A woman looking out an open window stretching her arms above her head

In this week’s blog I want to talk about what my morning routine isn’t. There’s a lot of talk in the fitness and wellbeing space around morning routines – long, elaborate, very fixed and regimented morning routines. Now I do have certain things I like to get done in the morning, but I think the key thing about a morning routine is adaptability and flexibility.

Some of the routines you might have heard or read about are people getting up at 4:30am to meditate. Then they might check emails while their coffee brews, or they might make a green smoothie. Then they’re hitting the gym at 6:00/7:00am, and coming back to do a few emails/work, and then going through a cold shower routine, etc.

I think that’s fine and well if you’ve got the bandwidth to do it, or if you get so much value from that in terms of increased energy and better health. But for many of us that’s just not achievable. And what I think is really important about a morning routine is its degree of flexibility. Not so much that you can just pick and choose what you do, or if you can’t be bothered you don’t do it.

For example, one thing I like to do most mornings is 10 minutes of meditation. You could argue that everyone’s got 10 minutes in the morning, but there are some mornings when I’ve woken up, and my dog needs to go out, or I’ve decided to have that extra 10 minutes sleep, or whatever it is that’s happened. Or I’m simply up so early that I don’t want to make the extra 10 minutes, so I’ll move that to later in the day. I’ve got my degree of flexibility, but it doesn’t mean the meditation isn’t going to happen.

Other aspects of morning routine could be just gentle exercise or having a read in bed prior to getting up. All of that stuff I’m fairly flexible on, but there are certain non-negotiables that I’ll stick to. Walking the dog is one of them. Getting up, having a coffee and then having a relatively chilled start to the day is another.

The dog walk is really great because that gets me out into the natural light. I’m exposed to some degree of sun, and it’s good to set my circadian rhythm by getting out in the open air and having a gentle walk as well. And if I’m fasting, I won’t break my fast until around 9:30/10:00am. So, there are elements of my routine that are fixed, but there are also lots of elements that aren’t.

I want to try and take a little bit of the pressure off morning routines. I think having some set routine is important, but also being flexible and adaptable. I want to put some balance to the argument that we’re going to have these long elaborate morning routines to crush the day, seize the day, own the day, carpe diem and all this stuff, which I find a little bit too much sometimes. I hope that helps adds a little bit of balance to that perspective.

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  • Leanne is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. She delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight', is the author of bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine', and hosts a podcast called ’Remove the Guesswork‘. Leanne is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company. Bodyshot Performance work with businesses of up to 500 people who want to create a culture of energy, vitality and performance through the business and position wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Bodyshot intersect the latest science and technology to provide unique solutions to the challenge of wellbeing in the workplace that have a direct impact on the bottom line. Our clients have won awards for wellbeing and recognise it directly improves employee engagement and retention and attracts talent into the business.  We also work with chronically stressed or burned out professionals to get you back in control of your health and able to do the things you want to do in life. My expertise is around health, fitness and wellbeing, specifically focusing on sleep, mental health, energy, body composition, digestion and fitness. I host a popular podcast on iTunes called ’Remove the Guesswork ‘, and in November 2016 I delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight'. I’m the author of the bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine' and I regularly speak to corporates on health and wellbeing. My personal values are to live truthfully, considerately and to "suck all the marrow out of life" as Thoreau said. I support the charity Diversity Role Models which works to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I recently completed the world’s toughest ski race to raise £10,125 for Alzheimer's Research as my father-in-law was profoundly ill with Alzheimers, and I am on a constant mission to find ways to live in a way that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. I love sport, fitness, reading, gardening, business, podcasting, and being with my cat and our scampish little rescue dog, Kami from Romania.