5 Easy Exercises to Start the Day Off Right
Some people just naturally wake up feeling fresh, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day. And then there's the rest of us. If you can avoid hitting that snooze button and throw on your sneakers, the rest of the day will be a piece of cake. Here are five quick, light workouts sure to jumpstart your day - even if you're not exactly a morning person.
Jumpstart the Morning with a Jog
Nothing beats a morning jog or run to kick off the day. Get your dose of fresh air as you work your body into a cardio beat and enjoy the feel of being outdoors. If you're a dedicated runner, you don't have to feel too guilty about missing out on other exercises. Running will ensure you stay healthy and fit. This routine not only helps you maintain your weight, but it also helps you build stronger bones and keep your blood pressure low and constant. If the weather doesn't cooperate, a treadmill can do the trick. Some of the latest models feature programs that adjust everthing from incline to deck cushioning to make your workout feel like an outdoor run.
Stretching your muscles can squeeze out any leftover sluggishness and get your limbs going. Whether you're doing light yoga or a simple routine, there are many benefits. Stretching can help your muscles and joints achieve full range of motion as well as improve endurance and performance during other physical activities.
The most basic stretch is standing with your feet together and bending over to touch the floor with your palms flat down. You can also interlace your fingers and raise your arms overhead for a side body stretch to the left and right. While lying down on a yoga mat, hug your right knee to your chest. Then simply fold it over to the left side in a gentle twisting motion. Make sure your left arm stretches out along the ground to the right side, and repeat it on the opposite side. With a few relaxing positions like these, you'll sort out all those kinks in your system.
This is a great way to boost your cardiovascular health and tone muscles, especially your calves and deltoids. Plus, it's not too hard to do. Stand with your feet together and then jump while spreading your arms and legs. Come back to your original position and then keep going. You can also bring your arms up to meet over your head as you jump. See how many jumping jacks you can do in a minute and slowly try to build the number up over a period of time.
What you'll need: body weights
Push Up to Wake Up
Power pushups are a great way to get your adrenaline pumping. Get into a kneeling posture and then push your hips up and behind so that your body looks like an upside down "V." Bend your knees and press your chest back towards your thighs. You can then shift your weight forward, extend your legs and hips, bending your elbows into a full pushup. Pull your hips back up and return to the original V-position, keeping your knees bent. Repeat the pattern as many times as you can in the span of one minute.
If this is too hard, try keeping your knees on the ground. This will put most of the emphasis on your upper body and lessen the impact on your knees, hips and calves.
What you'll need: activity & heart rate trackers
Leg squats improve knee and hip stability and strengthen your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. You can always wear body weights to add some intensity to your morning routine. Stand in a way that your legs are a bit further out from your hips. Stretch your arms straight ahead and lower yourself to a 90-degree angle, as if you are going to sit down. Three sets of 15 reps each are perfect for that jolt of energy in the morning.