No-fuss, simple exercises when you wake up!
On most days, when we roll out of our beds very reluctantly, the gym is probably not the best thing we look forward to going to in the morning before a hectic day. Well, probably after reading this, you'll be a happier person to know that you can successfully and safely exercise in the morning without hitting the gym.
Contrary to common belief, studies have shown that strenuous exercise may not be good for your immune system. What your body needs is gentle activity to stir up the brain and body, mobilise joints, activate the postural muscles and raise and heart rate after a good night's rest.
Here's workout sequence that will take you just a few minutes - perform it on waking to start your day feeling energised.
- On waking up, while you're still in bed, take a few deep breaths and take a good stretch from the tips of the fingers to the toes.
- Next, pull up your knees to your chest and hug them. Then, drop them to your left, at the same time take your head over to the opposite side; take a breath here, and as you exhale, bring back the knees to centre and bend them over to the right. Now take the head to the left.
- Bring your legs off the bed and let it lose. Keep your feet hip distance apart and flat on the floor. Bend down so that your torso is over your thighs, and let your arms to drop to the floor. Stay in this position for a moment then grasp your lower legs with your hands and pull up so that you are on your back. Let go and roll back up to an upright position. Now take your hands behind your back and interlock them. Straighten up and feel a stretch across the chest and front of the shoulders. Hold for a moment and then release.
- Next, stand up straight and let your feet be in line with the hips. Then, swing your arms around your body - the left arm goes behind left hip while right arm goes over the body; let the head follow the movement. Repeat in the opposite direction and continue to a count of 30.
- Lock your hands and lift them overhead, with palms facing down. Keeping your tummy engaged, bend your torso to one side, take a breath and as you exhale, come back through centre and bend to the other side.
- Next, take your pillow and place it between your thighs. Then bend the legs into a half-squat, squeezing the cushion and pressing the buttocks together. Pause for a couple of seconds, and then stand up before lowering into the next repetition. Do this 10 times, squeezing the cushion throughout. This great exercise mobilizes the large muscles in the legs and buttocks.
- Walk your hands out until you are lying flat on the floor, face down. You can rest your forehead on your hands. Keeping your hipbones pressing down into the floor, bring each foot alternately into the bottom and out straight again. Do this rhythmically, counting to 30.
- Next, push yourself back, so that you are on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Pull in the tummy and round the back up, and let your head bend. Pause, then arch the back and lift the head. Repeat thrice and then rock back to your feet and keeping knees slightly bent, roll back up to standing.
You probably wouldn't classify this as a complete workout. Nevertheless it will invigorate your mind and body and boost your systems to keep you going through the day.