Last Updated on July 27, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Mornings can be an important part of the day. The decisions you make when you first wake up can set the tone for how the rest of the day unfolds. From what you have for breakfast to the physical activity you get, it all contributes to a healthier outlook. What you choose for your morning workout routine can impact energy levels as well as your moods for the next 16 hours. What are some easy ways to get the blood pumping?
Why Have a Morning Workout?
Many of us start the day already bent out of shape. Stress from work and personal life can cause us to have a bad day before it even starts. However, you can improve how everything unfolds with a morning workout. Instead of feeling anxiety from the moment you wake up, you may alter how you approach situations through fitness routines. Here are just a few reasons to exercise in the morning that I can think of off the top of my head:
- Gets the blood pumping to the brain first thing in the morning.
- Increased blood flow improves mental and emotional aspects.
- You may feel more energized to start the day – I know I do.
- Helps you achieve a greater level of being alert first thing in the morning.
- May be the best time to work out depending on your schedule.
So, what are some easy ways you can get a morning workout without worrying about time constraints?
1. Vigorous Cleaning
I am currently doing a study on myself about the impact of vigorously cleaning house. I have a lot of family living with me, and there is always something worthwhile to clean up. Personally, I commit to 20 minutes of hardcore cleaning in order to burn some calories. This helps eliminate some of the excess fat stores while having a productive impact on the house.
As of today, I burn an average of 6.8 calories per minute. To put this into perspective, I burn 1.6 calories when I am sitting idle watching Netflix. Of course this is completely dependent on how active I am during the process. Some things don’t have the same impact to physical activity as others.
For example, you’ll burn more sweeping and picking up trash and toys than you will washing dishes. It’s all about keeping your body in motion during cleaning. Set your timer on the smartphone for 20 minutes and don’t stop until it chimes.
2. A Brisk Morning Walk
Sometimes I’ll go for a brisk morning walk shortly after 6:00am, the time I usually wake up. Most days, I only walk a mile and it takes me approximately 16 minutes to complete if I walk by myself. My wife is a bit slower, so it winds up being 22 minutes if she joins. The point is, a morning walk can be the perfect way to start your day.
Walking is something most of us learn to do before we can even hold long-term memories. It’s the easiest, most natural way to burn calories and slim down the body. You don’t have to commit to going the whole mile or training for a 5k. Anything over your normal routine is beneficial for your health when you want to lose weight.
3. A Short Game on the Kinect
Although Microsoft doesn’t make the Xbox 360 anymore, I still use the hell out of mine. Periodically, I will get on Kinect Sports Season 2 and crack out a few games of Tennis. Not only is this incredible cardio exercise, but I find it quite fun.
If you like to play video games and want to lose weight, I’d suggest getting an Xbox with the Kinect. I can easily burn more than 300 calories inside 25 minutes. To get the most out of the experience, exaggerate your movements. The more you keep active while playing, the more fat you’ll burn through.
4. A Quick 10-Minute Routine
If you don’t have a lot of time, a quick 10-minute cardio morning workout can still help you get ready for the day. While it’s true that you’ll have a better experience the longer you can hold a workout, 10 minutes can be quite effective. Remember, keep your body moving throughout the entire 10 minutes if you want the most impact to start the day.
I have a 10-minute workout regimen for those looking to work on the abs on this website. It focuses work on the stomach while putting effort on the glutes and several other key points of your core. Otherwise, it’s not difficult to design your own workout regimen by doing things like jumping jacks, sit-ups or planks. As long as you can get the heart pumping, all is good.
5. Learn a Bit of Yoga
At first, I scoffed at yoga. That was until I started doing some of the stretching postures. Now, my back doesn’t hurt when I go to the driving range and my golf game has improved slightly. I feel more limber, relaxed and my muscles are less tense than they were before.
Learning yoga isn’t a difficult process. In fact, sites like Exercise.com can be greatly beneficial when learning proper postures and procedures. It’s more than an activity to help you get into better shape. It can also reduce stress levels and help you concentrate better throughout the day. While many people view it as a spiritual process, people like myself relish in the physical aspect of practicing yoga.
6. Dancing to Your Favorite Music
Not all of us know how to dance like those professionals on TV. But that doesn’t matter. Put on your favorite tunes and move your body. No one is watching you, so don’t feel embarrassed. I dance all the time in my bedroom and when everyone is out of the house. Sometimes the rhythm just takes you away, no matter how ridiculous you may think you look.
Dancing first thing the morning is much like any other cardio activity. As long as you can increase your heart rate and work up a bit of a sweat, that is all that really matters. You don’t have to know cool dance moves as long as you don’t trip over your own feet. I have several dance games on the Xbox that are played quite often. The bottom line is to enjoy yourself while letting the music help you get a morning workout.
7. Morning Swim
I know, not everyone has a pool. However, it’s one hell of a way to wake up in the morning. If you have a rec center or a gym nearby with a pool in it, you’re set. Anyway, swimming is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can possible do. It works on most of your muscle groups simultaneously, is near-zero impact and many find it to be a fun activity.
One thing my wife loves doing is pool jogging. This is when you essentially jog in the pool instead of swim. As silly as it sounds, it’s an intense workout as the water resistance forces your muscles to tighten even greater in order to move you through it. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and it will burn far more calories than walking or jogging on pavement.
8. Morning Ride
What workout list I create would be complete without riding a bicycle? Riding is by far one of my favorite activities. I didn’t even own a car until I was in my early 20s because I rode everywhere. That was 20 years and 100 pounds ago. I’ve been slacking late in life, but it’s something I am going to get back into.
Normally, my morning rides range anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. I have a set path that I ride and some areas of town are just too dangerous to be in on bike. It’s the car traffic I worry about, and people here don’t watch where they’re driving.
Riding in the morning is much like walking. The biggest difference is the amount of calories you’ll burn. If you ride for the same amount of time as you would walk, your burn could be almost double. Don’t think of distance. You won’t burn as many calories if you rode for one mile as appose to walking a mile. Time is the key when you want to maximize a traveling morning workout.
One of the biggest reasons why people give up on fitness and exercise is because they get bored with the same routines day-after-day. Mix up your morning workout by doing something different throughout the week. It can help you stay focused on health while letting you explore what you can accomplish.
Too many of us wake up in the morning feeling like were getting ready to head into a crisis situation. Whether it’s work or personal life, a lot of us are incredibly stressed from the moment we open our eyes. Find a morning workout routine that works best for you and reclaim your physical and mental states for the day. You may just find yourself succeeding in every aspect of your life simply by changing what you do first thing in the morning.