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What’s your idea of the advantages of being an early bird? Getting the freshest donuts at Winchell’s? Catching the $5.99 Early Bird Special at IHOP? Nabbing the complimentary All- You -Can- Eat- Breakfast at the Day’s Inn. Let it never be said that you are not ambitious. However, it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” By these standards, you’ve definitely nailed the wealthy and wise part, just not too sure about the healthy.
The morning offers a lot of advantages, and, believe it or not, they aren’t all centered around large quantities of food. The morning is also a great time to exercise. If you have never heard of a neural morning primer (NMP), the concept is simple. It’s a 5 to 10-minute workout designed to kick-start your nervous system, circulation, and hormones and give your brain a big boost of oxygen. If you feel like the NMP is worth your looking into, let’s look into it!
You Must Do It Immediately Upon Waking Up…
So you might have to skip the donuts. NMP has to be done in a fasted state to improve sensitivity to insulin and wake up your human growth hormone.
It Requires At Least One High Impact Movement
Because the main goals of the NMP are to get your blood pumping, your muscles working and your metabolism in high gear, a minimum of one explosive exercise should be incorporated. You need to do something to get your body from 0-10 before you forget what you were dreaming about last night. If you are especially athletic, you may want to try tornado jumping jacks, in which you jump, spinning your body 90 to 180 degrees, or you may want to try explosive push ups. However, if lunges and jump squats are more in your comfort zone, they will work as well.
It Must Include A Static Stretch
Of course, our body tends to be pretty stiff upon waking, but flexibility is key to athletic performance and should be worked on in daily exercise routines. Good static stretches include lunges and squats with 3 second holds at the bottom and top of the movement.
Keep The Routine Short
If you overdo your morning workout, you will be tired for the rest of the day which will make physical activity pretty rough for the rest of the day. After all, you don’t want to be too tired for the lunchtime shopping spree you had planned. If you are going to formulate a workout you are going to want to do on a regular basis, don’t push yourself too hard. Fifteen minutes is a good length for a morning routine and will leave you time for other morning priorities.
Tailor It To Fit your Goals
What part of the body do you want to target? Chest and butt? Squat, thrust and press. Abs? Sit ups or curls. Arms? Push ups. You get the picture!
A good example of an effective NMP routine might start with 8-15 repetition of a lower body exercise with a static hold, a 20 to 30 second stretch of hamstring and glute -focused exercise, followed by 8-15 repetitions of some kind of upper body movement. Maintain a static core exercise, like planking, for 15- 30 seconds and then work your lower body, doing 8-12 reps per leg. Finish with an explosive exercise for the lower body. This should be performed in a circuit with a minimum of breaks in between. It should be done once a day, and twice on non workout days. If you do it twice, give yourself a 20 – 30 second rest period between routines.
What do you think of the early morning exercise? Is it worth missing out on the complimentary coffee at MacDonald’s? Let us know what you think and when you think is the best time of day to exercise and why.