Quick 5 Minute Exercise to Get You Charged Up in the Morning

5 Minute Morning Stretch Sequence to Wake You Up

How would you describe your morning routine?

The alarm goes off in the morning. After hitting snooze (twice!) you roll out of bed and into the shower. Struggle to get dressed and wander to the kitchen for some breakfast. Suddenly realising the time, you grab everything you need and run out the door. Still feeling sleepy, you’re looking forward to that first coffee to pep you up.

Or.

You roll out of bed once your first alarm goes off. After a few super-simple stretches, you can feel the blood pumping around your body. Awake, you jump into the shower then cruise into the kitchen for breakfast, looking forward to the day. Because you’re already charged up, you decide to skip your morning coffee and arrive early to the office to tackle the day – full of energy.

Okay so most of us probably identify more with the former than the latter. But doing a few quick exercises in the morning to wake you up can have an amazing impact on how the rest of your day goes. This workout takes only a few minutes, but you’ll be left feeling charged up and ready to face the day, instead of sluggish and wishing you could go back to bed.

Why not give it a go tomorrow morning and see what a difference it can make for you?

What you need: Nothing! (although a thick towel or mat helps for cold hard floors).

1. Reach for the Sky

Stand with your feet shoulder with apart. Reach your arms above your head, stretching your fingers as if you’re trying to touch the ceiling. While extended, gently rise up onto your toes and hold for a few seconds. Gently come back down to neutral and repeat twice more.

2. Elephant pose

From your standing position, bend forward until your hands touch the ground. Gently walk your hands forward until your shoulders are over your hands, with your bum in the air. Gently sway from side to side, feeling the movement in your hips and shoulders. Walk your hands back to your toes and repeat another two times.

3. Cobra stretch

From the neutral position above, walk your hands all the way forward until your torso and hips are touching the floor. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and push up, pushing your shoulders back and down. Keep your neck and head lose and don’t try to push your body too far. Release and return to the resting plank position, with hands under shoulders. Repeat two more times.

4. Side hip stretch

From your resting plank position, gently roll over onto your back. Lift your right leg towards your chest and then cross it over your body, keeping it at a 90 degree angle. Rest your left hand on your right knee, while you turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the left side.

5. Back stretch

Roll back onto your stomach and slowly push yourself up to the neutral standing position with feet together. Lean forward and wrap your arms around the back of your knees. If you can’t reach that far, grab the back of your thighs, just above the knee joint. Holding on, gently pull your back upwards, arching it towards the ceiling. Use the resistance of your arms to control the stretch through your back and shoulders. Keep your neck and head loose. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then release. Repeat two more times. Then gently roll yourself up into neutral.

This simple exercise sequence will wake you up and get your muscles warm for the day ahead.

Image via: Flickr/David Siu