Wake Up with a New Routine: Prime, Stretch and Fuel Your Way to a Better Day

Getting out of bed is tough no matter what time it is, why make that feeling last longer by not waking your muscles and nourishing your body? This fast routine will make the rest of your day feel better than those 10 extra minutes hitting snooze.

Do you (like everyone else on the planet) feel rushed in the morning? Frustrated that you couldn’t get going the right way? Not enough time to completely wake up and start the day off in the right mindset?

I think anyone can make their entire day more productive by starting off their morning the right way. By blocking out a little “you” time to prime and stretch your muscles and eat a nutritious breakfast you can do wonders for your body and daily outlook.

But first, let’s get the excuses out of the way:

“I don’t have time in the morning to do much, if anything. It’s enough to get out the door on time.”

“I have to get everyone else going (dress kids, walk/feed the dog).”

“I have no knowledge of what to do to feel more awake and eat a better breakfast.”

Well, with a little know-how, discipline and consistency you can create a better morning so you can move on to your better day. Hopefully it will catch on and create a better outlook for days, weeks and months to come!

Do you have 10 or 15 extra minutes in the morning? If not, simply get out of bed earlier. Who can’t sacrifice just 10 minutes of sleep for a better start to their day? Just sneak out of bed and try not to wake anyone. Or, if you live alone, make as much noise as necessary.

Put on your coffee or tea and find an open space to do the following moves and stretches:

  1. Bodyweight squat x 15
  2. Forward or reverse lunge x 12
  3. Push-up x 12
  4. Crunch or leg lift x 12
  5. Toe-touch stretch x 20 seconds
  6. Runner’s lunge stretch x 20 seconds

Depending how fast you get at this you can perform 1-3 circuits.

Now you should be primed and ready for a good, nutrient-rich meal. Not only is the first meal important regarding energy and hydration, it’s also significant in jump starting your metabolism after a long night and it sets the stage for how your body will process food and burn fat for the rest of the day.

Drink a full glass of water and pick one of the three breakfast options below for a fast, protein-packed meal.

Option 1: Veggie/egg scramble

Scramble 3 whole eggs and add in ¼ cup of low fat shredded cheese and some of your favorite vegetables such as spinach, sliced tomatoes and/or mushrooms. Add a pinch of pepper and a little salsa for a kick.

Option 2: Protein oatmeal

Combine ½ cup of one minute quick oats (not the packaged kind) with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of Splenda (or other sweetener), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ cup of low fat milk. After microwaving for 1 minute add in ½ scoop of vanilla whey protein powder. Mix and add water for desired thickness.

Option 3: Greek yogurt and fruit

Combine in a bowl one container of your favorite Greek brand yogurt (be sure to get the plain variety as it has less sugar than the flavored) a dash of sweetener and slices of your favorite fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or banana. Add ½ scoop of vanilla whey protein.

Enjoy your new morning routine. Relish in the fact that you are so put together that you can actually get your mind right and start your day calm, organized and engaged.

Brad is the founder of BradBorland.com. He is a consultant, writer, fitness specialist, husband and father. He earned his Master's degree in Kinesiology, is a member of the Air National Guard and is a cancer survivor.

  • Chris C

    I actually enjoy being awake early, but getting to the awake+functional part is extremely difficult. I will be doing this every morning…except those when the woman friend is feeling ready & willing 😉

  • Andrew

    Considering we all have a BMR regardless of food intake and considering that eating food does not naturally boost our metabolism high enough to burn off the food we just ate, how is eating boosting your metabolism? Or rather, is the boost in metabolism a net loss considering you just added calories? Eating doesn’t raise your BMR.

    Ultimately, not eating breakfast could be argued to be more beneficial.

  • Chris

    These mini-workouts as suggested are great for those of us with limited time to exercise. I went through a phase of doing pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and planks everyday after work with great results. Drinking a glass of water to get the day started is sound advice. Great post.

  • Rune


    From my experience and study in fitness and nutrition, but without stating any scientific proof I know that eating will boost your metabolism.
    The reason behind this is that without food your body will naturally slow down the metabolism to save on energy. This is often called starvation mode and it’s not very good if you wish to have a high metabolic rate (and perhaps burn more calories than you consume). Eating does the opposite, it keeps giving the body energy to burn which in return will keep the metabolic rate high. Eating large quantities or bad food is not going to help you, but if you eat reasonable portions of good food regularly you will keep your body burning all day.
    From my personal experience this has together with regular fitness helped me get lean results much more efficient than saving on the caloric intake and skipping meals.

  • Kent

    Some great suggestions, but nobody needs an entire teaspoonful of cinnamon first thing in the morning (breakfast option two).

  • Ryan

    Let’s maybe let the guy with a master’s degree who looks like Captain America give us advice, and give him the benefit of the doubt…

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  • Caleb

    Great lil’ post here, I workout everyday but these are a great and simple way to get goin. Well done!

  • DREW

    Hi Kent,
    There’s actually a good reason (other than the great flavor for almost zero added calories) for including that much cinnamon. Cinnamon, particularly the Cassia and Ceylon varieties, contains a compound known to help regulate blood glucose levels, preventing spikes from carbohydrate intake known to cause sugar-highs followed by the inevitable crashes a few hours later. This not only aids in sustaining satiety for longer, but also in preventing fat synthesis. Sometimes I like to add 1/2 tsp (or so) to the hot, bitter, brown liquid that we pretend around the office is “coffee” to make it somewhat palatable.

  • Trent

    no one stopped him and no one is stopping you

  • http://twitter.com/IPv6Freely Chris Jones

    Cool, but how do you actually do these exercises?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

      How hard is it to Google?