If it takes five snoozes before you can tear yourself from your slumber, as well as a strong coffee upon waking, you’re not alone. Getting out of bed is hard, especially during winter. Really hard.
Thankfully there are a few ways to help us get more energy in the morning, from drinking cold water and herbal tea, to eating a balanced breakfast and meditating.
Arguably the best way to boost your energy in the morning? Exercise.
This doesn’t have to be a one-hour HIIT class — it’s as simple as doing a few stretches and yoga poses to get your blood flowing and muscles moving.
If you need more of a push: it only takes five minutes and you can do these in your pyjamas. Sold.
Here are six morning stretches and exercises to boost your energy, recommended by Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates. Check out the video above for a visual demonstration.
1. Dancing dog
The first pose is ‘dancing dog’, which sounds incredibly fun, though doesn’t actually require a happy dog. Basically, start in downward dog (an energy-boosting pose to begin with) and undulate your body forward to transition to plank position.
Reverse back to downward dog and repeat this pose for one minute. This wave-like move will definitely get your heart rate going and energise a half-asleep body.
2. Hip opener
Next, move back into downward dog and extend and raise one leg behind you. Once you’ve reached your high point, bend your raised leg and draw your heel toward the bum. Try to keep your shoulders squared with the front of your mat. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
This pose opens the hips and stretches the back, which get tight while sleeping and sitting all day, as well as strengthens your back, shoulders, arms and legs.
3. Long lunge
To get the glutes working, move into a low lunge position, with your front foot directly underneath your front knee and back leg extended straight behind you. From this position, bend your straight leg to tap your knee on the ground, and extend long. Repeat for one minute and switch legs.
4. Quad stretch
Many of us have tight quads, especially in the morning, so kind pigeon pose is perfect for stretching the quads and hamstrings.
From the lunge position, place your back leg on the mat/towel, bend and draw your heel toward the bum. Reach for your foot with the hand opposite to the leg behind you. From here, either stay in this starting position, or slowly and gently draw your heel closer to your bum with your hand.
5. Walking plank
To get the abs and whole body warmed up, get yourself into plank position and move one leg up, next to and outside your hand on the same side. You will be in a lunge-like position. From here, stretch up your arm on the same side toward the ceiling. Bring it down and repeat pose on the other leg.
Move from one side/leg to another as fast or slow as you like for 30 seconds to one minute.
6. Straddle stretch
To finish, and to get your feet and legs energised for the day, stretch out your legs straight in a V-shape in front of you, and flex and point your feet a few times.
From this position, you can extend your hands out in front of you, and breathe in and out deeply, for a stronger stretch.
You’re done and ready for the day.