If you're anything like me then you know all the promoted benefits of exercise: decreases blood pressure, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, reduces stress and is just overall a good thing to do! Yet for some reason, you struggle to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine. This is why I'm now touting the approach of a "quick snack" of exercise as you start the day.
Exercising in the mornings has a number of advantages, regardless of whether you're a lark or a night owl like me. I'm sure you've heard of the expression, "Pay yourself first." If you're convinced that exercise is an important habit to have, then why not start your day off with a good bout of it.
Exercising in the morning has the secondary advantage of helping to reset the "master clock" in the body, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. When you're jumping about, pulling and pushing, signals are sent to this part of the body that help it to kick the rest of the body into gear. This helps to improve your productivity for the rest of the day and will help you to sleep better that evening as well. Talk about a buy one get one free offer!
Research shows that motivation and self-control wanes as the day progresses. Hence, is important to get those activities which require high motivation done with early in the day! This applies not only to exercise, but also to other tasks that you might be struggling to get done. 

So, what type of exercises should you engage in? I would recommend bodyweight exercises. They require little equipment or space. You can jump out of bed and straight into burpees.

Top Ten Exercises

1. Burpees
These are a great conditioning workout. Try performing 100 burpees in a row as quickly as possible, followed by 20 squats. A simple and no excuses method to wake you up in the morning.

2. Jumping Jacks
Not quite as intense as burpees, but a good substitute for burpees to mix things up. Try 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 30 seconds of pushups. Keep going for 5 minutes, then swap the pushups for squats. 

3. Skipping
This requires a bit more space and a bit more equipment. However, there is a reason why skipping has been a stable of boxer's routines for many years. It is great for improving fitness, timing and explosive leg movement. Try starting of with 10 minutes of skipping when you wake up. As you become more advanced, you can skip in the 20-10 tabata cycle. Try more demanding techniques like double-overs during your high intensity segments.

4. Resistance band sprints
A surprisingly effective anaerobic workout. Tie the bands to a secure surface at one end of the room. Take off as fast as you can and control your return. Try doing this for 10 minutes after you wake up!

5. Pull-ups
Pull-ups and their variants are a great way to improve upper body strength. Alternate with chin-ups to work more on biceps brachii and brachialis. Once you reach 15+ pull-ups, start working on one-armed pullups, weighted pull-ups and muscle-ups.

6. Push-ups
Another calisthenic stable. Try variants to keep things interesting and emphasize different muscle groups. One-arm pushups are great for building maximum strength. Hindu-pushups are a nice alternative with a greater range of movement. To emphasize explosiveness try clapping push-ups and circle pushups

7. Body-rows
A great way to blast those triceps. I personally do these holding on to my bed frame, but any steady surface will suffice.

8. High pulls
A good alternative to the pull-ups if you don't have a pull-up bar or other surface to hang unto. Does require the use of resistance bands though.

9. Squats
The daddy of lower body exercises. Try squatting with resistance band or performing pistol squats to increase the load. Alternatively, jump squats and plyometric depth jumps can all increase your explosiveness. For lower limb endurance, pick a number slightly higher than you previous personal best and plug away. Try doing some burpees afterwards to really feel the burn!

10. Dynamic stretching
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. For most people, dynamic stretching in the mornings is the most appropriate type of exercise for their needs. Joint rolls, arm and leg swings will all help to improve your range of motion, strength and co-ordination for the rest of the day.

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I hope that these exercises inspire you to start developing your own morning fitness routine. If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below.