How to become a morning exerciser - Juice Daily
Photo: iStock

How to become a morning exerciser

When you’re more used to hitting snooze than the pavement in the wee hours, having a laundry list of the health benefits is hardly enough incentive to get you laced up and out the door. But hear us out: A morning sweat session helps sharpen your senses, boost energy, and improve the quality of your sleep. Not to mention, morning exercisers are more consistent than those who work out in the afternoon.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, all is not lost. This 4-week plan designed by personal trainer, Adam Friedman, will help ease you into morning exercise. This month-long progressive program gradually increases the volume, intensity, duration, and timing of your workout, so you don’t have to sacrifice a minute of sleep, and you won’t burn out by day 5.

At the end of the 4 weeks, you may just find that getting up and going isn’t as much of a drag – and you may even look forward to it. Keep it up and you’ll be firmed, toned, and energised – all before your morning coffee.

Workout at a glance

What you’ll need: A light resistance band, a yoga mat, and a chair

3 days a week: Days 1, 3, and 5 focus on core work and cardio. While this plan emphasises walking and jogging, the most important thing is to get moving. If you absolutely despise running, try cycling or swimming.

2 days a week: Days 2 and 4 are devoted to resistance training. Perform each exercise consecutively, resting 10 to 15 seconds between each set. Then repeat from the beginning. It’s important to rest for 48 hours between resistance training sessions to allow your muscles to repair and recover.

Week 1

Go to bed and wake up 20 minutes earlier than you normally do.

Days 1, 3, and 5

  • Pre-stretch calves
  • Walk briskly around your neighborhood for 15 minutes
  • Post-stretch calves

Days 2 and 4

  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 30 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, hold 20 seconds)

Week 2

Go to bed and wake up 10 minutes earlier than you did in Week 1.

Days 1, 3, and 5

  • Pre-stretch glutes, hip flexors, and calves
  • Walk briskly for 10 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, then cool down for 5 minutes
  • Post-stretch glutes, hip flexors, and calves

Days 2 and 4

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 45 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, hold 25 seconds)
  • Pushups (2 sets, 10 reps)
  • Reverse fly with resistance band (2 sets, 10 reps)
  • Split squats (2 sets, 10 reps)
  • Post-stretch hip flexors

Week 3

Go to bed and wake up 10 minutes earlier than you did in Week 2.

Days 1, 3, and 5

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors and calves
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 60 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, hold 30 seconds)
  • Light jog for 10 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds (repeat interval 6 times); cool down for 5 minutes
  • Post-stretch hip flexors and calves

Days 2 and 4

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors and glutes
  • Hip raises (2 sets, 12 reps)
  • Split squats (2 sets, 12 reps)
  • Pushups (2 sets, 12 reps)
  • Reverse fly with resistance band (2 sets, 12 reps)
  • Bench dips (2 sets, 12 reps)
  • Post-stretch hip flexors, glutes, and chest

Week 4

Go to bed and wake up 10 minutes earlier than you did in Week 3.

Day 1

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 75 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, hold 35 seconds)
  • Light jog for 10 minutes, run for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds (repeat interval 10 times); cool down for 5 minutes
  • Post-stretch hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves

Days 2 and 4

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors and glutes
  • Hip raises (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Split squats (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Pushups (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Reverse fly with resistance band (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Bench dips (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Crunches (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Poststretch hip flexors, glutes, and chest

Day 3: Bike Ride Day

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors, hamstrings, calves
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 75 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, hold 35 seconds)
  • Pedal at low intensity for 10 minutes, high intensity for 60 seconds, then medium intensity for 3 minutes (repeat interval 10 times); cool down for 5 minutes
  • Post-stretch hip flexors, hamstrings, calves

Day 5: Hiking

  • Pre-stretch hip flexors and calves
  • Plank (2 sets, hold 75 seconds)
  • Side plank (2 sets, 35 seconds)
  • Go hiking at moderate intensity for 45 minutes

Rodalewellness.com

About the person who wrote this

Emily G. W. Chau

Liked this? Read these!

Got something to say? Get it off your chest here

The Juice Daily is a Fairfax Media owned website