Twenty-Minute Morning Energizer

While exercise any time of the day is a good thing, exercising first thing in the morning can really give you an energy boost and a positive outlook for the day. Just 20 minutes four days a week is enough to energize your body, get your heart rate up, and tone your muscles. All you need is a yoga mat.

Warm up for 3-4 minutes with the Bear Crawl: Place your hands and feet on the floor, lift your hips in the air and walk across the room. Turn around and walk back to your starting point.

1. Push-Ups: Start on your mat on hands and balls of your feet, legs straight out behind you, abs pulled in. Hands should be directly under shoulders. Bend your elbows till your body is lowered toward the floor. Upper arms are parallel with floor. Push back up and repeat. 15 reps

2. Squat with Side Shoulder Raise: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, feet parallel. With your weight on your heels, sit back and down as if you were sitting onto a chair behind you. Keep your back straight. Lower yourself down till your thighs are parallel with the floor. Straighten your legs to stand up. Optional: As you go into your squat, raise your arms straight out to the sides to about shoulder height; lower your arms as you straighten your legs. 15 reps

3. Basic Crunches: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Support your head with your fingers behind your ears, elbows out to sides. Contract your abs, curl up and forward till your shoulder blades are lifted off the floor. Keep your eyes on the ceiling and don’t pull on your neck. 15 reps

4. Jumping Jacks or Jumping Rope (imaginary rope): 30 seconds

5. Superman: Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the ?oor and your arms straight up above your head. Tighten your abs and press your pubic bone toward the floor. Simultaneously, lift both arms and legs a couple of inches off the floor. Hold for a beat, then lower limbs back down to the floor. 15 reps

6. Repeat the above exercises for a second set.

Repeat this basic workout three, nonconsecutive days every week. On alternate days, take a 20 minute walk or put on music you love and dance!

Body weight exercises are simple, but effective. In just 20 minutes, you can tone up your muscles, improve mood and energy level, and get your day off to a great start!

Guest Post by Adrian Dunn, American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, and Fitness Coach for EverydayHealth.com and fitness expert for its calorie counter tool.

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