Morning exercise is a great way to start the day—you heard this so many times, but have you really considered it? Not only does it set you up for physical success during the day, but having a daily work out habit is actually an immunity booster—which is essential, especially during the pandemic.
Although you might feel like staying in bed and sleeping in, getting up earlier to do a quick work out will boost your energy and kick your serotonin levels sky-high, so you can live your best life.
Studies have shown that people who keep a simple morning routine of an early exercise have a better memory, they focus more easily, and—this one is interesting—they think more creatively.
Morning exercising also helps you sleep better—which sounds simple to understand, but you’d be surprised how many people disregard this fact in their search for better sleep.
Exercising in the morning, apart from the many other benefits, also helps you burn calories faster. This is because fat oxidation—the process of burning fatty acids—happens naturally if you exercise before breakfast. And, like that wasn’t a reason enough to start practicing morning workouts, doing it before breakfast will help decrease your chances of getting diabetes.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s another great reason—your skin health. Working out any time during the day will help your skin feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and healthy. Researches have shown that people who work out early in the morning have more radiant and glowing skin than people who work out in the evening.
Five Simple Morning Exercises
If you’re a beginner at working out, you might be asking yourself where and how to start. The answer is pretty simple—just start moving.
You don’t need to do much in the beginning. In fact, you can start with just a couple of exercises for about 15 to 20 minutes and increase the time and level as you get stronger.
Here are five simple exercises to help you get started tomorrow.
1. Jumping Jacks
This exercise is as easy as it gets. You do not have to be a professional to start jumping. This is a quick and very effective warm-up exercise, making every muscle on your body work—which is why you’re doing it in the first place.
Jumping jacks make your body move and can get you warmed up pretty quickly.
Start in the standing position with your hand by your side. As you start jumping, spread your legs to the sides and clap your hand above your head while keeping them as straight as possible. Soon you’ll start to notice that your core is engaged without even trying.
Do 30 jacks and then take a rest for 30 seconds before you continue.
2. Side Plank
You know that muffin top you’re trying to get rid of for ages? This workout is perfect for that. It engages your whole core while challenging your hands and shoulders as well as your legs.
Lay on your mat and turn to your right side. Straighten your whole body and lift yourself on your elbow. Keep your right forearm firmly on the ground, spreading your fingers and sticking them to the ground. Make sure your legs are straight and keep your whole body in a straight line.
Hold this position for 30 seconds. If you feel like you could do more, absolutely make it a minute.
If you want to make it more challenging, do a couple of hip dips, but otherwise, keeping a straight line is great.
3. Push-Up Workout
I would say this workout is great for a bit more advanced athletes—but this doesn’t mean you should skip it if you’re a beginner.
It will challenge your upper body, but eventually, you’ll notice you’re getting stronger and, before you know it, you’re already at 20 push-ups per workout.
Start by laying on your stomach with your hands firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Use all your strength to push yourself up until your arms are almost straight. Slowly, lower yourself down and do it again.
4. Cat Camel Stretch
Cat camel scratch is the ultimate stretching exercise that I love doing while warming up for my workout session but sometimes, I also do it while cooling down after a hard routine.
Start in the tabletop position. Your hands are shoulder-width apart and your knees are firmly attached to the ground hip-width apart. On your inhale bring your chin to your chest and lift your upper back as high as you can. Exhaling, bring your head up, opening your throat, and pull your chest down toward the ground, lifting your bum up, making a slight U shape with your back.
Do a cat camel stretch at the beginning of your workout session, but you can use it in the end as well.
5. Morning Jogging
This just might be my next favorite thing to do if I don’t feel like lifting weights or if I just want some cardio boost to my morning workouts. I go for a quick jog, to get my body warmed up and then do my routine session, but sometimes I skip working out after a jog altogether and that’s totally fine.
As long as you move your body, you are doing great. Sometimes we all lack a little motivation and believe me, I have been there, but I promise you, if you push yourself just a little bit more every time, you’ll be living healthier and happier in no time.
Studies show that it takes anywhere from 21 days to a couple of weeks more to form a habit, and if you’re new to working out and being active, all you have to do is to stick with it for three weeks and your morning rituals will become sacred. Another great way to stay motivated is to have an accountability buddy. I know I always feel more energized and ready to tackle the workout if I know my accountability buddy is waiting for me to let them know that I’m done for the day.
Do whatever feels best for you, because at the end of the day, we all need to feel better in 2021.