The Best Morning Yoga and Workout Routine

SUNRISE HIKES

Whether you walk the dog, stroll to the office or hike for fitness, a morning walk can do wonders for your activity and health goals, especially if you can do it in a green space. Walking provides a great chance to unplug, so silence your phone and head out the door.

WHY IT WORKS: Our sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm) relies on exposure to light. With the right light in the morning, the brain’s pineal gland turns the production of sleep-inducing melatonin off. By heading outside, you’ll be getting a good dose of light to help you feel awake for the day. And there’s more – data from Stanford University in America reveals that a person’s creative thinking improves while walking and shortly afterwards. Great news if you’re heading into the office post-stroll. TRY: Find walking too easy? Speed up, head for the hills, or gradually increase the distance you cover.

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GROUP WORKOUTS

Early morning is a great time to hit the gym. The weights room is quiet, many machines are free and the gym classes have available spaces. If you struggle to wake up in the morning to work out, group exercise classes have a fantastic way of making you feel accountable for sticking to the schedule.

WHY IT WORKS: Turns out peer pressure can do good. According to 2016 research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, exercising with others could increase the amount of activity you do. In fact, research participants who worked out with a companion stressed that emotional support and encouragement from their comrade were instrumental in increasing their commitment to an exercise regime. Now’s the time to find a gym buddy. TRY: Whether you want to go to Pilates or out for a run, try persuading a fit friend to join you on your morning schedule – you’ll feel more inclined to turn up to training.

MOBILITY MOVES

Greet the day with a mobility routine. Dynamic and active stretches loosen up stiff, tight muscles after a long night spent lying down, often in the same position. Exercising with resistance bands is a great way to boost flexibility, mobility and strength in one go, and bands are an easy bit of kit to store at home. Handy.

WHY IT WORKS: If you’re heading to the office to spend time sitting at a computer, it pays to do mobility moves in the morning. Sitting at a desktop overstretches back muscles, tightens chest muscles and switches off the glute muscles. By increasing the range of motion at joints and muscles, mobility exercise has been linked to improvements in posture, fewer aches and pains, boosted blood flow and heightened energy levels. TRY: If you’re desk-bound, focus on activating your glutes with a mixture of banded glute bridges, crab walks and banded squats.

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