I walk to work, but I know everyone doesn’t have this fitness “luxury” and I didn’t either for many years. So, I thought about what aspects of my morning preparations that I’ve fitstyled could be useful for anyone, including those who commute by car. It turns out the whole process leading up to actually getting out the door could be similar for us all.
As I move through my home in the morning, I try to associate at least one fitness activity with each room and phase of my morning regime. Here are the fitstyle steps that get me out the door:
Wake up with water
Once my alarm goes off (although I have an uncanny knack for waking up 2-3 minutes right before the alarm actually sounds. Does anyone else do that?!), I head down the stairs and head for the refrigerator. I don’t actually open it, but I pick up the glass that I leave on the counter and fill it with water from the spout on my fridge and drink two glasses while I actually wake up. Then I head back up the stairs for the bathroom.
Walking up and down the stairs uses our largest muscle group, which gets the blood flowing and warms up the body. The water helps to turn on our metabolism, hydrate the body, and flush out toxins.
Pearly whites and posture
This is the first time when I’m awake enough to remind myself about posture. Standing in front of the mirror, while prepping to brush my teeth, I stand with my knees softly bent, feet shoulder distance apart, and my stomach muscles pulled toward my belly button (but not holding my breath!). My shoulders are down and back and I look straight ahead into the mirror. (I usually see a crazy mess of hair and may not care to stare for too long. Haha. I remind myself that I’m still waking up, but at least I already look taller!)
While brushing my teeth, I do either squats or side leg lifts. I do them until the timer on the toothbrush goes off.
Good mood guide
At some point in the morning, I find my planner. My sister got me a fabulous one called “The Best is Yet to Come” by Horatio Printing. I actually use it as my gratitude journal and a weekly guide to keep track of the big overall goals to achieve each week. (I still live by the calendar on my phone as those alerts have saved me many times from things just completely slipping my mind and leaving someone wondering why I wasn’t where I was supposed to be!)
I take time to write down just one thing I’m thankful for and I try to make it as specific as possible. So, if I’m going to be thankful for a sunrise, I’m going to describe the colors and say that I’m thankful for getting up that morning to witness a spectacular sunrise that colored the sky in periwinkle, soft yellows, lavender, and orange like the sherbet.
It’s hard to stay glum when you force yourself to think of something that makes you happy and recall such detail.
Right before getting out of the shower, I take a few minutes to do gentle stretches. While it’s best to stretch after warming up and breaking a sweat if possible, the warm water of a shower can be a good substitute. I focus on stretching muscles in my neck and chest and doing one or two stretches for my hips and legs. The aim is to hold each stretch for 30-seconds to a minute, so I only do about 2-3 of these stretches each morning. If I stand around too long, it starts to get too chilly!
This is the moment when I try to recall what exactly I’m going to be doing during the day. Surveying the clothes in my closet, I try to pick out something that will fit my scheduled activities and provide the comfort to move during the day. If I’m going to be walking to a number of meetings, I’ll be sure to wear pants rather than a skirt, just because I’m more comfortable walking in pants. (Although, I am known for wearing bike shorts or a more comfortable version of Spanx under a dress so I can have none of the chaffing and all the style!)
It’s always important to eat breakfast as it helps with our concentration and plays a role in weight control. While I wait for something in the toaster or the microwave, I do squats or standing rear legs lifts to work on my “buns” or gluteus maximus. (You thought I was going to talk about pastries, didn’t you?)
As much as I would like to have it all together, I inevitably realize that there’s something I need on my way out the door that I left upstairs. On numerous occasions (too many to actually count, which I hate to admit), I’ve made it all the way out the door, locked it and started on my way when I realize that there’s something I have forgotten back in the house. While I’m working on getting more organized on this front, I now at least make the most out of it realizing that I get to rack up more steps!