Routine in fitness is viewed as a “no-no.” We want to regularly challenge and shock the body. The body is adaptive and we want to keep it guessing, never allowing it to relax. But what about when it comes to life’s monotonous and daunting daily tasks? We certainly don’t want each day to be a guess, a surprise. This is unwanted and unwarranted stress to our day. I recommend setting up routine(s) throughout the day to help alleviate some of the stresses of guessing and stresses of decision making.
Start small. Nail down one part of your day at a time and build from there. I like to break the day into Morning Routine, Work Routine, and Night/Bedtime Routine. Admittedly, keeping all three perfect is difficult for me but, if I can hit 2/3, I consider that a win. I feel productive and happy as a result of being less stressed and more accomplished. For me, the Morning and Night routine are the easiest to keep because, it’s relies SOLELY on me. Work can be influenced by a great deal of other factors (walk-ins, clients running late, coming early, or just simple distractions like social interaction). I’m happy to share my routines that help me execute each day to their fullest, keeping me light, productive and energized.
Morning Routine: The first thing I do is chug 16-20oz of water. Occasionally I’ll take the extra time to heat the water in a kettle but, most days it’s just straight from the faucet. I like to add a little lemon water to mine as well.
While I drink my water, I remain standing and dive head first into my morning journal. This seemed so silly to me before I started. I couldn’t understand how this would actually do anything for me, other than take up valuable time. I was wrong. I stand tall, writing vigorously about my previous day, current state and mood, the present day’s schedule and a brief mention of the near future. Sometimes it’s mostly just writing out my day’s schedule, sometimes it’s loads of creative ideas I need to get down, sometimes it’s personal and emotional. I have no expectations or rules, other than to write. I also find practicing my penmanship to be relaxing. Feeling the graphite tip slide smoothly over the paper as I use cursive to connect each letter… it’s a great way to begin each day.
Closing my journal I head downstairs with phone and headphones in hand. I mount my old, used airdyne and proceed to ride for 10-30 mins while listening to music or a podcast. Nothing intense, just to get my body moving and blood flowing. My mind and body come alive and I start to feel energized and excited for the day. Sometimes I’ll get off the bike closer to 10 mins and execute some simple bodyweight movements like reverse lunges, down dog, plank or cossack squats.
Following my ride I head back upstairs, I promptly dress myself for the day. By now my mind is racing but, not in a stressed overwhelming way, it’s fierce and focused. My creativity is thriving and I’m eager to get to work, as if I may run out of this supply of energy I’ve created. I grab my lunch/snacks, pack my bag and head out the door. My ride to work is short and once I arrive, I’m ready to take on the world…
In summary, I would encourage each of you to find a morning routine of your own. I find that there are a few things everyone could benefit from and it doesn’t take much effort at all. Add these 3 things to your morning and see what it can do for you:
- WATER – wake and chug.
- MOVEMENT – 20-40 mins. Yoga, air bike, jogging, even a walk!
- MENTAL FLOSS – podcast, music, or reading are great options!