Today I want to offer you a good morning workout routine. So rise and shine, no more lying around in bed trying to catch those extra few minutes. No more using that snooze button avoiding that time where you have to step out of bed. Instead you need to spring out at the first sound of your alarm because you have something really important to do.
Specialists have for a long while now advised 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every day for overall health. Now it’s time for you to follow up on this advice.
Exercise will not only make you healthier; it’ll make you make you stronger and fitter. Exercise in the morning provides a wide range of benefits that offer physical and mental fulfilment. I’m an advocate of exercising first thing in the morning for a number of reasons:
- Creates a firm habit of daily exercise. Over 90 percent of people who exercise consistently, exercise in the morning. If you want to exercise consistently, odds are in your favor if you exercise first thing in the morning.
- When you exercise early in the morning, it jump starts your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours, sometimes up to 24 hours! That means you’re burning calories all day long just because you exercised in the morning!
- Working out in the morning energizes you for the day. You also feel great because you know you have done something disciplined and good for you.
- Morning exercise regulates your appetite for the day. You will eat less since activity causes the release of endorphins, which in turn diminishes appetite.
- If you exercise at about the same time every morning, and ideally wake up at about the same time on a regular basis, your body adjusts to that. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes.
- Your body is not confused by wildly changing wake up times, which means waking up is much less painful.
- Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc.
- Your metabolism, along with all the hormones involved in activity begin to elevate while you’re sleeping. As a result, you’ll feel more alert, energized and ready to exercise when you do wake up.
- Exercising first thing in the morning is the most foolproof way to ensure that other things don’t take over your fitness commitment, particularly if you have a hectic life. When your days get hectic, exercise usually takes a back seat!
- It’s much easier to wake-up. When you wake-up at different times every day, it confuses your body and thus it’s never really prepared to awaken.
- For many people, that appointed time every morning becomes something they look forward to. It’s time they’ve set aside to do something good for themselves; to take care of their body, mind, and soul. Many find that it’s a great time to think clearly, pray, plan their day, or just relax mentally.
- Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity. On average it lasts 4-10 hours after exercise! No sense in wasting that brain power while you’re sleeping.
So rather than trying to stay in bed for an extra half an hour start today by taking up a physical activity. So exercise first thing in the morning – every morning! Move your body. Use your body. Put it through its paces. Wake it up. Energise it. It will have a really positive, profound effect on you. Just using your body in the morning, gets your brain working, clears away your cob webs and refocuses you away from those morning brain fog.
You’ll feel energised all morning and will be glad you made the effort to get out of bed.
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to go anywhere to do it. This routine can be performed not only at home but even in your own bedroom.
Do each exercise in order, for 3o seconds to 60 seconds and move on to the next. Do all 10 in a circuit, then rest for a minute. Repeat the circuit up to two more times dependent on your fitness levels.
If you can only do one the first time around, no problem. Within a week or two you’ll be able to do the second, and a month or so later the third. Then you can go from doing each exercise for 30 seconds, and increase to 45 seconds then ultimately the minute for each exercise.
Here are the exercises.
High Knee March, with Arms
When the arm is next to the side, the elbow should be bent at a right angle. Rotate the right arm forward as the left knee is brought up and visa versa for the left arm and right knee. Raise the hand to about shoulder or mouth level. As the arm rotates forward at the shoulder, the angle of the arm may decrease slightly. As the arm rotates back, the hand should pass the hip. As the arm continues back, the angle of the arm may increase slightly. This movement, where the elbow goes back and up and the hand passes the hip serves as your accelerator and is often called “throwing down the hammer.”
Stand upright with feet outside shoulder width and arms at your sides. Squat down quickly and pull your arms back to set yourself for jump. Pull your arms forward and upwards as you explode out of the squat, jumping upwards as high as possible. As you land, go into soft bent knee position and immediately lower yourself back into full squat.
Start by lying face down on the floor with your legs fully extended, feet flexed and positioned on the balls of the feet, and hands placed palm-down just outside the shoulders. Elbows can be placed alongside the body for emphasizing the shoulders, or pressed out away from the body to emphasize the chest. Keep your back and butt in a straight line with your shoulders and heels, push yourself up so that your body is supported on hands and toes only. At the top of the movement, your elbows should be locked out or nearly so. Bend the elbows and lower your chest to the ground. Only your hands, toes and chest should ever touch the ground. Press yourself back up into the top position. Keep your shoulders, back, butt, knees and heels in a straight line like a plank of wood. (if you need to, do these on your knees)
Position body with one leg forward, front knee directly over ankle, and knees slightly bent. Keep back heel up and toes pointed forward. Stand in good body alignment (abs tight, chest up, back straight). In a controlled motion, lower body by bending knee and hip, keeping back straight and maintaining good body alignment. Keeping forward foot flat, continue lowering body just before back knee touches the floor without compromising form (back straight, abs tight, chest up). Reverse sides.
Lie flat on the floor faceup with your arms across your chest. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. At a slow controlled pace curl your torso forwards raising your head and shoulder blades of the floor, by contracting your stomach muscles, pressing the small of your back to the ground, and using your stomach muscles to pull the torso upward in a curling motion.. Hold your position for a slow count of two, then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Make sure your arms don’t lift off your chest as you raise up, because that means you’re cheating with your back muscles. To keep the pressure on, don’t spend more than a second in the “down” position; the longer your shoulder blades are off the floor, the more work your abs must do. Repeat
Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back to a pushup position. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position. Repeat, moving as fast as possible. You should maintain a fast pace for this exercise. Strive for maximum height with each jump.
Position your hands shoulder width apart on a raised surface. Move your feet out as far out in front of you as possible. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly lower your upper body down towards the floor and keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands and push yourself back up to the starting position with your triceps.
Start in a standing position and bend your knees and place your hands on the ground. Drop to a crouch. Extend your legs back so that you’re on your toes in the press up position. Jump to pull your legs back in towards chest and stand back up. This should be a continuous motion and be fluid.
Back Extension (Superman)
Lie down on abs and reach arms overhead (like superman). Squeeze together (retract) shoulder blades. In a controlled motion, lift chest, “peeling” upper body off the floor until spine is comfortably hyperextended. Avoid hyperextending the neck. Maintaining controlled motion, return to starting position. Do not allow muscles to relax before next repetition.
After doing the above exercises, jumping jacks are a good way to engage muscles all over your body. Start with your legs together and your hands at your side. Jump to a position where your legs are spread about 3 feet apart and your hands clap over your head.
Working out first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to jump start your day and improve your life. Best of all, half of your workout for the day is done and over with and you can go through the rest of the day with a fast metabolism, a clear mind, and a healthy body. What more could you ask for? Start tomorrow!