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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 July 18, 2019

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

1. Planks

Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

2. Side Planks

To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

3. Reverse Crunches

The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

4. Flutter Kicks

The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

5. Arms High Sit-Ups

Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

6. L-Sits

The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

7. Stomach Vacuums

And now for something different!

It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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8. Star Planks

Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

9. Boat Pose

Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

10. Mountain Climbers

Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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11. Russian Twists

Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

The Bottom Line

The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

Give them a shot!

Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

Reference

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