This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.
Like most people today, I don’t have bundles of time. It is hard to balance life, work, a commute, and the hobbies I hold dear. I was struggling. So by New Year, I knew a change had to occur. Since then, I have made a whole lot of differences to my routine which have helped.
I know, it is easy to sound liberated and I am not here to judge. However, by sharing my experience and morning routine, I hope to inspire others to do the same – because it does make a lot of difference!
So, without further ado, here it goes…
I used to be a VERY slow starter, often being tired and not functioning properly before 4 cups of coffee and the clock striking 9AM (like most parents). I have been running frequently, but something else needed to be done! So, from January 3rd (needed to get the NYE champagne on a distance first) I decided to go cold turkey, changing my routine from one day to the other, and it now looks like this:
5.40 The alarm goes off and I get straight out of bed. My phone (alarm) is in the hallway outside our bedroom, so I have to get up, to turn it off. Now comes the tricky part – stay up! I used to snooze – a lot – but I have eliminated that. I then go downstairs and have 1-2 glasses of water before anything else.
5.45 Then starts a 15-25-minute routine (see routine below) There are a lot of good 10-minute routines out there, but I have put my own together and here’s why: Firstly, the exercises must be relevant and fit your person. There is no idea in choosing a program where you physically can’t, and thus immediately will stop doing. Not to mention injuries. Secondly, part of this workout is also strengthening my knees, as I run 2-4 times a week, so to avoid injuries, this helps. You guys may have other goals and should therefore find other and better fitting drills.
6.10 Head back upstairs, shower (ending with a “cold shock”), get dressed etc.
6.25 Downstairs, freshly brewed coffee (drip in the morning), sparkling water, handful of almonds, an orange, fried eggs, and rye bread.
6.30-7.00 Slow morning with the rest of the family.
This morning routine has been a game-changer for me. Already within the first week I could feel a huge difference – and this with a minimal effort (10-20 min BEFORE the day really starts). Cliché, I know…
My personal exercise routine looks like this:
Set 1 Squats Standing hip abduction Push-ups
Set 2 Crunches / Abs-exercise combo Pelvic lifts Mountain climbers
Set 3 Lunges Floor back extensions Lower back stretch
Set 4 Plank
Now, I am not here to tell you to do 2-3 sets of x, hold the plank for x minutes and so on. Again, make it fit your capability – if you stick to it, your capability will progress! I started with only 5 exercises and gradually expanded from there.
What I am trying to say here is, instead of taking on a lot of “impossible” drills, be realistic about your time, what you can and cannot do, what you like or need (e.g. help against back pain, posture etc.)! And a little is better than nothing at all; and I believe that if you get started, and the progress begins to show, you will begin to expand the exercise.
Never miss a story – subscribe now to the Gents Cafe Newsletter, a bite-sized read about men’s lifestyle to enjoy over a coffee or a nice cocktail.