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Sacrificing a few Zzzz’s

waking upToday’s post was inspired by a tweet I read earlier today. @erinaleach wrote, “Guess it’s true that you never regret a workout.” After reading those words I found myself flashing back to all the times I had to convince myself that I wanted to workout; telling myself that later I would feel so energized, refreshed, and accomplished. Many of you know that I have been waking up before work to go run on the beach. Even knowing that the beautiful Hilton Head beach sunrise is awaiting me every morning, I still find it almost impossible not to re-set my clock for an hour later when I would normally wake for work. On days that I’ve hit snooze 3 or 4 times and am on the verge of pushing back the alarm, I think to myself, “Alicea, there really hasn’t been a workout that you have regretted doing in order to get that extra sleep.” So, I’m going to actually have to agree with @erinaleach’s words.

No matter how many times I’ve heard that exercise gives you more energy throughout the day, I have never actually believed it until now. Several studies have found that when sedentary people exercise, they feel fewer symptoms of fatigue throughout the day. But if you’re like me and wait until the last minute possible to get out of your cozy bed, then you may need to find a mantra or wake up routine that works best for you. If telling yourself that there’s never a workout that you’ll regret doesn’t work for you, try setting a radio alarm, or opening the blinds as soon as you wake up.  Take the time to power up in the mornings and you’ll be in a better mood throughout the rest of the day.

Here are a few morning exercises you should try:

  • Walking – Walking in the mornings is a great way to loosen up your joints, but also to clear your head for the day. Taking a 20 minute stroll around the block gives you time to focus while knocking out a mile before even starting the day.
  • Yoga (Sun Salutations) – I think more than anything else, Sun Salutations get me ready to start the day. These simple strength and flexibility movements, along with deep, focused breathing can be done anywhere and help tone your arms and abs. (click here to view Amber’s Sun Salutation video)
  • Strength training – Starting the day with a few strength exercises really loosens up your muscles. Add 5 minutes of cardio for every 10 minutes of strength and you’ve already got in your balanced workout for the day.
  • Stretching – Sometimes we overlook the value of a nice, deep stretch. As we age, our muscles tighten but stretching improves your range in motion and reduces your chance of injury. Stretching in the morning is a great way to get your circulation going so you are ready for the day.
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