Various studies show that exercising in the morning can boost your mood, motivation, and productivity throughout the day. And the good news is, you don’t have to work out for hours every day to reap the benefits, because not all of us have time for that- you can do a few moves each day and still feel better!
There are so many forms of exercise, from new Peloton bikes to HIIT (high-intensity interval training), running, walking, biking, yoga, strength training, and so on. While these moves will boost your mood and make you feel better, experiment with different forms of exercise to find something you love. You will be far more motivated to work out if it’s something you enjoy.
With that being said, give these simple moves a try, and you will be happy you did.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your side. Step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee while you do. Stop as your tight becomes parallel to the ground. And do not let your right knee move past your right foot. Use your knee to push you back up and return to starting. Try with your other leg and repeat 10 reps in three sets.
Position yourself almost like a pushup, but the balance on your forearms, rather than your hands. Lift your body and make a straight line from your head to feet, and hold for 20 seconds while steadying your breathing. Rest for 30 seconds in between and repeat.
3. Go for a brisk walk.
Walking is a highly-underrated exercise. Walking briskly for even just 20-minutes a day can work wonders for your physical and mental health. “Walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for several diseases — diabetes and heart disease, for example,” says Harvard Medical School. “A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.”
Stand straight, with your feet a little wider than shoulder-length apart. Hold your arms at your side, hold in your core and hold your chest and chin up. Push your hips back and bend your knees, like you are sitting in a chair. Don’t let your legs bow inward or outward, and go low enough to where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold your arms out comfortably and hold it. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.
5. Cat-Cow Stretch
Get down on all fours and invert your back and push your chest up and your chin. Inhale as you do this, and hold for a second, before rounding your back like a spooked cat. Exhale as you do this. Repeat this move about 10 times.
6. Jumping jacks.
Jumping jacks are a simple and fun way to get your heart rate up. Stand with your feet together and jump as you spread your arms and legs (making an x with your body.) Repeat this for a minute.
Yet another fun way to get your heart rate up. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can mimic the move with your hands and legs like you do. Jump for a minute, rest for a minute, repeat. Do this for 10 minutes. Here’s a video to show you how you can mix it up and make it fun.
Burpees are highly-effective because they use your entire body to build strength and get your heart rate up. Stand up straight, your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin to squat, with your hands in front of you. When your hands touch the ground, pop your legs into the pushup position. Jump your legs forward to your hands, stand up straight, bring your arms above your head, and jump. Do ten reps, three sets.
9. Happy-baby pose.
This is such a good stretch and is perfect for after a more difficult workout, to stretch sore muscles, or just to get a good stretch in, in general. Lay on your back. Lift your knees while keeping your hips down. Grab your feet and hold them from the bottom. Pull your knees toward your chest, while keeping your hands around your feet. Stay in this post for a minute.
10. Leg raise.
Lie flat on your back with your arms at your side and your legs extended. Lift them slowly toward the ceiling, while keeping them straight until your butt leaves the ground. Slowly lower them back down until they are just off the ground, and hold, and repeat. Try 10 reps for 3 sets.