Exercising Without Showering: How to Pass as Clean

Ewww gross… I know, yuck! The only thing is I really don’t think that. What I think is that virtually anyone in any job or life situation can actually get a hard workout in not shower and then go about their daily duties. If you’ve been working out for a while now, say since the new year, you might be noticing all the ‘lost time’ adding up. There’s not a whole lot to do in January plus no one has any money so it’s pretty easy to find the time to workout with all that fresh motivation. Then February starts to get busy again, valentines day, midterms and the post-Christmas slowdown at work is definitely over. So if you can get it done faster in less than ideal conditions all the better. With that in mind this week I’m focusing on a few hacks to fit your workouts into your real life, not your ideal first month. With that in mind check out my last post on makeup tips that will last through a workout for when you don’t have time for a fresh face and this Sunday’s post for ideas of where you can steal some time.

Let me explain where I’m coming from first. I am not and have never been a crazy OCD bather. Usually I’m an every other day sort of girl. It saves some time sure but we’re also on a septic system and since I want to make it last bathing less often isn’t a bad idea. Plus we’re on a well so even though save for a legit drought we’re blessed with lots of water it does make you a little more water conscious. In a perfect world I would have a crazy deep jet bubble bath every day but for a whole lot of reasons that’s not all that practical. I also think that as a society we’re a little too clean and that includes our bodies. Sure your hair might be a bit flatter the second day and you might actually need deodorant the second day but bathing every day or more just really isn’t necessary. Once a week is probably biologically enough for most of us sisters but that’s taking it too far for me for sure. After a couple of days, it’s time to hit the showers for me too!

PS the blog address is changing at the end of February to 


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Pick the right sport

Not every sport out there will let you skip the shower but they are few and far between. Running, swimming, ball sports are all good though. However when I come home from a day of mountain biking honey often insists I strip down to my skivvies on the porch and me and my gear get hosed down. Picture not forthcoming. Almost any sport will do and I could stay out of the mud when I ride but where’s the fun in that? Even if you’re a heavy sweater or tend to get stinky you can skip the shower and get on with the last few hours or even the rest of your day with a few tips.

Keep the intensity moderate

As a novice-ish triathlete, I’m used to fitting in workouts EVERY SINGLE DAY and I’m not one to pass on a work swim either. But let’s be honest not every single training workout is brutal. There are shake-outs, recovery runs and times you just need to cover a certain distance. Early weeks in a plan long runs aren’t even that long. If you know you’re not going to be able to shower after just keep the intensity a bit lower for the day. Save your long runs and speed work for the evenings and weekends but all the other stuff can happen on those short for time days. Remember there is a saying “any run is better than no run at all” and that’s true of lots of other sports too.

Wear the right gear

This comes down to what works for you but there are a few tips. First of all, don’t overdress even if it’s just for modesty, there are other options. If it’s hot out or at your gym there is nothing wrong with shorts only or a bra and shorts. Trust me when I say that you are the person who cares the most about what your body looks like and it’s no one’s business but your own. So when trying to get away without a shower after two big keys are limiting the amount of sweat and oil you produce by wearing less and letting it dry as it’s produced so less really is more here. One thing that I picked up at a thrift shop is a mesh singlet. It’s loose, long, light as a feather and holey so it really is like wearing nothing at all. If you want to cover up look for something like this.

This singlet covers me up but it’s like wearing nothing at all!

Now there is a big difference between clothes and fitness clothes in that the good ones at least wick sweat away from you keeping you cool and dry. The good ones at least. I hate to say this but if you’re looking I don’t think I’ve ever had a Nike Cool product that didn’t work wondrously. Come to think of it all my Nike stuff looks brand new still after hundreds and hundreds in some cases over 1000 km. But you might not love the first expensive pair of pants or shirt that you try. There are certainly some big duds from big brands out there too. You might have to search to find the perfect thing but when you do boy does it work well!. One caveat though… some really well-performing gear stinks! That is literally stinks! Some of my favorite running shirts pull a stink out of you that you never knew was there. These are some of my favorite shirts none the less because they are so cool but maybe not best for no shower days.

No stink prep work and post workout stink down

I wear the good gear, am not a big sweater but there are a few things you can do before and after to limit your stink afterward. One big one, the biggest one is fresh scented deodorant before and after, sounds easy makes all the difference, I swear! Another is a liberal dousing of dry shampoo. It absorbs all your greasy head oils and leaves behind a just showered fresh scent. Even if you don’t need it for grease that fresh hair smell hides a myriad of sins. We’ve covered the pits and the tips now for the downtown. Baby wipes. That’s literally what they were invented for also good for the feet or just keep those socks and shoes on!

Actually, do a cooldown

Often times when we think we NEED a shower it’s to deal with the fact that we don’t want anyone to see us in that post-workout state even for 10 seconds. This is early solved by actually doing a cool down at the end of your workout. Spend the last 5 minutes at the end of your workout walking or stretching. Most of us skip this even though the experts say we shouldn’t. Then as you walk back in from your lunchtime run you’ll look fresh as a daisy rather than fresh from the sauna. People might not even believe you’ve just sweat it out in the gym!

Change of clothes and how to change your clothes

Most of the water and smells you produce are actually on your clothes and not your person so changing those makes all the difference. When in doubt change them all! So post run as soon as possible get naked (probably in the restroom and with your fresh set ideally) hang out for a bit in your birthday suit (about 2 minutes will do) let all the sweat dry and then get redressed. Try noticing for the next little bit I bet you’ll be surprised just how damp your undies and bra are after a workout.

Work swim time, Always a good post workout option!

Schedule the rest of your day

If say you’re headed to the gym at lunch pick the right day of the week. Sitting in a boardroom or at your desk after is probably no big deal but you might want to avoid one on one editing work where you’re sitting side by side with someone. Really most people aren’t that close to you in your day to day life. That said I used to run before tutoring all the time. You don’t need to workout at lunch every day and not all of them require close contact later on either. Do things like schedule a meeting for the morning, take a late lunch and plan to catch up on desk work in the afternoon. Just another reason to schedule your workouts like they are part of your job!

Why it’s not really a big deal

We’re all human and human bodies sometimes sweat, have flat hair and maybe smell a bit funny. Even the most hygiene obsessed among us have smelled off at one point. We also tend to be more obsessed with how other’s think of us. Plus we tend to think it’s always negative. If someone asks “did you go for a run at lunch?’ You immediately start to “think do I smell funny am I greasy?” Chances are they are thinking “good for you, or I wish was that fit!” Your boss is probably happy your benefits package costs the company less than he cares if you’re wearing athletic socks under your loafers. People that serve the public deal with all sorts of people from construction workers to business people. No one cares as much as you do about what you look like and chances are no one is close enough to really smell you even if you did work up a funk. Get in the habit of asking people in your everyday life (partners and friends) after a workout if they can smell you when you’re feeling self-conscious I bet they’ll say no. Think about this for a minute too lots of people out there use active transport just to get to work!

I think I look gross and greasy in this picture among other things like poor skin and a big nose. Chances are you barely noticed!

Always showering after a workout takes time in and of its self, plus you might also have to dry your hair, style it and re-apply a full face. I don’t do anything with my hair but that whole process takes me a little over an hour. My post run change routine takes me less than ten minutes. So if I have 45 free minutes I can go workout for a little over 30, if I have to shower after I don’t have time to even start. So is this one of the grossest things you’ve ever read or something you’re already practicing? Do you have any must have tricks if you know you won’t have time to soap up later? I hope this week’s tips help you squeeze just one workout in!

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