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The ultimate morning routine

The ultimate morning routine

Are you the kind of person that hates waking up in the morning, feeling sluggish and slow as you struggle to get out of bed? Well, try the ultimate morning routine and feel the difference from day one!

It’s important to set a morning routine for yourself and be disciplined enough to stick with it. By doing so you can really give yourself an edge, increasing your morning productivity, efficiency and overall well-being. The ultimate morning routine outlined here can do just that!

First thing’s first, your morning routine needs to be really fine-tuned in order to get your life on track. One of the best things about having a routine is being able to leap out of bed in the morning and while on autopilot, blast through all of your morning activities, and even be early to work!

The strategies listed below will help you feel refreshed, energized and powerful before you take one step out the door. There will have been times where you’ve walked out of your house in the morning feeling amazing and because of this you’ve had such a successful day! However this might be quite a rare occurrence, with the ultimate morning routine shown below, you can feel like this every day!

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Wake up early!

This is the most vital step to feeling great in the morning. Ever get woken up by your alarm, only to press snooze, again and again and again… Then before you know it, you’ve overslept! You have 15 minutes to get ready for work! It’s a daunting challenge and rushing your morning like this can really put you in a bad mood! The snooze button is not your friend here. Get into the habit of leaping out of bed as soon as you hear the alarm.

Don’t forget that, being able to effectively wake up early in the morning, means having a good night’s sleep! Getting to bed at an appropriate hour is recommended. If your having trouble sleeping, make sure you stop watching television or using your laptop/smartphone in bed. The Bright light can stimulate you too much and can really be a detriment to a good night sleep.

There’s a huge trend with successful people waking up early in the morning! It boosts your productivity and mood, so if you want to get that promotion at work, start waking up early and get to work!

Lemon juice detoxing

You have a great opportunity every morning to boost your health and take it to the next level. Lemon juice detoxing is amazing for your body. As soon as you wake up, you want to start boiling the kettle.

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Grab yourself a lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze it all into a cup. Next get some very warm water and mix it with the lemon juice. There you have it, your lemon juice detox drink! Lemon juice is extremely alkalizing for the body, and will keep it healthy. Drinking this as part of your morning routine is perfect, because you gain more benefits by downing it on an empty stomach. The drink will help regulate your bowels, boost your energy and cleanse your system. It also gives you an abundance of vitamins so easily! Don’t forget that the warm water is also great for digestion and helps to keep things moving in the digestive tract!

By enjoying the lemon juice detox, drink daily or even 3 to 4 times a week, your body will start to feel revitalized before long and bursting with energy! Why not add a few other health boosting ingredients into the lemon juice drink such as: cinnamon, turmeric (don’t forget to add black pepper as well to boost your body’s absorption of turmeric) Oregano and ginger!

Morning workouts

Some people dread it, others love it! Morning workouts are so invigorating, and with enough time you will love it too! Morning workouts are so efficient – the gym is empty and you’re not waiting around to use gym equipment! -There are very little distractions as you can put your headphones on and blast some uplifting music to help you get the job done.

The morning workout is great for your metabolism! So if your trying to shed a few more pounds, make sure this is in your ultimate morning routine. Not to mention testosterone levels are high in the morning, which mean you can gain greater results and performance at the gym.

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Once you’ve finished your morning workout, you’re going to be feeling pumped up! A great feeling in the morning to help you feel powerful and strong! And now you’ve also finished your workout quota for the day, which means you don’t need to worry about getting back home late, or socializing after work. Go ahead, you deserve it!

Cold shower therapy

OK, so once you’ve finished your workout, it’s finally time to get ready for work! Get ready to have a shower, but in the ultimate morning routine, its not just any old shower, we’re going to do some cold shower therapy!

Cold shower therapy is amazing for your body! You can definitely feel the adrenaline rush and revitalizing energy flowing through your body once you’re done. It can be a daunting task for people who have never done this before, but once you get used to it there’s no going back!

Start off with some very warm water and relax yourself. Finish cleaning (body wash and shampoo etc.) before its time to get started. Now slowly turn the temperature down to a very cold setting.

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You may end up gasping for air due to the shock as it first hits your body. But don’t worry, cold water cant’ hurt you here, stay at this temperature for around 30 seconds and slowly turn the temperature back up. Let it get warmer and warmer and then finally to the hottest temperature you can handle without burning yourself. Stay at this temperature for around 30 seconds once more. Then to finish off… you’ve guessed it! Turn the temperature back onto to cold! Stay at this temperature for 30 seconds as usual before getting out of the shower. ‘Phew!’ And that’s the hardest part done, no one said the ultimate morning routine was easy!

The expanding and contracting of the body in these extreme and opposite temperatures gets the blood flow circulating. Plus it really wakes you up in the morning, instantly energizing you! Its great for your skin and promotes healing within the body. But I think the most important of all benefits is that it increases your mental fortitude! Disciplining yourself to take cold showers in the morning challenges yourself early in the day, so it’s like you’ve already jumped over a difficult hurdle, setting your mind in the right state for other challenges throughout the day!

Finishing off

OK, now you’ve had the lemon juice detox, morning workout and cold shower therapy! It’s time to refuel your body. Because of your morning workout, you’ve definitely worked up an appetite in the morning. This is great because eating larger meals in the morning and lighter meals at night is better for digestion and sleep quality! Make sure you eat enough protein and carbs. Why not wash it down with some coconut water to give that added health boost. Remember to drink plenty of water on your way to work as well!

And there you have it! The ultimate morning routine. Feel energized and invigorated every day. At first this may be really difficult or unusual to implement. But if you discipline yourself to stick with it long enough, you will definitely start seeing the results, such as increased health, productivity and mood!

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Published on March 8, 2019

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

Think about your current workouts:

If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

    Meet Strong Stan

    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

    Meet Flexible Fiona

    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

      Final Thoughts

      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

      Reference

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