If you’ve never exercised in the morning, try it. It can help wake you up and get you going. It can also kick your energy levels into high gear that can stay elevated throughout the day.
Early morning exercise can help your creative thinking, focus, and memory while at work and can also help you sleep better that night.
If you’ve been working out after work, you may find you dread it. You’re already tired from the day, strength levels might not feel their best not to mention the gym is filled to the rafters – plus we’re right into the New Year’s resolution swing.
By starting the day with exercise, it can have a positive spillover to all these other areas of your life. So here are 5 exercises you can start the day with.
If this seems too basic, you need to get over that. Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise out there and is something that more people should incorporate into their lives.
If you have a job that doesn’t keep you active, this can be a great exercise to keep your body moving early in the day. Walking in the morning will help you get those steps in early and then anything you may get later on is a bonus.
Walking is also great because it’s a low impact exercise and good for those with any knee or joint pains. You can do it anywhere and it’s free, which is my ideal price point.
Walking is a morning workout exercise, you can do as soon as you get up. Keep your clothes and shoes right by your bed to make the process much easier.
Depending on how much time you have, start with a 15-20 minute brisk paced walk. You want to be going at a pace you can still carry on a conversation.
If you’re not able to do that, it might be intense to sustain the whole time. After a while you can increase your time and you may find yourself setting your alarm for earlier to get a longer walk in each morning.
Swimming is incredible. It’s a full-body workout that used both you cardiovascular endurance system and your muscular endurance system. It works pretty much every muscle in the body and has a great core engagement. You just have to look at a competitive swimmer to see how they are some of the fittest athletes in the world.
Another great benefit of swimming for your morning workout exercise is it’s great if you have any form of injuries. The bouncy of the water helps to limit the resistance on your body and this is great if you have knee issues, back problems, ankle or joint point. You get the resistance of the water to help strengthen your muscles but without the impact that can come from running or strength training,
If swimming isn’t your strong suit, you can start off by just doing walking laps in the water. This is another great low resistance workout that is also beneficial if you have some nagging injuries. After a while, you can progress to mixing in some swimming laps to further increase the exercise.
All local pools have great swimming instruction if this is brand new to you and it’s an affordable, and effective way, to get your fitness up.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training
This is a more intense form of a morning workout exercise but trust me, it will get you going! High-intensity interval training or HIIT is when you engage in an intense period of exercise followed by a slower paced recovery period.
You can do this in many ways. An easy example is using a stationary bike; you would start with a 5-10 minute warm up to get your heart rate up and blood flow to the muscles. Next you would then turn the intensity up on whatever resistance dial the bike has to around 70% and then peddle at this intense pace for 30-45 seconds. You then dial back the intensity to around 25% and do a slower paced “recovery phase” for 90-120 seconds.
If you need more time to recover, that is fine and it’s this type of exercise that can help in weight loss and improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness. This is something you would want to double check with your doctor before doing if this is a new style of exercise to you.
If you’ve been involved with a more intense style of training, HIIT can be a great thing to add to your repertoire in the morning.
You can do anywhere from 3 to 8 rounds of this followed by a 5-10 minute cool down. The whole workout won’t take you over 20 minutes too.
You can also try other forms of HIIT training such as running and walking intervals, using a rowing machine or elliptical machine.
Learn more about HIIT in this article:
4. Circuit Training
Circuit training incorporates some of the same principles that are going on with high intensity interval training. Circuit training is about engaging your whole body and doing intense periods of work in a short amount of time followed by a rest/recovery phase.
Circuits are great because they can always be different, you can do them at home or at the gym, and don’t even need equipment.
You would start by taking 3-4 exercises and doing them all in a row for 30 seconds each. You would then rest around 90 seconds before doing them again and you can do 4-5 rounds of this. Again, this won’t take you a lot of time and can fit in in your morning.
Here are examples of bodyweight exercises that can create a great circuit:
- Mountain climbers
- Skater hops
- Bodyweight squats
- Jump squats
- Leg Lifts
You can pick 3-4 of these to create a circuit and just with these 10 choices you have an endless supply of workouts you can put together.
5. Low-Intensity Interval Training
This might be a new one for you but it’s a form of exercise that may be more practical for you than HIIT training. It’s also effective and works best done outside. Low-intensity interval training takes that same concept as its high-intensity alternative but is a lower intensity as the name implies.
It still works based around intervals but this time with a walking/jogging combination. The basics of the workout look like this:
- Start out walking at your normal pace for 3-5 minutes
- Start a light jog, or faster-paced walk, for 90 seconds
- Go back to your regular pace walk for 3-5 minutes
- Repeat this all over the course of 30 minutes.
Low-intensity interval training can be a great way to improve your fitness and lose weight at the same time. Your body responds well to these variations in the intensity of exercise and responds by providing improvements and changes.
This low-intensity interval training is also good if you want a lower pace of activity, are older, or are working through some injuries but still want a good form of exercise.
Wrapping It Up
Once you start working out in the morning, you may wonder why you never had before. I like it as a way to get the day going and feel you’ve accomplished something earlier. This can carry over and influence the rest of your day and help you become more productive.
It’s not about “getting it out of the way” with exercise but making it a part of your daily routine and this morning workout exercise can be a great way to do that.