Workout Essentials

fit young woman jumping and running

The right timing is everything when it comes to exercise. Find your workout sweet-spot and it could make all the difference to your fitness. Plus, upgrade your gym bag with glow-inducing skincare essentials that befit your healthy body.

The Good Morning Workout

Jayne Miller, London-based yogi and teacher recommends Ashtanga yoga for an energising, uplifting morning workout. “It works the spine in all directions and encourages a focus on the breath. The opening sun salutations (or Surya Namaskara) alone, include a mini backbend, forward bend and elongation of the spine, and make you feel alive and ready for the day, so are ideal for first thing in the morning. If you manage a lunge with your right leg forward first you’ll aid digestion too.”

Yoga Ready Skincare

Start your energising flow the moment you hop out of bed with an invigorating cleanser like Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser.  As no water is consumed during Ashtanga practise, apply a thin layer of moisturiser afterwards to protect skin from dehydrating. Avoid clogging pores by choosing a lightweight formula like Darphin Hydraskin Light. Dynamic, energetic Ashtanga will get you sweating, so after you’ve rolled up your mat, cleanse skin again to remove toxins. Do a quick acid tone with Malin+Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads, which are not only effective but so easy to throw in your gym bag. Moisturise again and don’t forget the SPF – try Emma Hardie Protect and Prime SPF 30 which also works as a primer – great if you’re applying makeup in a hurry.

The Power Lunch

It’s time to reclaim your lunch break! Research suggests that if you do use that golden hour for a workout, you’ll return to your desk feeling happier and more productive. “In the afternoon” says Matt Bevan, head of training at Bodyism, “MOVE. Especially if you work in an office. Look for full body workouts that require a lot of movement. Boxing is a great way to get your body moving in a multitude of different angles and will leave you empowered to fight through the rest of your day.”

At The Gym Skincare

It can be a bit daunting to remove all your makeup before heading into the boxing ring, but your skin will thank you for it. Sweating under makeup is a sure-fire way to uncomfortable bumps and sensitivity, so keep the individually wrapped Nuface Prep-N-Glow Cleansing & Exfoliating Cloths to hand. Post-workout, cleanse your skin again, and apply a light moisturiser – we like This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up because it helps to hide signs of fatigue while hydrating. A big glass of water will also help skin to stay plump throughout the afternoon.

The Evening Session

It might be tempting to finish a tough day at work with a big glass of red and a relax on the sofa, but if you can squeeze in a workout before you get home, you’ll sleep better and help to restore your muscles after a sedentary day. Matt suggests trying “classical Pilates, as it can be a game changer for many people. It’s an excellent option after work as it focuses on posture and engagement of intrinsic muscles that are inhibited by sitting at a desk all day. Plus it isn’t too intense and won’t leave you struggling to get to sleep at night.”

Gym Bag Essentials

You guessed it, remove your makeup before you even think about exercise. With invigorating eucalyptus oil the Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser could help to motivate you before you hit the mat. Keep skin comfortable for your class with a lightweight hydrator like the gel-textured Nars Aqua Gel Luminous Oil Free Moisturiser. When you arrive home after Pilates, ensure you don’t get distracted by cooking/TV/life, and cleanse your face right away. Your skin starts regenerating in the evening, so give it an extra boost with a hydrating face mask like Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask, and it won’t just be your body that feels great the next morning.

Make The Weekend Count

The weekend usually means freedom from meetings and deadlines, so there’s more time to devote to exercise — making it the perfect time to work harder. Try running, and more specifically sprint training (a long run with regular short bursts of fast sprinting) as recommended by Lee Mullins, founder of The Workshop Gymnasium. He explains “sprint training can be very taxing on the body, so it’s best to perform on weekends when you have time to recover without having to worry about focusing and achieving at work.”

Weekend Workout Skincare

If you’re running outside, then don’t forget the SPF. It’s important to protect your skin from pollution as well as the sun, so try Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 30. As you’re upping the intensity of your run over the weekend it’s likely you’ll suffer from aching muscles. To ease tension apply Mio Workout Wonder Muscle Gel straight from the shower to help speed-up recovery.

A quick self-massage before bed can also help. Rub two pumps of Susanne Kaufmann Wacholderöl Muscle Release Oil between your palms and then glide the oil from your toes to your heart, repeat from fingers to collarbones, and then press and squeeze any very tight areas with your fingers. To finish use the palm of your hand to gently drum on your muscles – this helps to stimulate blood flow and prevent cramps.