Twenty Minute Morning Routine 2019 by Michelle Walch


No time or interest in exercising or stretching in the morning?  Read on.

I'm generally not a morning person.  I'm not a workout person.  I need time to wake up.  It pains me to watch people running at 7 in the morning.  I can't wrap my mind around RUNNING for an hour that early.  I have enough mental acuity to listen to and process the dulcet tones of NPR in the AM.  I am aware of the benefits of working out shortly after getting up.  But I need a physical activity routine that works for me.

In college, I took a required health class.  For some reason the unit on exercise stood out. It made an impression on me that has lasted my adult life.  A few stretches in morning became a daily thing.  A few yoga poses were integrated into the routine.  And I throw in a few Pilates as well.  This can be done in about 20 minutes.  And gentle to mildly active movement before breakfast and getting dressed is a game changer for the day. 

When there is a time crunch in the morning, I resort to stretches only.  No, there is no cardio or weight loss in that.  However, it makes me feel sooooo good for the rest of the day and helps my mental/emotional well-being.   I call it internal ironing.  I don't know how anyone can start the day off without stretching in the morning.  I often go for a 30 minute walk later in the day (or hit the gym or pool for more pointed exercise).  

It takes about two months to get into a habit. Heard an interesting article on NPR (what, them again?) about how those who got into exercise in the 1970’s continued those habits late into their lives. This may account for good health of those currently in their 70’s.

If you do yoga as a part of your morning routine, grab yoga products here.

I found an app that I’m trying out to monitor my progress: Cronometer

Get some good pointers on SMART goals from Personal Trainer Sandy Branch here.

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer; I’m sharing what I have learned over the years and what works for me. And ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Don’t have a thing to wear when working out? Go to Target and find stretchy threads.

Feeling brave, I have posted brief how-to videos on the stretches, unafraid to display my mom-pear-shape. Note how I coordinate my Madness T-shirt with the black and white checkered floor and green walls of our New Wave-Mod-Ska Kitchen.

Here's my stretch/exercise/yoga rundown:

  1. Jumping jacks. Admittedly I feel kind of dopey doing these. But I learned years ago the importance of getting the blood flowing to the muscles before stretching and exercise.

  2. Next stretches are from the top down. Neck stretches. Look down. Look up. Look side to side. Use hand to steady your head and add a bit more stretch. See video for reference.

  3. Arm stretches: Put one arm across your chest; secure with other arm. Repeat with other arm. Hold arm over head and secure with other arm. Repeat. See video for reference.

  4. Lean your whole body to one side, then to the other side. Lean back, place arms on lower backside to secure. Lean forward, clasping hands together to secure body. See video for reference.

  5. Place hands on a wall. Bend right knee to stretch calf; hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with left knee. See video for reference.

  6. Continue to use wall to secure yourself for next stretch. Bring right foot up and grab with right hand. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with left foot. See vidoe for reference.

  7. Continue sitting on the floor. Lean over to your right side. Lean over to your left side. Lean to the front. Put legs together in front of you. Lean over to clasp feet with hands. Ok if you can’t just stretch as far as you can without hurting yourself. Hold for 10 seconds. See video for reference.

  8. Continue floor posture. Grab left foot and ankle. Secure ankle and rotate foot gently. Repeat with right foot.

  9. Change position by laying on floor, face down. Left your body up with arms and feet only for plank pose. Tighten glutes and abs. Hold for 30 seconds. See video for reference.

  10. Sitting on the floor, right leg on the floor, in triangle, with other leg up in triangle, use arms to twist. Repeat on other side. See video for reference.

  11. Continue sitting on floor. Arm stretch. Take Right arm, put in front of your chest, using your left arm to secure. Do the same with Left arm. See video for reference.

  12. Right arm over head, using left arm to secure. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with Left arm.

    Now you are ready for a real work out!

    What is your morning routine? Type them in the comments!

    A few stretching videos are featured here. For more stretch how-to videos, follow the link to my YouTube Channel, and subscribe. Like and share!