Don’t have time for the gym today? Be the most efficient multitasker by throwing simple exercises into your morning routine. Even though it’s not a sweaty, hour-long workout, you’re still reaping benefits. Every little bit counts!
Calf raises: If you’re standing in front of the mirror doing your hair, throw in 10 calf raises. Try a few single-leg raises, too. Working the gastrocnemius (scientist-speak for “calf”) will act as a pump for your blood from the lower body to the upper half. In fact, it’s called the peripheral heart.
Pelvis tucks: Stand while eating breakfast or checking your morning batch of emails. With feet hip-width apart, pull the belly button in toward the spine as you rock your pelvis underneath. Then rock your hips backward so you’re basically simulating a standing cat-cow stretch with a focus on the pelvis. This is an awesome way to warm up your lower back for the day and show the abs some love.
Plié holds: Make brushing your teeth or packing lunches even more efficient by dropping into a plié and holding it through the burn. Add a relevé if you’re feeling adventurous. This constant contraction will wake up the heart, lungs and lower body muscles. Click here for a visual.
>> Read more: Good Morning Yoga: Sleepy to Spirited in 10 Minutes
Hip rolls: As you walk around the house, pick one leg up with your knee bent and foot relaxed. Open the leg up and out to the side, rolling the hip. Set your foot back on the floor and switch to the other side. You might look a little goofy, but opening up your gait will help your posture and pelvic alignment.
Shower stretches: A nice hot shower will refresh your senses in the morning. Add some stretching, like opening your chest by pressing one arm against the wall. With your back to the water, try extending one foot in front of you and reaching for it. Make sure you have space and balance. Sometimes, a nice head roll is all you need.
Want to work out in the morning, but don’t know how to keep up with the habit? Click here for a few simple tips to get you started.