Waking up early has never been a problem for me (staying up late on the other hand, I always need some form of stimulant…). Both my parents were larks, my dad sometimes getting up as early as 3am, just well, because.
I wake up every weekday morning at 5.20am – okay I snooze for about 15 minutes so technically it’s around 5.35am that I actually get up – and I hit the gym.
I thought it would be fun to share exactly what I do in the mornings. I have this routine honed and now it comes as naturally to me as brushing my teeth. Mind you, it reads like a military operation when I type it here.
I think the point of listing it for you is to show you that organisation is everything when it comes to morning routines and for me at least, the more I stick to the plan the better. I have very little time per se for exercise, but I guess I make it. I find it because it makes me feel really good – yes, sane – for the rest of the day.
There is nothing else, short of taking recreational drugs, that I can do or take that can virtually guarantee me a better day than exercise in the morning.
The night before
The night before, I will always fold up my gym kit and put it by the bed so if I choose not to go, it’s sitting there staring at me all morning as I get ready silently whispering, ‘What happened?’
Also the night before I make what I call my Gym Fuel. I train fasted in the mornings, that is, on an empty stomach because eating before makes me feel sick. But I fuel myself with the mixture I now can’t live without.
My Gym Fuel is one 7g scoop of Healthista’s Body Food which contains metabolism and performance enhancing natural goodies such as Yerba Mate, a Peruvian superfood the England football team, Matcha green tea and beetroot which athletes use for performance.
I add a scoop of Healthista’s Glow Food, a skin boosting superfood powder high in vitamin C, healthy fats and antioxidant berries. It tastes amazing.
I mix both with a litre of water and put it in my smoothie shaker and refrigerate it overnight.
My morning routine
5.20am – alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button a few times.
5.40am – get up. Make my first tonic of the day. In a pint glass I mix cold water and boiling water with the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of Clearspring Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother . The latter is great for digestion and containing ‘the mother’ means it still comes with the natural fermented culture from which the vinegar is made.
I stick my hair in a top knot, get my kit on then massage my face with some face oil like jojoba. I use this massage from facialist Abigail James that takes four minutes. See military time economics.
5.55am – Jump in the car and head for the gym.
I’m in the car for 6am so I can hear the news.
6.05am – I’m in the gym. I start each day with either 15 minutes HIIT training, that’s intervals which I do on the treadmill or as a combination of skipping, boxing and kick boxing – 30 seconds hard as I can, 30 seconds rest.
Once that is over I get lifting. I have two leg routines and two upper body routines and I alternate those on different days (over, upper, lower, upper) and then on Fridays do a long, slow run (I call it a run, but it’s really more of an old man jog at about 9.5km/hour) of about 45 minutes. I usually take the weekend off, though on Sundays might have a Wild Card training day with a friend.
My lifting is not as heavy as it would be if I had a personal trainer. I know I should lift heavy but I am a really small person, I weigh 52kg and if I lift too heavy I actually get old lady thin rather than Kim Kardashian thick. I can’t stand the pain of lifting like a man either, so I just don’t. I lift enough weight so it hurts a little but is still pleasurable and not exhausting.
Any PTs reading this, sorry, but you guys are always going on about consistency and this is how I maintain mine. If I lift too heavy I get too tired, too sore, too over it and will end up wanting to take two weeks off and eat ice cream.
MORE: 7 of London’s hottest PTs share what they do to look so good
So, my lifting is a combination of all the big moves, deadlifts, bench press, squats etc with quick high intensity stuff like push ups, jump squats and jump lunges to keep my heart rate up and also because I just like jumping around and getting really sweaty. I will post my actual workouts later in the week.
Here’s my Fitbit report from this morning, Leg day one with treadmill intervals (ignore the bottom one – false start).
7.30am – I get home and make my super smoothie. Warning, this is very green. It is pretty much the same everyday.
Vegan protein powder (I alternate between Healthista’s Vegan Vanilla Diet Proteinand Form Performance Vegan Protein)
Half a banana
Tray of ice
Teaspoon organic almond butter from Raw Health
25 grams chia seeds
25 grams flax seeds
Half tsp organic chlorella (great for cleaning the liver of excess hormones it literally made my PMT disappear)
This makes a delicious morning meal and fills me up until lunch. While I am downing it, I take my millions of supplements.
Here’s the list:
Healthspan Ubiquinol x 2 – for energy
BetterYou Iron Oral Spray x 4 sprays – as I don’t eat meat
Biocare’s Mega EPA Omega-3 fatty acids x 2 – these have the right mix of DHA and EPA for mood effects which I need and I love Biocare as a brand, a lot of practitioners use them.
NutriAdvanced Priobiotix Daily 5 Live x 2 – for my gut health.
Viviscal x 2 – for my hair
Wholistic Ashwaghanda by Pukka x 2 – for my hormone and mental health – this is what is called an adaptogen which means it helps the body react to the demands being placed on it.
7.45am – I jump in the shower. I love the shower and usually have two a day (it’s an Australian thing). My poor skin gets sloughed and shower gelled every day to within an inch of its life as I have an obsession with bathing – it’s such a simple pleasure first thing in the morning and by that time, my muscles need a reward and some TLC.
Right now my favourite shower gels are, Chanel Chance, Clarins Eau Dynamisante Shower Mousse, Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Wash and Green People organic No. 5 Energising Body Wash.
Then I get out and start my hair and make up routine.
This story originally appeared on Healthista.com, published here with permission.
Here are more pieces from Anna:
Why walking is the Holy Grail of exercise
9 things I learned from sitting in a cancer ward for four weeks
5 fitness secrets I learned from doing a personal trainer’s course
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