Personal Training and Wellness Advice from Crux Fitness – My Morning Routine
I first learned of the importance of having a “morning routine” five or six years ago when I began listening to the Tim Ferriss show. Shit’s very, very important. Not only does a morning routine set your day up for productivity, it also has a bunch of health benefits – reduced anxiety, depression, and improved physical function, to name a few.
But to get the most out of a morning routine, you need to come up with your own routine. Should you drink ice water or warm tea first thing in the morning? I dunno, that’s up to you to find out. Should you take a quick shower or bang out a set of push ups to get the blood moving? Not sure, but you should definitely take the time to experiment. Should you listen to soft music or mentally rehearse a shortlist of affirmations? Again, I have no fucking clue, but figuring that out for yourself is quite the enjoyable process. Over the years, I myself have come to discover a few key principles to implement in my own morning routine. These principles help me stay mentally sharp and physically well throughout the entire day; try them out if you’d like but make sure to constantly assess and reassess whether or not they actually make a positive impact on your day.
- Meditation is best for pre-bedtime. I’ve found that I can achieve a similar level of presence and awareness in the morning through a deliberate, mindful movement practice. Meditation is good, but I’d rather do something physical in the morning so that I can shake off the grogginess at the same time. So I move around in the morning (a moving meditation, if you will) and save the seated eyes-closed meditation for the evening.
- 40 minutes is enough time to get ready for the day. Any more would mean that I would have to sacrifice some sleep. Any less and I’ll be in a rush and starting my day in a state of stress and anxiety. The whole purpose of the morning routine is to NOT start the day with stress and anxiety.
- It is imperative to leave the house well-hydrated, physically warm (after a small dose of mobility training or bodyweight exercise), and with an empty colon (i.e. take a shit before the day begins).
- Hang out with your own thoughts. The morning routine should be distraction free – no email-checking, podcast listening, or TV watching. Save the sensory input for the rest of the day. One of the biggest contributing factors for our stressed out and addicted society is that we don’t spend enough time with our own thoughts and emotions. From alcohol to unhealthy eating to “workaholism”, everything is a band-aid that softens the blow of having to confront ourselves… which is why I make a pact to chill with my own thoughts and feelings first thing in the morning without any distraction.
Okay, so those are my principles for creating a good morning routine. Here’s the latest rendition of what my actual morning routine has been for the past 8-ish weeks:
4:53am – Wake up.
4:54am – Throw on some soft music (shout out to the “Vinyasa Flow” playlist on Spotify), drink a glass of warm water that I keep overnight in a thermos along with a few supplements and my SIBO meds. Start boiling water in a kettle. Pee.
4:55am – Perform the daily mobility routine. Full body CARs, plus some witchcraft RPR stuff that my too-smart-for-his-own-good physiotherapist Chris Krammer has me doing. Make sure to focus on deep, nasal, diaphragmatic breathing the entire time. Bang out a few squats to raise the heart rate and get the fuckin’ mojo going.
5:15am – Make a cup of coffee and drink it as I review what the folks at Crux Fitness have to do for the day on the current program I’ve written up for them.
5:23am – Brush my teeth, wash my face, shave what little facial hair I have, and take a shit WITHOUT the phone. I’m currently reading a book about every religion ever recorded in human history. Change into work clothes (shorts and a t-shirt, lol).
5:35am – Leave to Crux Fitness Richmond and have a great morning training my super-dedicated and always hilarious clients.
As always, if you’d like to know more about, and start taking responsibility for your own health, fitness, and wellness, please reach out to Crux Fitness Richmond for any of your personal training needs.
Patrick Koo – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Personal Trainer at Crux Fitness Richmond