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The best workouts to start the workday

01 June 2022

Is there a better way to start the workday than with some vigorous exercise?

The human body graves movement and all too often we don’t provide it with enough. Fitting in a workout before work is often not easy and it can be a logistical nightmare if you are also trying to get kids off to school at the same time.

However, the benefits are hard to argue with. A good workout under your belt as you start the working day will almost certainly leave you feeling more focused, more alert, and much calmer than going without. But with so many different workouts on offer, it can be difficult to choose something that works for you.

Here are four possible workouts to do in the morning before work and the benefits that each of them brings.

Walking

Our most ancient workout also remains one of our best. While you probably won’t be working up a sweat in quite the same way as running or hitting the gym, walking provides an excellent low-impact workout that can be done alone or with friends.

Walking might seem like the absolute minimum when it comes to exercise but it still comes with countless benefits, such as the lowering of blood sugar levels, reduction in stress and anxiety, and a boost to your immune system. It’s important to bear in mind speed and terrain when walking. Ideally, you want to raise the heart rate higher than normal to get the full benefits, so if you’re out walking, consider picking up the pace slightly more than your normal walking speed.   

Walking can also be combined with another hugely important factor that many don’t get anywhere near enough of - nature. Our natural environment comes with several benefits that can have a serious impact on our mental health and a stroll through a forest before going to work will leave you feeling ready for anything.  

Running

Running, the higher impact version of walking, if you will, has long been incredibly popular. Around 7 million people across the UK consider themselves runners and for those who can do it easily, there’s nothing quite like it.

The runner’s high has been well documented and is classified as a state of euphoria that can be achieved through any vigorous exercise and not just running. People also report lower levels of stress and anxiety after extended or intense exercise and it’s not difficult to see how this could be the perfect activity to start your working day.

As with walking, the environment you run in will have a huge bearing on the experience. If possible, try to get out in natural environments, not only will this provide you with the abundance of benefits we get from being close to nature, but it’s also significantly better on your knees than running on concrete.

Yoga

Considering yoga only arrived in the western world in the 1960s, its boom in popularity has been nothing short of spectacular. Yoga is excellent for the body and mind in many ways and provides a very different kind of workout from either walking or running.

If you sit in an office chair all day and suffer from any kind of muscular issues because of it, a little yoga in the morning to stretch yourself out and centre the mind will do wonders for the rest of your day.

Yoga classes are an excellent way to get to know the practice as you have a teacher on hand to help you adapt your positions until they are just right, but many now choose to do yoga at home. There are countless videos on Youtube of yoga classes with an excellent standard and this could be a great time-saving option if you don’t have time to actually go to a class.

If you have children and worry about how you’re going to fit it all in, consider waking up earlier than normal and doing a little yoga in a quiet house. As they say, the early bird catches the worm.  

Hit the Gym

Gyms can be a little like marmite, people tend to either love them or hate them. If you’re a gym person then finding that hour before work to hit the gym and work up a sweat is an absolute must.  

The benefits of going to the gym are fairly obvious, you can work out various parts of your body in the same period and the all-around workout is very different from other forms of exercise. Going to the gym every day will help you dramatically increase your cardiovascular capacity, increase your strength and help you lose weight.

Gyms also provide a unique camaraderie (normally) and often people enjoy working out alongside other like-minded individuals. They usually also come with their own changing rooms and showers, which means you can freshen up and then head straight into the office feeling like a superstar.            

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter what activity you choose to do in the morning, as long as you enjoy doing it and it provides the bare needs to benefit from exercising. Often the choice will come down to what kind of person you are and what sort of morning you need to feel great.

Running alone in a forest might be absolute heaven to some, but the worst nightmare to others. Pumping iron in the gym is certainly for some but not others, and the same can be said for yoga. What you choose to do in the morning doesn’t matter, deciding to get out there and sticking with it is what really counts.