Contributor: Saffron & Sage
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
With the clocks springing ahead every year, we can look forward to extra sunlight and daytime. With this comes lighter mornings that we can truly take advantage of. One way to immerse yourself in these luxuriously longer days is through early morning exercise.
It is well known that exercise is good for mind, body and soul. However, exercising in the morning has its own special benefits for living well. Morning exercise gets your metabolism going (promoting a healthy weight) and encourages your brain function, ensuring optimal decision making and thought processing during the day. The addition of the extra vitamin d this spring may help combat the last of those winter blues, too. As well, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and pride, to know that you did something healthy and active first thing in the morning.
Yoga is a wonderful jumpstart to the day. While it revitalizes your body and gets your blood flowing and your muscles limber, it also does not completely exhaust you, making it a wonderful morning exercise if you have a physically demanding day ahead. It is important to not fatigue the body and mind to a degree that the rest of your day makes you tired or stressed. Yoga is a perfect start to a work day that involves heavy lifting, running about, or a long commute. Try a hatha or vinyasa sequence with your sun salutations pointing towards the east, welcoming the day.
Running and Walking
The beautiful thing about running or walking is that they are two of the most manageable means of exercise; the roads and trails are always open for your use. Many people use these exercises as their morning staples and for good reason. They increase your endurance (both physically and mentally), strengthen the body, and keep your heart healthy. The accessibility of these exercises makes them a go to for many busy people. Alternating the two can be enjoyable, and make sure to listen to your body as it will tell you what it can handle on any given day.
Hiking is the pinnacle of ambitious early morning exercise. If you live near mountains and are striving to be an active morning person, hiking can be just the intensive workout you need. This type of activity is perfect for a weekend goer who does not want to spend the morning in bed. While climbing a mountain before a work day may be a time stretch, hiking can be a wonderful change of pace for a day off or a Sunday morning – just don’t forget the water. Try timing your hikes with the sunrise; there are few things more satisfying than reaching a lookout point as the sun is coming over the horizon.
This spring, try to revitalize your routine or start something new with an outside, morning workout. The way you react to the sunshine may surprise you.