Mornings are often the start of a vicious cycle of blaring alarm clocks, long work hours and sleep deprivation. If you have children, it can be downright chaotic.

But it doesn’t need to be. With exercise, mornings are also a time for reducing stress hormones so that you can tackle the day ahead. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to choose the best method for what you need.

5-Minute Meditation

Meditation is one of the most effective morning exercises to reduce stress. Not only does it help you to breathe correctly, but it’s also great for mental wellness. Studies have shown that it rewires the neural pathways in your brain.

It only requires five minutes of your time, and all you need to do is sit in a quiet place. You could even do this in bed right when you wake up in the morning.

First, what you do is you raise your head and throw your shoulders back so that your airway is open. Then slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, making sure you take deep breaths and that your mind is focused. If it wanders, that’s okay, bring it back (it’s only five minutes — you got this!).

Repeat this until your body is relaxed and your mind feels calm.

Find the Right Stretching Method

A good stretch in the morning loosens and realigns stiff muscles where you carry stress. It can help bring your heart rate back to normal by improving the blood flow to various parts of your body.

Stretching in the morning can be a major contributor to reducing stress, as it brings strength and flexibility to muscles that tighten throughout the day. Relieving muscle tension allows you to be ready for the day ahead, and it helps to improve the quality of your sleep at night.

You can try different stretching poses, such as bridge, camel, butterfly, and bow pose to relieve tension. These poses stretch out your back and hamstrings, while also regulating your blood pressure and heart rate. This in turn calms your mind and relieves accumulated stress.

10-Minute Low Impact Exercise

One important thing to consider when planning your morning exercise routine is that exercise itself can be stressful. If you are dealing with chronic stress, it may be best to stick with low-impact, flexible exercises. The reason for this is because they are brief, so it allows your body to adapt to the stress from the workout.

Here are some low impact exercises you can do for 10-minutes in the morning:

  • One-minute plank.
  • Pilates: it’s a great mat exercise for building strength, endurance, and flexibility. These anaerobic exercises (opposite of aerobic) have been proven to relieve stress.
  • Wall sit for 30-seconds to a minute. Increase the duration as you go.
  • A few body weight pushups and squats.

Adding More Calm to Your Life

Exercise can sooth your mind and body, leaving you feeling great inside and out. If you want to create more calm in your life, starting your day with meditation, stretching, and low-impact exercises is the best way to achieve this.

Allow your mornings to be a fresh beginning to new thoughts, new strength, and new possibilities!