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How Exercising Can Help Beat the Winter Blues

It is well known how important exercise is to our daily lives. It promotes weight loss, improves our overall health, helps us sleep better, and during the winter months, can boost our mood. However, despite knowing these facts, exercise is often not a top priority in many of our day-by-day routines. And really, how can it be? Between working from home, taking care of your children and loved ones, classwork, virtual date nights with friends, and the pandemic impacting so many of our daily lives, it can seem impossible to make exercise part of our daily routines. This inspired me to round up quick and creative ways to get a little workout in – even when I’m short on time and restricted to my living room.

7-Minute Morning Workout

Mornings are notorious for being stressful. We have to deal with blasting alarm clocks, shared bathrooms, and commuter traffic, all while trying to get set up to start work on time. With everything we have going on in the mornings, it can be laughable to even think of the idea of getting a full workout in before starting work. Work is one of the number one excuses I use to explain why I can’t fit a workout during the week. And unless you’re fortunate enough to have gym equipment in your home, you understand my struggle to get a full exercise routine on Monday – Friday without waking up super early.

But imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this article from Well + Good boasting a seven-minute full workout routine designed to prime both the body and the brain for a successful and happy day.

This routine was created by Patricia Moreno, founder of mind-body workout IntenSati. Her workouts combine our favorite aspects of yoga, cardio, and martial arts coupled with self-love personal affirmations. Doing this seven-minute routine will not only get the heart pumping but will also prepare you to be more alert, active, and mentally prepped for the busy day ahead.

To prepare for this early morning routine, I suggest rolling out yoga mats and laying out workout clothes and sneakers the night before. That way, once the alarm starts ringing a little earlier than usual, you can actively visualize your workout motivation and be more likely to pop out of bed rather than hitting the snooze button. I also suggest making some cold brew coffee the night before. That way, once the workout is done and the endorphins are flowing, you can enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee; talk about a perfect morning!

Daytime Yoga Poses

Try carving out some space on your calendar for yoga. Three times a day, stand up from your desk and practice three sun salutations. These are great for getting your blood flowing, getting your heart rate moving, and will be a welcome break from staring at your computer screen all day. Bonus points if you can get the whole family involved!

Take the Stairs

I know how tempting taking the elevator to and from your apartment building or while your visiting the doctor for an appointment can be, but taking the stairs is a great way to get your 10,000 steps a day in. Not to mention the fact that stairs are an easy way to really get your heart rate up.

Invest in a Standing Desk

Just the simple act of standing while working can improve your overall health. Many offices come standard with standing desks nowadays but if yours doesn’t, try bringing it up during your next staff meeting. You’d be surprised by the change in overall mood and health a standing desk can bring.

If getting a standing desk is not feasible for your office or working remotely like me, I recommend the next best thing, an exercise ball. Sitting on one of these intermediately throughout the day can improve your overall posture and strengthen your core. Plus, many models today come with back support in place so that you won’t feel uncomfortable just balancing on the ball.

I know it’s not easy to start a new routine and that people today are extremely busy. Incorporating these easy exercise tips into your daily life will improve your overall health and wellbeing. Stress relief and a healthier work-life can only lead to more productivity and happiness.

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