Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher, and Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, some of the world’s most prolific and successful folks shared a common guiding principal: make the morning hours count. Whether they tackled the biggest problems of the day first, wrote out a plan for the entire day, or got in a game of tennis at 5:45 every morning, as Anna Wintour still does, all are good reasons to ditch the snooze button. Having a regular morning routine can be key to a productive day. Especially active habits like exercising.
An early morning exercise routine can enhance your metabolism, encourage consistency in your routine, increase physical and mental energy, improve sleep habits, and help you develop self-discipline. Of course, developing a morning routine is easier said than done for some who aren’t morning birds. Don’t set unrealistic expectations to avoid getting discouraged. The secret is to start small, like a 5-minute workout routine. Once you’ve made your morning routine a habit, it will be easier to progress.
Here are some pointers to help get you started…
Yoga in your jammies
Even before getting out of bed, do some basic yoga stretches and poses as soon as you wake. Try a wide-legged child’s pose to open up the hips and thighs; a supine spinal twist to relax and stretch the spine and abdomen; a seated forward bend to stretch the shoulders and hamstrings; and a knees to chest pose to stretch out the lower back. Remember to take 5 to 10 full breaths before moving on to each new pose.
Think old school gym class warm-ups as a full-body workout routine to get the heart pumping. Weave together a 5-minute routine consisting of 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of jump roping, 1 minute of planks, and 1 minute of pushups. See how many of each exercise you can do in 60 seconds and challenge yourself to get one more of each in every day.
A morning exercise routine doesn’t have to be 30 or 60 minutes to be beneficial. And you don’t always have to sweat. Set your alarm for just 15 minutes early, give yourself 5 minutes to get ready, and then head out for a 10 minute walk around your neighborhood. Use the time to enjoy the sounds of nature, mentally make your to-do list, and think about all of the good you’ll do that day. If you’ve got the time, add an extra minute here and there throughout the week.
Hydration energy blast
Water can make an amazing difference in your energy level by fighting off fatigue, which can be caused by overnight dehydration. Make it a habit to immediately grab 8 ounces or more of water as soon as you get out of bed, and another dose of H2O before you head out in the morning.
Meditation for productivity
Whether you have an important meeting first thing in the morning or a hectic schedule of errands, anxiety and stress can quickly zap energy, making you less productive. Give yourself 5 to 7 minutes (or longer if you’ve got the time) to sit quietly, alone, and silence your mind with a background of soothing music or the stillness of a dark room. If you allow yourself this ritual every morning you just might find you’re calmer throughout the day with a clearer perspective.
No matter how you start your mornings, start tracking your progress as well as your goals you want to accomplish each day. You just might be surprised that as your morning routine advances, so do your personal and professional achievements.
Do you like to inspire people to make physical and emotional changes? Or need a little boost to amp up your physical fitness?
LHAA offers both academic study in Personal Fitness Training and personalized, one on one workouts with their PFT interns (for only $10!). Visit our website for more information on our comprehensive Personal Fitness Training program or personal training sessions.
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