• 10 steps to develop the perfect morning routine

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    Establishing a good morning routine has been proven to have a positive impact on your day but this doesn’t necessarily mean you must drink a glass of warm lemon water and go for a run before the sun rises. Not all morning routines have to follow the same format or pattern. Whether you wake up at 5am or 11am, we can all establish a regimen that is conducive to our goals and lifestyle.

    I have recently started to listen to ‘The Power Hour’ podcast, hosted by Adrienne Herbert, which has inspired my newfound interest in morning rituals. I have since collated an assortment of data and evidence to support a 10-step way to get your own morning routine nailed.

    1. Understand and utilise your body’s internal clock

    To fully utilise your morning, it is important to know when you will benefit the most from waking up and starting your day. Some people operate best in the early hours, whilst others prefer a later start. If you follow your body’s natural cues as to when you should wake up, your circadian rhythm should stay balanced which will keep you feeling energised during the day.

    2. Identify your morning intentions

    It is vital to acknowledge what you would consider a successful day. Would a successful day entail more productivity? Or are you more concerned with getting your health in order? Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s then time to identify the behaviours that will fulfil these objectives.

    For me, personally, a successful day would be one in which I have an adequate amount of time to be productive and fulfil my daily tasks. Hence, my morning routine would consist of:

    • Waking up at 5am to ensure I can fully utilise my day.
    • Exercising to get my body moving and put me in a good headspace.
    • A morning skincare routine to ensure I am looking after my skin.
    • Eating a nutritious breakfast to give me the energy I need for my active lifestyle.
    • Ensuring that my house is clean and tidy, ready for the day.
    • Using my paper journal to list my daily tasks.

    3. Identify what is not on your ‘To Do’ list

    This may seem counterproductive at first, but the reality is that we often engage in morning behaviours that detract from our intentions. Whether you want to stop checking your emails or stay off social media, it is important to establish these behaviours so that we can replace them with more desirable ones.

    I identified the following behaviours which cause me to stray from a productive morning:

    • Checking social media and emails first thing.
    • Having a coffee to ‘wake me up’.
    • Starting work as soon as I wake up.
    • Having a quick fix breakfast that lacks creativity.
    • Procrastination, which prevents me starting my day productively.

    4. Prepare your environment for the perfect morning

    It is now time to set up physical barriers for the things that you wish to discontinue and implement reinforcements to help establish the desirable behaviours.

    Here’s how I ensure my mornings stay on track:

    • Putting my phone on ‘Do not disturb’ so that I am not distracted by notifications or messages in the morning.
    • Organising my workout clothes the night before, so that I can get straight into training when I wake up.
    • Preparing my morning water or herbal tea the night before, so that I’m not tempted by a quick coffee.
    • Preparing my breakfast the night before, to ensure that it is both nutritious and delicious whilst not taking up too much time in the morning.
    • Planning my morning workouts for the entire week so that I know exactly what I should be doing each morning.

    Shop Sundried's Active Life collection for the perfect morning workout gear.

    5. Do not hit the snooze button

    Once your alarm sounds, get up! Christopher Winter who is a certified sleep medicine physician has found that every time you wake up and go back to sleep, you enter a new sleep cycle. Any sleep you get from pressing snooze is too light and fragmented to be beneficial and could actually leave you feeling more tired.

    Following a prolonged period of a consistency, waking up will soon become a breeze. After years of early mornings, I now automatically wake up at around 5am and don’t need to set an alarm.

    6. Move before you start your morning routine

    Have you ever watched a dog or cat wake up? The first thing they do is stretch out. Give yourself time to move and allow your body to acquire some energy through the expansion of stretching. The gentle movement will gradually warm and awaken both the body and mind.

    7. Hydrate before you caffeinate

    Research has shown that your cortisol levels are naturally higher for the first one to two hours after you initially wake up. Higher cortisol levels will increase your alertness naturally and minimise the effectiveness of caffeine. A glass of water will rehydrate your brain which is composed of 75% water and in turn help you to begin your day feeling focused and clear-headed.

    Shop Sundried's BPA Free Water Bottle

    8. Get into a good headspace

    Allow yourself time to be still and focus your mind. Meditation, doing affirmations, practising visualisation exercises, and undertaking controlled breathing can be great tools to focus your positive energy for the day. Research has also found that our bodies have low levels of oxygen first thing in a morning, so a few deep breaths could help re-oxygenate your body, which will keep you more awake during the day. Regular meditation has also been shown to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and help relieve stress and fatigue.

