Easy morning exercises for night owls


Man lying in bed with dumbbells on floor

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Are you sooooo not a morning person but are forced to wake up early during the week to go to work? If so, the thought of exercising in the morning may be nothing but a hazy dream (or nightmare) for you.

While we can’t change the fact that we need to make money in order to afford the apartment we’re renting, and buy food so we can sustain life, there are ways to squeeze in a quick, morning workout before you start your hellish commute.

First let’s answer this question:

Why we should exercise in the A.M.?

Exercising in the morning has benefits that will last you all day, which include:

  • A fired-up metabolism: You’ll be burning fat on company time.

  • More energy: You will be more energetic and focused at work (future employee of the month!)

  • Appetite stays in check: You won’t graze and are less likely to grab for that 3 p.m. candy bar.

  • You don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day!

With all of these benefits, you may start to like waking up early or at least hate it less. Ready to start? Snag one of these cool alarm clocks that will definitely get you out of bed and try the following exercises:


Easy workout #1: Yoga

Yoga calms your mind, and this is especially useful in the morning. Before you enter the craziness of the day, try this easy routine suggested by Yoga Journal’s beginner's expert and Ashtanga teacher Natasha Rizopoulos:

Warm up with five to 10 Half Sun Salutes (initially, you might want to practice the forward bends with the knees bent). Then, move into a gentle variation of Sun Salute A, in which you lower to the floor from your knees. Go into a low Cobra pose. After a couple of these, transition into the classical Sun Salute A.

“The main thing is to move slowly and consciously, not pushing to your maximum,” Rizopoulos advises. “Use a steady and smooth Ujjayi breath to link and enliven the poses. If you do about 15 minutes of some form of Sun Salutation and then wind down on your back with a gentle spinal twist, you should feel the benefits of the practice quite tangibly in terms of energy, alertness and increased range of motion.”

Easy workout #2: Full-body moves, in bed

Did you know your bed acts as a great unstable piece of exercised equipment? By doing planks, push-ups and table tops in bed, you are working different muscles in your body than you would on a stable surface. This workout by fitness expert and fitness editor-at-large at Shape Magazine brings all these moves together for one eye-opening morning routine.

Want more of a challenge? Try these three full-body moves by Fitsugar.com, which includes side planks with leg lifts, kneeling squat walks and burpee roll-ups. Whew!

Easy workout # 3: Quick cardio

No one knows morning workouts better than military personnel. Military fitness trainer and former Navy SEAL Stew Smith has the following suggestions for a quick cardio workout in the morning:

Keep it real simple and rotate between jumping jacks and push-ups. Smith suggests doing 10 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups. Repeat the non-stop cycle five to 10 times depending on your fitness level. This takes three to five minutes if you push all 10 sets.

Another easy to way to get in a cardio workout in the morning is to "run, bike, walk, elliptical glide or row for 15 to 20 minutes ... adding in a quick burst of cardio for the remaining time you have," Smith says.