Perfect Morning Workouts for a Healthy Mind

The morning workout that will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle the day

It’s amazing how many people still don’t exercise in the morning, despite the numerous benefits it offers. There’s no question that you will feel energized and ready to tackle the day after an early morning workout, whether you do it before work or at lunchtime. The key to making this routine part of your life is to create a seamless transition from waking up to starting your workout, so you can focus on getting in shape rather than feeling stressed out about your schedule or rushing to get ready as soon as you get out of bed.

Caffeine

Unless you have a medical condition, there’s no reason to avoid caffeine. In fact, research suggests that caffeine can boost your energy, help with weight loss and improve cognitive function. One way to reap these benefits without overdoing it is by combining low-caffeine drinks with high-caffeine ones. For example, if your afternoon coffee break involves a medium-sized latte (with about 180 mg of caffeine), pair it with an earlier cup of decaf tea or coffee (about 15 mg of caffeine). If you do feel adverse effects such as anxiety or jitters, try one of these methods

Breakfast

A good breakfast should be a balanced meal, with a healthy mix of fats, carbs, and protein. To balance your blood sugar for steady energy throughout your morning routine, try eggs. But not just any eggs: make them poached—not boiled or fried—with non-saturated fats like grass-fed butter. This combination of healthy fat along with lean protein keeps you full until lunch without weighing you down as other heavy breakfasts can.

Warm Up

Don’t skip your warm up. It doesn’t matter if you run, cycle, or walk—just get your heart rate up for about 5 minutes (for beginner exercisers) before working out. This can be a great time to really focus on what you plan on accomplishing during your session and zone out from whatever else is going on around you. Plus, it can actually help make your body more receptive to starting a new workout routine by getting your endorphins going. If that’s not enough of an incentive, studies have shown that warm ups could actually prevent injury in athletes—so don’t waste them! You may also want to consider stretching before hitting the gym. You should stretch all major muscle groups to avoid injury as well as boost flexibility and range of motion. Studies show that people who stretch regularly are less likely to sustain injuries while exercising than those who do not. So grab some yoga mat, head outside, and start stretching it out!
Many people think they need weights or machines at a gym to build muscle but you can build muscle just as effectively with dumbbells you already own at home. Dumbbells offer tons of exercises you can do which helps strengthen your muscles, boost metabolism and burn fat – all things which will ultimately lead to weight loss.

Workout

This high-intensity workout can be done in just 20 minutes, but has been scientifically proven to increase energy levels by 75 percent while reducing stress. This 20-minute routine is simple and doesn’t require any equipment: all you need is an empty parking lot. Start by doing jumping jacks until you have built up a good sweat (about 60 seconds). Then do as many burpees as possible for two minutes. After that, jog in place for one minute. Repeat these three exercises three times with 30 seconds of rest between each round. If you are pressed for time or don’t feel like going outside, try a Tabata workout instead—it only takes four minutes! Do eight rounds of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off; choose from jumping jacks, pushups or squats to work your upper body and legs during those 10 second intervals.

Cool Down

Cooling down after a workout is crucial. Your heart rate needs time to slow down, as does your breathing. And don’t forget about your muscles—give them a good stretch once you’re done with a run or other activity. It only takes 10 minutes, but it can make all of the difference when it comes to preventing soreness and injury. Here are some tips for cooling down properly: -Slowly walk for five minutes after your exercise session. -Stretch major muscle groups, such as those in your legs and back. -If you’ve been running, walking or doing another cardio exercise on a treadmill, step off of it before stretching. Don’t jump off quickly; instead slowly step backwards so that you’re not suddenly putting pressure on your lower body while it’s still moving quickly. -Don’t overdo it! Just because you did something active doesn’t mean you need to spend an hour stretching afterward (unless otherwise instructed by a trainer). Ten minutes should be enough time to feel relaxed and loose again—and avoid hurting yourself in the process!

Stretching

Never skip stretching. Ever. Your body has been in a stationary position for several hours, so by taking a few minutes to wake up your muscles, you’ll feel more awake, alert, and less stiff. Even better: Research suggests that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with their fitness routine than those who work out at night. According to researchers from Auburn University Montgomery, if your alarm clock goes off before 6 a.m., give yourself time for some morning stretching before starting your regular workout session—you’ll be glad you did!

Improving your overall health

Your lifestyle plays a major role in improving your overall health. As we age, it’s important to stay fit by building more activity into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean having to run marathons or power lift- you can simply walk instead of driving, take stairs instead of elevators, or even play indoor recreational sports like golf or tennis. The key is fitting in an extra 10,000 steps a day. It might seem like a lot, but if you break it up throughout your day (such as walking to work), you’ll be surprised at how quickly those steps add up! If nothing else, try adding just one more mile every week. You may be surprised at how much better you feel!

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