Morning Exercise - How I Got Started and How You Can Too!
photo credit - Womens Fitness Magazine
Following a daily exercise program in the morning can seem to be to much to add to your schedule. BUT exercising in the morning increases your chances of achieving your fitness goals. I have found that exercising in the morning is not only energizing but that during the course of the day I feel better. I actually have MORE energy!! I have a plan that I do every morning. It was tough at first and sometimes I fall off the old routine but I always go back. I just feel better with that extra "umph!" in the morning!
Here are some guidelines that I follow. They helped me put together an exercise program that really works for me. Give it some thought and do what is best for you! These are guidelines not law. The main thing is go for a morning routine to get the best benefits for health and wellness!
Schedule your daily exercise. Choose a time that's unlikely to be interrupted by other demands. For example, schedule exercise before other household members get up. Write your exercise schedule in a prominent place such as on a wall calendar or perhaps enter it on your phone to hold yourself accountable.
Warm up with light exercise such as marching in place, using a treadmill or walking to begin your morning exercise session. Warm up each time you exercise, whether it's a cardio day or a strength-training session. The warm-up increases blood flow and oxygen to your muscles, raises your heart rate and prepares your body for exercise.
Perform cardio at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Increase your cardio sessions gradually to 60 to 90 minutes a day if you want to lose weight, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Walk briskly, power walk, use an exercise machine such as a stepper or perform an aerobic routine like dancing, step aerobics or kickboxing.
Perform moderate-intensity cardio for 30 minutes five days a week, or vigorous-intensity cardio three days a week. You may need to increase your cardio sessions to 60 to 90 minutes a day if you want to lose weight, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Engage in strength-training exercises at least twice a week to retain muscle mass. Perform eight to 10 repetitions of eight to 10 different exercises, such as squats, modified pushups, dips, rows, pullups, lunges, flys and butterflies. Strength training maintains your metabolism for weight loss or weight maintenance, in addition to improving your endurance.
Stretch for at least 10 minutes after each morning exercise session. Stretching improves your range of motion and can help reduce your risk of injury. Include a yoga practice, tai chi or qigong as part of your morning routine to improve flexibility and balance. Flexibility and balance training can improve exercise performance and help reduce your risk of falls, an especially important benefit for older adults.
Sources - American College of Medicine
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