Baby, it’s cold outside

Did you know it’s officially 102 days until Christmas? I know, I hate me too. And, as I’m fighting a losing battle against the glare of the sun on my laptop, the looming winter months seem far, far away. So, why bring them up at all? Well… 

As a teacher I see my life pretty much in six week blocks (seven at a push). So, I know that, having returned to school on Monday, my life will now be one big blur until October half term, by which point Christmas really will be right around the corner. As the mornings get colder and darker and the stresses of school increase, getting out of bed in the morning can become a struggle. I swear my bed is only the most comfortable place in the world on freezing mornings when I have a busy day ahead; my duvet becomes twice as soft and my pillows are literal clouds. Anybody else?

With this in mind, a strong morning routine is in order – good job there’s a great blog post already written on that one. And once you’ve made the move out of bed, moving your body some more really is the best way to start the day. An exercise session in the morning before heading to school will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing and doctors say that exercise in the morning improves concentration in lessons (NHS England). At the very least, training in the morning means it’s done for the day and I don’t know about you but even with the best will in the world, there will be days when things just ‘come up’ ruining my post school workout plan. 

CONGRATULATIONS then, you’ve made it out of bed! What now? Well, I for one don’t have a gym at home and I know that many people don’t have a gym membership or perhaps the means to get to the gym at such an ungodly hour. Problem? Not at all. 

I’m not promising the following bodyweight workouts at home in the morning will get you ‘shredded’ or ‘build your booty’ or make you ‘drop a dress size’ or particularly help your ‘GaInZ’ BUT it definitely won’t hurt. You will see a difference in your fitness levels and you will probably see changes in your body too. Just maybe don’t make the physical changes your sole focus and notice the difference that it has on your mental wellbeing too.

Having said all that, this workout is no joke. it can be easily adjusted depending upon your fitness level and done right, it’ll make even the fittest sweat. The best thing about it? it takes just 20mins and it’s based on three simple moves. No gym. No equipment. No excuses.  

The workout is an EMOM (every minute on the minute) and the three exercises are:

  • Pushups 
  • Squats
  • Alternating Mountain climbers

Before beginning  you will need to find out how many reps of each exercise to complete in a minuet. You only need to do this for the squats and pushups because the mountain climbers are  continuous – you’re welcome. Here’s how:    

Put on a one minute timer and see how many squats you can get done. If you are a beginner, stick to air squats. If this isn’t enough, do jump squats instead. Get to know your own limits and don’t be afraid to push them. Repeat this process three times, then take your maximum number of reps and divide it by 4 – this is how many you will aim to complete in each set. Do the same for the pushups and you’re ready to start! In true teacher style, here’s an example:

It’s a super simple workout but it’s a killer and it’ll be sure to make those cold mornings HOT. 

        

SQUATS

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 
  • Start the movement by bending your knees and sitting back with your hips.
  • Your thighs should be parallel with the floor. 
  • Keep your head up and back straight throughout the move.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

  • Start in a press-up position. Support your weight on your hands and toes.
  • Your arms should be straight and your legs extended. 
  • Your shoulders should be over your hands. 
  • Keep your core braced throughout.

PRESS UPS

  • Hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Your shoulders, elbows and wrists line up.
  • Fingers slightly splayed and pointing forward.
  • Initiate movement from the elbow and bring chest towards the floor. 
  • Hips stay in line with shoulders.