Workouts don’t have to be complicated to be effective. In fact, the easier you make a morning routine, the more likely you’ll get out of bed to do it. Short workouts are also great when you’re crunched for time, traveling, or just need a quick way to get the blood flowing.
Plus, fitting in fitness before you head off to work, school, or other life duties allows you to establish a routine, which means you’re less likely to come up with a list of excuses to ditch this essential “me” time.
Before starting a new exercise program, check with your doctor. Then, follow the six steps in this exercise routine to get the most out of your mornings.
Start with some warm-up exercises for 2 minutes. Do 90 seconds of easy cardio drills, such as:
- jogging in place
- high knees
- jumping jacks
- rope jumping (without a rope)
Follow this with 30 seconds of dynamic stretches, such as arm circles and hip swings.
- Stand with a slight bend in your knees and your feet hip-width apart.
- With your arms at your sides, jump to the left and land on your left foot. Your right leg will cross behind diagonally, while your right arm swings across your body and left arm swings behind you.
- Pause for 1 second, then jump to the right and land on your right foot. Your left leg will cross behind diagonally while your left arm swings across your body and right arm swings behind you.
- Jump back and forth for 40 seconds.
- Start in a standing position.
- Bend forward, keep your legs straight, and walk your hands out into a high plank position.
- Do 3 pushups.
- Stay in a high plank position with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Take your right hand and tap your left shoulder.
- Take your left hand and tap your right shoulder.
- Return to the starting position. Repeat for 40 seconds.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent. Use a yoga mat for extra support. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your arms at your sides.
- Engage your core (including your glutes), press your feet into the floor, and lift your hips. Raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Pause in this position for a few seconds.
- Lower to the starting position and repeat.
- Start in a forearm plank position. Keep your elbows bent and under your shoulders, your feet hip-width apart, and your body in a straight line.
- Engage your core and gently rotate your right hip to the right, bringing it toward the floor, but don’t let your hip touch the floor.
- Return to the starting position and rotate your left hip to the left, bringing it toward the floor, but don’t let your hip touch the floor.
- Continue to alternate sides, keeping your core engaged the entire time.
After your workout, cool down with a few minutes of static stretches. Cool-down exercises help lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles.
Fitness, in general, leads to more activity. But if you opt for a morning session,
If you can get yourself outside for even 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll also get the vitamin D benefits of good old sunshine.
Exercise also improves focus, alertness, and concentration any time of the day. However, one 2018 study found that participants who performed a morning workout session had better cognition throughout the day.