early morning to the sound of your alarm clock and getting on your toes. The freshness in the morning breeze, the sound of the birds chirping and the pristine beauty of the rising sun has an electric impact on one's body and soul. All you've got to add is some music, so that your body can groove to the tunes. This not only lifts your mood and spirit, it also enables the mind to relax. Morning workout has the capacity to boost energy. It inhibits the feeling of lethargy, making one more productive at work. The brain works much faster, enhancing decision-making and uplifting a dreary and depressed mood. A strict morning workout affects one's metabolism too, making it faster and thus preventing the deposition of fats in the body.
According to Yoga expert, Shreya Sethi, "When we wake up, we open our eyes, yawn and stretch. We stretch because our body has been static and rigid through the night and movement helps in breaking that spell. It is almost like this - if we have a car, we will drive it. Parking it in your driveway since the day you buy it will only depreciate the value of your car and it will get rusted. Our body is exactly like that car. If we don't move, don't use our bones and muscles, they slowly start getting atrophied and lose their mobility. Exercise or yoga, on the other hand, is like the lubrication you need for your joints and muscles, which not only comes from the postures but also correct breathing."
According to Shrey Khanna, fitness consultant at S.Q.U.A.T.S, "In the early morning hours, crucial hormones (i.e., testosterone) that help build muscle mass are elevated in the body. By exercising in the morning, you're taking advantage of these naturally circulating hormones as they're peaking, rather than later in the day when they're lower. Another reason to exercise in the morning is that it leaves time for other priorities. Moreover, your metabolic rate will receive a quick boost, allowing you to burn more calories for the rest of the day."
Here are a few exercises that individuals must incorporate into their lifestyle -
1. Full Body Stretches
Full body stretches involve dynamic stretches. It touches every joint of the body, improving mobility, and is the starting point for warming up your body in order to start the exercises. It also possesses the ability to bring about equilibrium in the mood.
Also read: (Why You Should Start Your Day With a Glass of Warm Water)
Squats are one of the most helpful morning workouts. "Squats help in working your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes," says Shrey Khanna.
Click here to know more - How to Squats, and Five Variations
- Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up. In order to focus, you can choose a point infront of you. This will disallow diversion of attention.
- Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
- Repeat this for both the legs.
- Just like squats, lunges also exercise the quadriceps and hamstrings.
Push-ups are tough to perfect and perform in larger numbers, but they are very effective in building strength and stamina. They help to work the major muscle pectoral and the minor triceps.
Click here to know more - How to Do Push-Ups
Planks may look easy to perform but don't let its simplicity fool you. It works miraculously to strengthen your core.
Click here to know more - How to Do Planks
6. Mountain Climbers
For this, firstly, get into a plank position and pull one knee upwards and in towards your stomach. Repeat the same with the other knee and continue doing it simultaneously. It's as if you are climbing a mountain. Mountain climbers and planks help in engaging your full core, ie abs, oblique's and serrates.
"You can combine all these six exercises, repeating them three to four times. Start with squats, then without rest move on to lunges. Rest for a minute and then do the plank and the other exercises. Rest for a minute and repeat. Do these exercises every morning, 10 minutes before you go for a bath and start your day. They will get the blood pumping, help you feel fresher, relieve stress and improve concentration," says Shrey.
7. Surya Namaskar
An ancient yoga asana, Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is performed in the morning to show respect to the Sun God who is the source of all life forms, and also to recharge your body from within, activating various energy points.
Click here to know more - How to Do Surya Namaskar
8. Child's Pose or Balasana
This yoga posture is easy to perform, but one must pay attention to the breathing. It stretches the muscles at the spine, ankles, hips and shoulders, making you feel relaxed and stimulating digestion.
Click here to know more - How to Do Balasana
9. Cat Pose or Bidalasana
According to Shreya Sethi, "move into a tabletop position with the wrists directly beneath the shoulders and the knees beneath the hips. Press the palms into the mat to ensure your shoulder blades are broad. As you inhale, look forward, or up if it's comfortable for your neck, reaching the tailbone toward the sky, arching your back. Then exhale as you tuck the chin to the chest and reach the tailbone to the floor, curling your back. Continue through this movement, allowing the breath to lead and feeling the entire spine being massaged. Try to keep the creases of the elbows facing each other the entire time to protect the joint from hyperextension. Breathe through 5 rounds, or longer if it feels good."
"This posture is in flow with the long breaths you have in the morning after rest, allowing your spinal cord to slowly get comfortable and flexible, which is required due to the pressure we put on it. This pressure is because of postures that strain the spinal cord through the day that includes sitting, standing and walking."
10. Half Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana
"In this position there is a strong twist on the spine and abdomen. The right arm is pressed against the left knee and the left arm is wrapped behind the back, leading to an increased twist on the body. The chest is open and the spine is erect. One side of the abdomen is compressed and the other side is stretched. The right leg and knee remain on the floor. The left knee should be close to the right armpit and then repeated on the other side."
"Inhale and exhaling twist the trunk of the body as much as possible, turning the neck so the gaze is over the left shoulder and encircle the waist with the left hand with the palm facing outwards. Continue to maintain the asana, breathing normally."
"This posture is great to do in the morning because it opens up each vertebrae and increases the blood flow between them. It increases oxygen supply to the lungs and it also helps stimulate the internal organs, promoting healthy digestion and encouraging detoxification. Hence a good pose to do before breakfast, which will keep you energised through the day," adds Shreya.
Thus, a great start to a fine morning is a rigorous workout and it keeps the rest of your day running smoothly.
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There isn't anything more productive than waking up