7 Morning Exercises You Should Do Right After Waking
Ready to conquer the day?! Start with some morning exercises that will jumpstart your metabolism and provide the energy boost you need. Try working every part of your body with a quick overall workout that will not only get your blood flowing but will shuttle oxygen and nutrients to every area of your body.
Use Morning Energy to Create Energy
While it seems strange, expending energy can actually boost the amount of energy you have. So, counterintuitively, if you’re feeling tired and lethargic, a quick workout might be exactly what you need to turn your day around.
How does this work? Exercise helps combat fatigue by promoting the release of stress. And, when you have great workouts, you tend to sleep better as well, which leads to… you got it, more energy!
So, Why Morning Exercises?
What’s the big deal about morning exercise? Well, it turns out that morning exercises are more than just another fad or morning routine addition for the self-improvement crew.
It’s actually a great way to start your day because a small bout of exercise, first thing, wakes up your nervous system (better than coffee), gets the blood circulating (you’ve been stationary all night), and gets a boost of much-needed oxygen to your brain, so you’re ready to face the day.
And if that wasn’t enough evidence that morning exercises can remodel your day, take into consideration that you’re starting off in a positive direction, showing your metabolism who’s boss, checking a quick workout off your daily checklist, and proving to yourself that fitness really is a priority for you.
Try These 7 Morning Exercises
Tomorrow, when you wake up, instead of hitting snooze or stumbling your way to the coffee maker, try these quick exercises for a nice boost in energy and a way to shake off your sleepiness in no time.
1. Sun Salutations
Start with a good stretch to help you wake up and gently get that blood flowing after being horizontal all night. Stand up and place your feet about hip-width apart. Next, look up and take your arms and stretch them overhead as high as you can, reaching through your fingertips to get a full stretch as you take a big breath in.
Next, bring your arms out to your sides and down as you stretch out your chest muscles and bend forward at the hips, bringing your hands all the way to the floor in front of you (or onto a block or your shins if you’re a little stiff in the morning) as you breathe out. Straighten back to standing position and repeat five times.
2. Jumping Jacks
These tried-and-true oldies but goodies will get your heart rate pumping like no other exercise. Start with your feet together and your arms straight down by your sides.
Simultaneously, jump up slightly and land with your feet about hip-width apart as you raise your arms out to your sides and then straight overhead. Jump back to the starting position as you bring your hands back down by your sides again. Do 20 in a row.
If your joints aren’t quite ready for jumping right out of bed, you can simply step out each foot as you bring your arms up and down. As always, don’t forget to breathe throughout the exercise.
3. Hip Stretches
Start by kneeling on the ground. Next, bring your right foot forward and place it on the ground in front of you so you are in a lunging position with your left knee on the ground.
With your hands on your right knee, squeeze your glutes and push forward into the right leg, feeling a stretch through your hips. Repeat on the opposite side, going back and forth twice on each side.
4. Wall Squats
Since you might not yet be fully awake and could possibly be a little off kilter, balance yourself against a sturdy wall when doing this version of squats. Start by standing about a foot away from a wall or until your knees are over your ankles when bent to 90 degrees.
Place your back against the wall and your hands alongside you. Slowly bend your knees, lowering your body into a “sitting” position” until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then push back up to the start. Repeat three times.
Get up on your forearms with your legs stretched fully behind you. With your back straight and hips off the ground, tighten your core, and hold this position as long as you can or for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
These will help work and loosen your lower back. Often, when we wake up, we find we’ve been sleeping in the same position for hours, and we can feel a tightness or ache in our lower backs. Waking that area up with some additional blood flow can help you feel better right away and get you moving more freely.
Start by lying flat on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched. Next, lift your arms and legs off the ground at the same time by squeezing your posterior chain (shoulders, back, glutes, and hamstrings). Release to go back to the starting position. Repeat three times.
7. Cat-Cow Stretch
Start on your hands and knees. Take a big breath in and round your back, feeling a good stretch through your back, shoulders, arms, and neck. Next, exhale, bringing your back into an arch and pushing your abdominals toward the ground, feeling a good stretch through your chest and abs. Repeat 5 times in each direction.
Now that you’ve got your energy flowing, it’s time to jump into your day, feeling better than ever. Go forth and conquer!