Author: James O’Sullivan • Fact checked by: Gainful Registered Dietitians • July 19, 2022
How do we beat that early morning grogginess the right way?
Many of us are so accustomed to rolling out of bed and dragging ourselves to the coffee maker that we don’t even consider any other options to give us that good morning boost. While useful, caffeinated beverages can quickly turn into something we over-rely on.
And considering the potential side effects of drinking too much caffeine, we just might end up further contributing to our poor quality sleep if we rely on it too heavily. Downing endless cups of coffee just to feel energized could interfere with quality sleep the following night.
Fortunately, there are other ways to support energy levels at the start of the day. Exercising in the morning could be a fulfilling way to boost your energy levels as long as you commit to the routine.
The best wellness, fitness, or nutrition regimen is the one you can stick to.
If you’ve struggled to stick to a morning fitness routine in the past, we’re here to offer some tips and tricks to jumpstart your mornings and power through.
What better way to get your blood pumping than with exercise?
From a run to even a short dumbbell set at the gym, exercise is a great way to shake off the last remnants of sleepiness. In fact, early morning exercise has been shown to boost energy levels throughout the day for up to 24 hours.
You don’t need to complete a complicated or specific workout routine when you wake up to get this benefit — any form of movement that gets your heart pumping and keeps you motivated to come back for more can benefit your energy levels throughout the rest of your day. Do what works for you.
If you’re up for the early morning grind, morning exercise is an absolute game-changer for getting that energy boost for the day.
Going for a run or a walk is a great way to get your blood pumping in the morning. To begin with, it requires you to get up and out of the house unless you have a treadmill at home.
Even a light jog gets your heart pumping, contributing to a runner’s high that improves your perceived energy levels so you can jumpstart your day. String up your running shoes and get out there with a fulfilling morning run.
Jumping jacks are another exercise that you can try to start off your morning with movement that is familiar and uncomplicated. They’re not limited by equipment or space, so you can do them from the comfort of your home. Even 50 jumping jacks can help you get your heart rate up, which in turn helps warm up your muscles and wake your body. It’s a great warm-up to get your energy going early in the day.
Getting your day started with approachable exercise routines can have a real impact in transforming your fitness strategy and your life. Not only are you getting your body more exercise, but you’re starting your day with a worthwhile accomplishment.
A little more intensive than simple stretches, yoga can be a great way to loosen up tight or cold muscles in the early morning hours.
Even with the more basic yoga poses, you’re similarly activating your muscles as you would with a good stretch, getting the blood flow pumping through your body. Breathing exercises that accompany many yoga sequences get your body flushed with oxygen. This blood being sent to your muscles works to improve your perceived energy levels.
Yoga has also been shown to improve our mental health. Yoga courses at home or in a studio can bring about a tranquil state of mind, which is just as important for getting loosened up for the day as breaking a sweat.
Using the elliptical, a bike, or a cycling machine, is an effective, low-impact aerobic activity that is easy on our bodies and great for our cardiovascular health. It’s easy on the knees, and it’s the kind of aerobic activity that allows you to work at a pace that suits you.
After getting up and out of bed, sometimes all we want to do is climb back in. Opting for a simple, slow bike ride around your neighborhood can be enough to wake you up a bit and get you feeling ready for the day.
Get leg day started with some early morning squats to loosen up. Squats are a great way to build muscle in your lower body, like your glutes, quads, and other muscles in your posterior chain.
They don’t necessarily require additional weights, like a kettlebell or resistance band. With proper form, you can achieve a solid squat using just your bodyweight. Just keep your feet shoulder-width apart and get your repetitions in.
Sit-ups are an anaerobic exercise easily done anywhere, at home or the gym. Your first sit-up of the day is when you get up and out of bed. Why not continue with a full set and get the blood pumping?
The CDC recommends that we dedicate at least two days to anaerobic strength training, with exercises that cover each of our muscle groups. Sit-ups can help condition our abdomen and lower back.
Push-ups are a well-rounded anaerobic exercise that utilizes your bodyweight, so there is no need for a kettlebell or barbell.
A push-up done right targets your chest, upper back, arms, and abdomen. That’s most of the major muscle groups in your upper body all in one go. Larger sets can be an energizing morning challenge covering your recommended strength training amount before the day begins.
And like sit-ups, push-ups are an exercise that you can do anywhere. They can be done at home, at the gym, or done on your run at stopping points. They’re a great way to get a burn in the morning and get loosened up.
Arm curls are a little more intensive than some of the other inclusions on this list. But picking up some dumbbells and doing some weight lifting in the morning can help you get momentum going as your day is getting started.
When it comes to strength training, it’s important to know your limits. When not done with consideration, you increase your risk of injury. Supplemental creatine has been shown to help with recovery post-workout and even help prevent injury to our muscles in the first place.
Planks are a great way to target almost all of your muscle groups. It’s another exercise you can do anywhere, making it an easy part of your morning routine for when you’ve just rolled out of bed. All you have to do is keep your starting position and let your body weight do the work.
Planks can increase your back strength, and the fact that they cover so many muscle groups lets you check off multiple fitness boxes for the day.
What better way to shake off the rest of the sleepiness than jumping in a cool pool and doing a few laps for some early morning cardio?
Swimming is one of the most efficient exercises you can do. It’s also very low impact, meaning that you’re very unlikely to injure yourself while doing it. It’s a full-body workout, from your shoulders to your hamstrings, making the most of your time.
If you have access to a pool, swimming can be a great way to kick off your morning.
Some people might not consider stretching an exercise per se–it’s more exercise adjacent. But stretching, whether technically exercising or not, is super important to our continued fitness and a great way to get limber before you get your day started.
Stretching each muscle group can help us reduce our risk of getting injured while doing physical activities. Stretching also increases blood flow to your muscles.
After laying down all night in bed, getting some blood flowing through your muscles can help you get up and running. From your shoulder blades down to your lower body, it’s up to you where you want to get a good stretch in.
Dynamic stretching can be an especially effective way to start your day off right. Dynamic stretching involves movements that help stretch your muscles to their full range of motion, allowing you to wake up and relieve any tightness that may have settled in your muscles overnight.
Here at Gainful, we work hard to eliminate obstacles so that you feel empowered to achieve and exceed your fitness and wellness goals.
If you’re looking to start your days on the right foot, our Personalized Pre-Workout can give you the right boost of energy to power you through an early morning workout, and our Personalized Hydration formula can help you recuperate after the fact.
Gainful Personalized Pre-Workout has everything you need to fuel your body before you get moving.
Our Pre-Workout contains l-theanine for improved focus, BCAAs to aid muscle growth and recovery, creatine for strength and endurance, and beta alanine to support workout intensity. You can also choose to add in just the right amount of caffeine to reduce fatigue perception without causing jitters.
Now that you’ve given your body the proper fuel, let’s get into it. Here are just a few exercises that will help you get loosened up and ready to have a great day.
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