Now I personally believe that a morning routine is important, it helps to prioritize the day and will often make the difference between an awesome day or a day you would rather forget. Being a husband and father of three, I have played around with many morning routines. Most of them involved sleeping in until the last minute, getting cleaned up and ready for work and spending very little time with my family during the morning or evening, as I would spend right after work getting my exercise in and all the other things that I find are important. About five years ago, I decided to adapt a morning routine that would support not just my health and my interest, but my life.
You see, like I said before I am a husband and father of three amazing kids. I also work full time in education, pastor a church, and teach martial arts and movement courses. I realized that if I would like to have QUALITY time with my family then a morning routine was absolutely necessary. I believe it absolutely starts my day on the right track and provides me with all the time I need to take care of my health and goals, while making sure I have the time and energy to spend with my family.
Most of my morning routine follows along the 8 pillars of MVMT LFE, but I have also realized that although my morning routine is important, I must also be flexible of change. This has been one area that I have personally struggled with, however I am willing on some mornings to change things up if I am still setting my day up for success.
Here is my general morning routine:
Go to Bed Early, Wake Up Early
I have found that when you have a lot of responsibilities in life it is important to start your day ahead of the crowd and business of life. I wake up every day at 5 am (Sometimes I do hit the snooze depending on how my body feels from the day before), I usually do a nice big breath, stretch my body. By getting up early, I am able to have a few hours undisturbed before my kids wake and the day begins.
I spend every single morning walking through my personal mobility warm up exercise. This is a 10-minute mobility and stretching program that works on spine and circular mobility, hanging therapy and weighted stretches. I have found this so essential to my morning routine as I am often sore and stiff from previous day activities and this has been a great way to warm up my muscles and prepare my body for our hard training program, which requires 100% effort!
Hard Training or Yoga
Every morning after waking up early, I train. Three days a week we do functional circuit training, kettle bell workout, or gymnastic ring training. On the other three days of the week, we do anywhere from 45 min – 1 hour of yoga. By getting up early and hitting our training right away, we ensure that we don’t miss out or that it does not interfere with our family time together later in the day.
Heavy Breathing Technique
After a hard workout or a nice long session of yoga, we spend around 10 minutes practicing a heavy breathing technique that helps to oxygenate the body and organs, and helps to refocus the mind. This time really sets the tone for our next practice.
Its amazing how productive I feel after spending 5-10 minutes of meditation time. I usually progress from breathing awareness, mindfulness, progressive relaxation, and then back to mindfulness and I finish with breathing awareness meditation. This time is an absolute must for both my morning practice as well as during the day. I find that this time helps to focus my day on what I need to accomplish as well as maintaining my priorities for work and family.
Right after focusing my mind and relaxing my body, I like to flow right into a time of prayer. This is a very personal time for me as I find it is my quiet time to connect with my faith and spend intimate time with my heavenly father. I usually spend this time to focus on family and friends, and in reflection of personal choices and my hope for the day.
After spending years practicing cold exposure training, I believe firmly in the benefits of cold water training. This is why I finish my morning routine with a 3-5-minute COLD shower, before starting the day. This is a great way to work on mental and physical discipline as well as breathing work and mindfulness. Along with the many mental benefits of cold water training, it also helps with alertness, increases my energy level, improves immunity (Which is a must as a teacher), and assists in muscle recovery.
This list comprises my daily morning routine, although I may do other things like make my bed, I try not to miss any of these components, as I believe they have provided numerous benefits not only to my overall health and fitness level, but also to de-stressing, and providing amazing opportunities to spend with my family, and especially my children who require so much of my attention after school.
If you have any questions or comment’s, please feel free to post below!