What you do in the morning affects your entire day more than you think. What might feel like being productive really early could mean compromising your performance throughout the day; what might seem like ‘getting it all done now’ could just as easily translate to fatigue.
Beyond its aesthetic rewards, experts have linked the benefits of regular exercise with energy boost, increased happiness index, and better memory. Sticking to a daily schedule of workout calls for self-discipline, but committing to a few hours of mindfulness and workout not only kick-starts your morning, it also pays dividends for your mood and overall health. Bask in the sunlight, pause, wait a while—and before diving into your errands, make the most out of the sunny AM with these workout moves to keep you energized and ready to take on the day.
No treadmill at home doesn’t mean you can’t be fit. For 3 sets of 20 reps, it targets the core and stretches the spine. Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and arms stretched in a relaxed position above your head. Lift your legs about a foot off the floor, tighten your trunk as you roll-up to a 45-degree angle, with your hands slightly supporting the back of your head. No need for a gym, this Pilate-inspired move gets you runway-prepped and ready for the beach.
2. Hamstring Stretch
You know the feeling. After long hours of sitting down, long meters of walking, and a couple of extra minutes in traffic from the day before, hamstring muscles are under a lot of tension and deserve proper care. Not only is it beneficial to loosen tight shoulders, it’s important to maintain the flexibility of hips, back, and knees, too. To do it, stand on right leg, hold onto a wall for support. Raise your left leg with your left arm, bend at the knee and pull to the chest. Hold position for ten seconds or three breaths. Do the same on the other leg (2 sets).
3. Back Leg Lifts
High-intensity and full-body exercises have massive benefits, and at first they could strike as a bit daunting, but there are a few steps to ease your way into the routine without making it less helpful to conditioning your entire body. Sans any equipment, the back leg lift begins with getting on all fours, resting the weight on forearms, propping the elbows under the shoulders, and positioning the feet apart. Draw your left knee proximal to your left elbow and crunch, then extend your left leg and kick back. Do one side for 16-20 reps. Do the other side.
4. Push-Ups with Side Tap (optional)
Introduce a twist to your usual push-up routine and mix it up with additional feats not just for your core—the side tap works on your shoulders, chest, and improves your balance. Begin with the push-up position, and the, keeping your core tight, tap your right side with your left hand. Repeat 20 times, alternating on each side.
5. Extend and Lifts
Always on the go and think you have no time to tone, sculpt, and lift? Do at least 30 reps, and thanks to the fact that it seems doable even for beginners, turn up your music a notch to a workout that’s designed for your glutes and obliques. Position yourself on all fours, wrists under the shoulders and planted firmly onto a mat, and knees under your hips. As you shift your weight onto your left side and lower your left forearm, extend your right leg out to the side. Rotate the tip of your toe and repeat the motion with the opposite side.
Nota bene: It is advised to use your abs and your glutes, instead of your leg muscles, to do this lift. When you feel the tension in your quads or hamstrings, pause then relax your foot.