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11 easy ways to give your morning routine a healthy boost

As the pandemic wears on, mornings have become a bit of a slog, but fitness expert Stephanie Mansour can help revamp your routine — just in time for fall.
Woman putting bread in toaster
Getty Images stock

The number one concern I hear from my clients when we talk about choosing healthier daily habits is that they don’t have a lot of time — and that's been true even during the pandemic, when a lot of people have been working remotely.

Although it may seem like sprucing up your morning routine would take a lot of effort, just a few quick additions to things you're already doing can make a noticeable difference.

Here are some ideas to help give your morning wellness routine a little extra boost:

1. Yoga when you roll out of bed

Some of the stretches that feel the best can be done just after you wake up. Gently roll out from under the covers, stand beside the bed and do a mini version of a sun salute: Start with your arms by your sides and reach up with your hands above your head. Focus on your breathing as you lower your arms back down.

2. Coffee meditation

Instead of drinking your coffee while reading your work emails, try sipping your morning joe while doing some breathing and meditation exercises. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four and then exhale for a count of four. Repeat several times.

3. Smoothie squats

After you hit “blend” for your smoothie, do 10 rapid-fire squats. Start with your feet as wide as your hips, then lower down into a squat. Do this 10 times, while making sure to keep your back straight. Enjoy your smoothie reward when you're done.

Purple bottle in shower caddy
Use your shampoo for a new purpose -- to help with morning wellness.Getty Images stock

4. Shower twist

Take the time to squeeze in a quick ab workout while taking a shower. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart — make sure your shower floor isn't slippery — then pick up a full bottle of shampoo or conditioner and twist your body to engage your core. If you don’t have a nearly-full bottle of shampoo or conditioner, just point your arms straight in front of you.

5. Lotion and flexibility

Moisturizing your body is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Applying lotion on your back can seem like a struggle for most, but if you use it as an opportunity to work on your flexibility, then you’re doubling up the benefits.

Put your right arm behind your neck and the left arm behind your back. The goal is to join your hands together.

6. Makeup and breathing exercises

Applying eye makeup can take some serious concentration. While you’re doing your eyeliner or eye shadow, try holding your breath for 10 seconds, then inhaling for 5 seconds. Do this three times to relax while perfecting your look and preparing yourself for the day.

Hispanic teenager curing her hair
Curl your hair and tone your arms at the same time.Getty Images stock

7. Hair curling arm toning

You never know how strong your arms are until you’re trying to curl your hair. Make sure you’re holding the curling iron or wand like you would a weight. Keep your arm at a 90-degree angle and make sure to only hold your hair around the wand for a maximum of 10 seconds. If curling isn't your thing, blow-drying your hair will also help work your arm muscles.

8. Balance while steaming your clothes

Why bother ironing your outfit when you can steam it in 30 seconds and improve your balance at the same time? One of my favorite ways to steam my outfit is while balancing on one foot. This engages your core while your clothes release their wrinkles.

9. Toe touches and putting on shoes

Try putting on your shoes while you touch your toes. Make sure to keep your legs straight without locking your knees. This can help with your flexibility while you tie or slip on your shoes.

Fresh vegetables
Once you put your salad ingredients together, put them in a storage container and shake it up!Getty Images stock

10. Salad prep shake

Making a salad for lunch can help you up your overall greens and veggie intake while also acting like a shake-weight. Prepare your salad and then put it in a container with a lid and shake it up. Once you add in your toppings and greens (leave out the dressing) shake your container up and down for a minute.

11. Morning commute neck roll

Whether you're still commuting to your workplace or you're just transporting yourself from your bed to your computer, taking a little break to properly stretch out your neck can be a great morning tension tamer. Roll your neck from the right side to the left side and back again — just don't roll it backwards. Do this for about thirty seconds.

Stephanie Mansour is a health & fitness expert and weight-loss coach for women. Join her complimentary health and weight-loss challenge here!