The Little Things: Tackling the laundry pile

When it comes to working out regularly, sometimes it’s the little things that knock us off track – a rainy day, an unconscious tap of the Snooze, a pile of dirty workout clothes. By themselves, these wouldn’t be a big deal, but when they catch you on a day when you’re a little sluggish or are feeling your motivation slip, they can be the last straw.

The better job you do keeping the little things little, the more successful you’ll be at working out consistently. Since athletes tend to burn through dirty clothes week in and week out, today we’re starting with how to keep your workout clothes clean and ready for your next run.

Light, Dark, Sweaty. One of the best things you can do to keep up with your workout laundry is to keep it out of the regular clothes rotation. Get a separate basket or bag for your workout clothes rather than tossing it in with the other stuff. You won’t stink up your civilian clothes if you fall behind and you’ll always have at hand a super-easy load that you know won’t require hangers or tedious folding – just get ‘em clean!

Workout towels. See above? Throw your towels in there, too. Set aside some towels just for after workouts or taking to the gym. That way you won’t feel bad about burning through the nice ones and you can wash them with your other exercise clothes.

Hand towels. Once you’ve got a bullet-proof laundry system set up, you won’t mind getting some hand towels dirty while you’re at it. Especially if you train on machines (treadmill, elliptical, nautilus, etc.) or to circuit work like Bootcamp, a nice clean towel to wipe off your face can really improve the quality of your workout. (Just ask anyone who’s ever gotten tangled up in their headphone cord while trying to dab sweat with the bottom of a t-shirt.)

Wetbag. If you go anyplace beyond your front stoop to start your workout, you probably haul at least a few things in a bag. Getting the dirty stuff off when you’re done will do a lot for your skin and overall aroma. If you’re transporting dirty stuff, be sure to have a water-resistant wetbag for it. It’ll be easier to pack up and you can avoid stinking up your gym bag and/or car.

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