A High-Intensity Workout + Stretch You Can Use All Summer

Written by Julie Wilcox

Even though wellness and a commitment to feeling good are my passion and my life's work, sometimes even I feel like hell in the morning and the last thing I want to do is get out of bed.

But I always feel better when I push myself to exercise. That's why I've organized some tips to help you get moving on those days when it's the last thing you want to do.

Why You'd Want to Exercise In the Morning:

Exercise conquers bad moods and low energy states. It's totally worth the time and slug (don’t worry if you stick with it you will learn to love it), even if its effects last for just a few hours (the post-workout high can wear off when other stressful daily curveballs come careening at us).

Furthermore, sweat sessions are most effective when done in the morning because they will help you start your day with a positive attitude. They also rev up all metabolic systems setting your body and mind up to function at their highest levels all day long!

However you decide to cut it, The American Heart Association and many other national organizations recommend 150 minutes of light to moderate cardio and 75 minutes of vigorous cardio as a minimum amount of exercise for the researched health benefits of working out.

Working out can seem like drudgery until you get good at it and reap its benefits. Once you hit the key threshold, when your body adapts to the new aerobic demands and begins releasing the "feel-good hormones" called endorphins, you'll feel the high with which the rest of us exercisers walk around all day! Over time, you will increase your chances of disease prevention and injury.

5 Quick Tips To Get Yourself Ready For A Morning Workout:

  1. Lay out your clothes the night before and take pride in your workout style. Looking good helps us to feel good!
  2. Plan your pre and post workout meals. I recommend a coffee and my banana smoothie for before a workout (give yourself 1 hour to digest) and oatmeal with cardamom, cinnamon, walnuts and pure maple syrup for after your exercise.
  3. Have an amazing playlist ready.
  4. Know your workout goals.
  5. Establish a plan such as your distance, route, time, HIIT moves and post-workout yoga poses the night before.

5 Minute HIIT Routine

The Moves

  • 1-minute Jump Rope
  • 1-minute Cherry Picker Crawls (more info below)
  • 1-minute Jumping Jacks
  • 1-minute Side Reaches
  • 1-minute Squat Jumps

Note: If you need to take a break between moves, feel free to do so! Start with 15 or 30-second breaks and then close the gap as your body adapts to the routine over time. The idea is to build toward doing all of the moves in in rapid succession without stopping!

You can easily make this a 10-minute workout. Simply repeat this sequence starting from the top!

Want even more? Choose a couple of moves and add a minute to each — for instance do 2 minutes of Jump Rope or Jumping Jacks instead of 1-minute each. Or, do a third round of all the moves.

How to Do A Cherry Picker Crawl

1. Stand tall with your legs slightly wider than hip distance apart. Engage your core.

2. Touch your hands to your hips, then shoulders and then extend your arms towards the ceiling. Suck your core in and up as you do this. Without stopping, touch your hips again and walk your hands forward until your body assumes a straight plank pose (like the top of a push-up).

3. In your plank, which you're only holding for 1 second, your hands should be shoulder-width apart, pelvic bowl neutral and legs in full extension. Suck your navel in towards your spine.

4. Walk your hands back in towards your feet. Stand up.

Don't forget to stretch after your workout!

Post Workout Short Morning Yoga Sequence

  • Fan Pose A
  • Side Angle
  • Triangle
  • Forward Bend
  • 1 Sun Breath
  • 1 Sun Salute
  • Downward Dog
  • Pigeon
  • Child's Pose

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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