem is that my building doesn’t have any showers. The best I can do is towel off and wipe down in the restroom. Do you have any other suggestions? Is it OK to return to my office “sweaty?”
Answer: A big “woohoo!” to you for getting up and moving during the workday. So much of the right response here depends upon what it is you do. Here in the AFM office, we can get away with a behind-the-closed-office-door wipe down, a quick change of T-shirt, and a hint of “I just worked out” eau de cologne; our visitors expect a hint of healthy workout here. But if you’re meeting clients in, say, the banking industry, you may need a bit more preparation. Pack a wet washcloth in a cooler or bring commercial products, such as Rocket Shower. Bring a towel to dry off, toiletries (deodorant, makeup, etc.), and fresh clothes. Yes, you’re essentially taking a portable shower in your office restroom but a few minutes of advance prep means you can keep your daily workout without anyone the wiser.
Q: I work out at local gym a few times a week in the morning. This means I pack my clothes for the office, and shower and change in the locker room. My sweaty, damp workout clothes stay wadded up in my gym bag all day, and usually I leave it in my car. But I have these visions of mold slowly growing and infesting my clothes. Is it really sanitary to leave my clothes festering in the car all day? If not, what are some other options?
A: Do you know two know each other? This question is the second part to Reader No. 1’s query: what to do with the sweaty stuff that comes off. If you have a private office, invest in a coat tree that will allow you to put those sweaty clothes on hangers so they can air out. This is NOT an option if you are in close quarters, because no one wants to smell your sweaty workout gear all day (no matter how many fragrant candles you burn). If your car is big enough, purchase a flat drying rack—you can find them online, and some are stackable—and take those wet clothes out to the car. Spread them out so they dry evenly. Be sure to remove them at the end of the day and Febreeze your car’s interior often.
Q: I’ve just started walking and no one in my family is taking me seriously. Can I change their minds?
A: Perhaps the bigger question is, “Does it matter that my family isn’t taking my walking seriously?” Keep up your exercise; quietly assert yourself by continuing to be active. Sometimes it’s hard for those who haven’t made a commitment to change to accept it in their loved ones. By being consistent, you’ll show them that you take it seriously. They’ll come around—and if they don’t, you’ll just have to accept that they may not be along on this journey with you. That doesn’t make it any less important; you may need to look for the support you want in a friend, neighbor, or walking group.