Whether you’re a busy professional or a stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult to fit regular exercise into your daily routine. That doesn’t mean you have to give up the benefits of a daily fitness routine, though. There are dozens of ways to fit exercise into your day, starting with this 20-minute wake-up-and-face-the-day routine that’s designed to get your blood moving and your metabolism revved up for the day. Start your morning with this wake-up routine and you’ll feel the benefits all day long.
Notes on the Workout
The exercises in this morning workout routine are all old-school fitness moves that require no special equipment. You can do these just as easily in your living room at home as you can in a hotel room on the road. As an added bonus, the extra oxygen, hydration and energy will brighten your mood and put your entire day on track for success.
First Things First
No one is in a pleasant mood after being jarred from sleep by a clanging gong or an annoying siren blast. Start by canning your old alarm clock and find one that wakes you pleasantly – nature sounds, your favorite music – anything but a noise that starts your day off in a bad mood.
Put the alarm clock out of reach. It will kill your temptation to hit snooze so you can lie in bed for ten more minutes. Not only does that cut into the time you have for your morning routine, it gives you time to start resenting the morning. Phooey to that – get up to turn off the alarm and get moving.
Drink a glass of cool, fresh water. Good hydration is essential to your body’s proper functioning, but most people go through the day semi-dehydrated. Start off your morning right with a glass of cool water to replenish your body’s supply and get yourself on track. Put on water for green tea – a great starter for your morning – or start your morning coffee.
This morning fitness routine is a standard exercise routine that targets your cardiovascular system and gets your circulation and respiratory system revved up. It will tone your body and firm up your muscles, as well as improving your outlook on the day. Put your heart into each exercise, and take a 30-second break between each set of exercises.
Jog in place for 3 minutes. Don’t get fancy. Just get yourself moving.
Do 50 jumping jacks, old-school. Start with your feet together and hands at your side. Jump your feet out to shoulder-width while raising your arms to clap your hands together above your head. Jump your feet back together and return your hands to the starting position. Remember to bend your knees slightly on landing to reduce the impact on your joints.
Do 15 crunches. Time to hit the floor. Lie flat on your back with knees bent, hands at your temples and elbows pointing out. Flex at the waist to raise your upper body off the floor. Hold for one second and return to starting position. Repeat for a count of 15.
Do 10 hip bridges. With only your heels on the floor, lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds, squeezing your glutes. Lower yourself to starting position and repeat.
Do 10 step-ups. If you don’t own a stepping block, use the bottom step of a flight of stairs or a low step stool. Step up onto the step with the leading foot. Bring the second foot up to the stair. Step down with your leading foot and follow with the second foot. Alternate your leading foot on each rep.
Do 15 reverse crunches. Flat on your back again, hands at the sides of your head. This time, instead of bringing your shoulders up off the floor, bring your knees up until your hips are slightly off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat.
Climb the mountain for 1 minute. Get down on your hands and knees, then raise your knees off the floor into runner’s starting position. Run in place for 1 minute, supporting your weight on your hands.
Do 15 pushups in classic plank position. That’s a straight pushup, with palms flat on the floor. If pushups are too hard, substitute a variation that you can do safely and comfortably and work your way up to it.
Do squat-thrusts for 1 minute. Start in a stand position. Drop to a crouch, and immediately thrust your legs out behind you, toes pointed. Jump your legs back to crouch and stand up. Repeat for 1 minute.
Walk it off. Now that your heart is revved up, cool it down by walking around until your breathing and heart rate return to normal. The complete circuit should take just about 10 minutes. Finish off with another glass of water and a breakfast smoothie or other healthy breakfast option.
It may be hard to push yourself through the routine for the first day or two, but once you start feeling the benefits, your morning fitness routine will become just that – routine – and you won’t feel right until you’ve started your day with it.