Make Your Morning Hours Count

BREATHING - THE SECRET TO PAIN FREE STRENGTH TRAINING

Do you believe your body is only capable of low-level activities such as restorative yoga and Pilates?  Has a medical professional scared you out of ever lifting weights?  Have you tried lifting weights by yourself or with a trainer but ended up hurt and feeling miserable?  If so, let me share a secret with you.  Did you know people breathe over 20,000 times a day?  Any movement performed that many times will have an effect on the rest of the body and its ability to move and perform well.

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TAKE A BREATH: YOU DESERVE IT

Are you a worrier? Are you constantly stressed?  Women tend to be worriers. They worry about everything and everyone before taking care of themselves. If there was an imaginary cup that would dictate how much stress women can handle, many of them are definitely letting their cups overflow, taking in more than they can handle.  When is the time for women to do something that makes them happier and healthier?  Do they have to wait for the rare vacation, the random spa days or the occasional girls’ night out?

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IS IT EVER TO LATE TO START MOVING BETTER?

With a society that sits all day, works too long and doesn’t stay active, we have seen a huge decline in people’s quality of life.  At our gym, we see many people in their 50s and 60s who come in their first day with a belief they’re “getting old.” They believe their movement quality has no choice but to decline and never get better. With our technology-filled world, we’re even seeing people in their 20s who think feeling stiff and restricted are a few things they’ll have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

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MAKE YOUR MORNING HOURS COUNT

hamstrings; and a knees-to-chest pose to stretch out the lower back. Remember to take five to 10 full breaths before moving on to each new pose.


Mini-But-Effective Calisthenics

Think old-school gym class warm-ups as a full-body workout routine to get the heart pumping. Weave together a five-minute routine consisting of one minute of jumping jacks, one minute of squats, one minute of jumping rope, one minute of planking and one minute of push- ups. See how many of each exercise you can do in 60 seconds. Challenge yourself to get in one more of each exercise every day.


Purposeful Walking

A morning exercise routine doesn’t have to be 30 or 60 minutes to be beneficial. And you don’t always have to sweat. Set your alarm for just 15 minutes earlier, give yourself five minutes to get ready and then head out for a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood. Use the time to enjoy the sounds of nature, mentally make your to-do list and think about all the good you’ll do that day. If you’ve got the time, add an extra minute here and there throughout the week.

Hydration Energy Blast

Water can make an amazing difference in your energy level by fighting off fatigue, which can be caused by overnight dehydration. Make it a habit to immediately grab 8 ounces or more of water as soon as you get out of bed and have another dose of H2O before you head out in the morning.


Meditation for Productivity

Whether you have an important meeting first thing in the morning or a hectic schedule of errands, anxiety and stress can quickly zap your energy, making you less productive. Give yourself five to seven minutes (or longer if you’ve got the time) to sit quietly alone and silence your mind with a background of soothing music or the stillness of a dark room. If you allow yourself this ritual every morning, you just may find you’re calmer throughout the day with a clearer perspective.


No matter how you begin your mornings, start tracking your progress as well as your goals you want to accomplish each day. You will be surprised to realize as your morning routine advances, so do your personal and professional achievements.


Do you like to inspire people to make physical and emotional changes? Or do you need a little boost to amp up your physical fitness? Lexington Healing Arts Academy offers both academic study in Personal Fitness Training and personalized, one-on-one workouts with our PFT interns for only $10. Visit our Web site for more information about our comprehensive Personal Fitness Training program or personal training sessions.

LUCY HENDRICKS

Lucy Hendricks is co-owner of Enhancing Life and Teacher at The Lexington Healing Arts Academy Personal Training Program. She is a personal trainer that takes a holistic approach to health and fitness. She looks at all factors that impact her client’s results in the gym: stress, nutrition, breathing, routine, sleep, and more. By considering the whole picture, her clients can expect to achieve sustainable results and avoid plateaus or over-training.

more articles by Lucy Hendricks

Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher and Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine – some of the world’s most prolific and successful folks share a common guiding principal: Make the morning hours count. Whether they tackled the biggest problems of the day first, wrote out a plan for the entire day or got in a game of tennis at 5:45 every morning, as Wintour still does, all are good reasons to ditch the snooze button. Having a regular morning routine can be the key to a productive day – especially active habits such as exercising.


An early-morning exercise routine can enhance your metabolism, encourage consistency in your routine, increase physical and mental energy, improve sleep habits and help you develop self-discipline. Developing a morning routine is easier said than done for those who aren’t morning birds. To avoid getting discouraged, don’t set unrealistic expectations. The secret is to start small, perhaps with a five-minute workout. Once you’ve made your morning routine a habit, it will be easier to progress.


Here are some more pointers to help get you started:


Yoga in Your Jammies

Even before getting out of bed, do some basic yoga stretches and poses as soon as you wake. Try a wide-legged child’s pose to open up the hips and thighs; a supine spinal twist to relax and stretch the spine and abdomen; a seated forward bend to stretch the shoulders and