Morning Routine

Thursday, 25 January 2024.

Cold shower

If you have been like me, working until late in the evening or even pushing it into the night, and want to get back to a schedule that is more in line with the people around you or just for the sake of your health? Then I have the following morning routine for you, which worked out great for me. This routine really helps me to get very productive and energized during the entire day.

Waking Up: Alarm at 7:15 AM

Every day, including the weekends, set your alarm at the same time. For me 7:15 AM is ideal, as it gives me time to do my cardio exercises and spend time with my kids before they go to school (at 8:15 AM)

Knowing your alarm will always go off at 7:15 AM is a good trigger to go to bed on time. I also set an alarm in the evening at 11 PM to make sure I can get enough sleep (7-8 hours). In case you weren’t already aware, but getting enough sleep is crucial for our wellbeing. (Check out Why we Sleep?)

I know there are plenty of people that have to wake up even earlier everyday, and they don’t get enough praise. Not sure if I’m simply not a morning person, but I found it quite challenging to get up early, especially when I don’t really have to (e.g. on Sundays).

When the alarm goes off, get out, don’t snooze, simply don’t think about it. Don’t try to listen to how you feel that day, just get out of bed.

Energizing with Cardio: 15 Minutes to Kickstart Your Day

Immediately after waking up, engage in a 15-minute cardio workout. This could include jogging in place, jumping jacks, brisk walking, or any activity that increases your heart rate. The benefits of morning cardio are numerous:

  • Boosts Metabolism: Jump-starts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
  • Enhances Mood: Releases endorphins, natural mood lifters, promoting a positive start to the day.
  • Increases Energy: Improves blood circulation, providing more energy and alertness.

There are also plenty of cardio workout videos on Youtube. Recently I used the following ones, but will add more to include some variation during the week:

I give myself one day rest from cardio on Saturdays, and on Sundays I go for a run outside.

Strength Training: Kettlebell Swings

Following your cardio session, transition into strength training with kettlebell swings. This exercise is a full-body workout, targeting several muscle groups:

  • Core Strength: Kettlebell swings engage your core, enhancing stability and overall strength.
  • Improved Posture: Strengthens back muscles, which is essential for good posture.
  • Flexibility and Balance: Enhances both flexibility and balance, reducing the risk of injury.

For more background information on why Kettlebells work so well, checkout out Tim Ferriss’s blog (author of The 4-hour Body)

Cooling Down and Refreshing with a Cold Shower

After allowing your body to cool down for about 30 minutes, it’s time for a cold shower. The idea of cold showers might be daunting, but they offer significant benefits, as explained by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. According to Huberman’s research:

  • Enhances Circulation: Cold water causes blood to move to your organs, improving circulation.
  • Boosts Immunity: Increases white blood cell count, strengthening the immune system.
  • Improves Mental Resilience: Builds mental toughness and resilience, teaching your body to adapt to stressful situations.
  • Speeds Up Recovery: Helps in reducing muscle soreness and speeds up the recovery process.

I know it is quite the hype and trend to take cold showers or ice baths, but the research seems to back it up. So try it out and stick with it. Who doesn’t want to have a prolonged dopamine increase?

Conclusion: Embracing a Holistic Approach

By incorporating a mix of cardio, strength training, and the invigorating practice of cold showers, as recommended by experts like Andrew Huberman, you’re not just starting your day; you’re elevating your entire lifestyle. This routine is more than just a series of tasks; it’s a commitment to your physical and mental well-being. Embrace this journey and watch as you transform into a healthier, more resilient version of yourself. Remember, consistency is key, and the best day to start is today!

tags: lifestyle, health
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