    9. Multi-task your morning’s ‘To-do’ list

    Tackle two of your morning’s tasks at once and feel super productive in the process. Being time poor isn’t a valid excuse for failing to get things done anymore.

    I often listen to a podcast whilst exercising, catch up on the news whilst doing housework, and call various family members during my morning walk. There is always something so satisfying about getting two of my morning tasks ticked off at the same time.

    10. Maintain the routine to make it habitual

    Set up a routine that is reproducible and attainable 7 days per week to ensure that you get the most out of it. Routines can be the desirable balance of work and play, providing they are congruent with your goals and intentions.

    Spend this month perfecting your morning routine and enjoy the enhancements it brings to your everyday life. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more tips and tricks to aid in developing a healthy lifestyle? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • No equipment home workouts for all ages and abilities

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    Get your daily dose of movement with home workouts that require nothing but motivation to get them done. No matter what your goals or preferred method of exercise, we know that there is something for everyone.This guide also includes a general warm-up and cool-down that should be done before and after to any high intensity or strengthening workout, retrospectively.

    All of the following workouts include adaptations, progressions, and regressions to suit all abilities.

    Please note that this guide includes official names of exercises/moves. If you are struggling with what an exercise entails,then You-Tube have some great tutorials on how to execute them. Just type in the name of the exercise to find a demonstration.

    Shop Sundried's home training accessories to take your workout to the next level.

    10 minute pre-workout warm up

    Do each exercise for 60 seconds.

    1. March in place
    2. Jumping jacks
    3. Butt kicks
    4. Mountain climbers
    5. High kicks
    6. Side to side squats
    7. Alternating side lunge
    8. Big arm circles
    9. Hip circles
    10. Shake it all out

    10 minute post-workout cool down

    Do each exercise for 60 seconds.

    1. Alternate side toe touch
    2. Glute stretch on each side
    3. Quad stretch on each side
    4. Side bend stretch on each side
    5. Over-head triceps stretch on each side
    6. Chest-cross arm swing

    Workout 1: 10 minute Ab Blast

    Depending on your level of fitness you can choose to do anything from 30 seconds per exercise with 30 seconds rest, to 50 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds rest.

    Exercise

    Regression

    Progression

    Plank

    Push your bum up to the ceiling to create a V shape

    Rocking plank

    Side plank with one arm support

    Balance on your knee rather than the side of your foot

    Balance on one leg

    Slow dead bugs using alternative arm to leg

    Only extend 1 arm or leg at a time

    Hold in extensions for 5 seconds

    Slow bird/dog

    Only extend 1 arm or leg at a time

    Hold in extension for 5 seconds

    Slow aleknas

    Only extend both legs or both arms at one time

    Hold in extension for 5 seconds

    Slow bicycle crunch with both legs raised above the ground

    Keep one leg on the floor

    Hold in tucked position for 5 seconds

    Slow leg raises

    Bend the legs

    Add in a hip lift at the top of the leg raise

    Cross-body mountain climbers

    Go onto your knees

    Increase the speed

    V-sit hold

    Feet on the floor

    Straighten legs and lean further back

    Knee to elbow in high plank

    Go onto your knees

    Spider man push ups

    Workout 2: 10 minute Glute Activation

    Depending on your level of fitness you can choose to do anything from 30 seconds per exercise with 30 seconds rest to 50 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds rest.

    Exercise

    Regression

    Progression

    Squats with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a squat position and pulse

    Alternate leg reverse lunge with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a reverse lunge position and pulse

    Alternative leg side lunge with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a side lunge position and pulse

    Alternate leg curtsy lunge into a side kick

    Remove the side kick

    Make it quick and springy

    Pile squat with alternative heel raises

    Remove the heel raises

    Hold in position with heels raises

    Alternate leg glute bridge marches

    Glute bridge hold

    Single leg for half the time and then swap to other leg

    Side clams, half the time spent on each leg

    Lie on your back and drop alternate knees out to the side

    Add a band around your knees

    Side lying leg raises keeping the working leg raised, half the time spent on each leg

    Return to rest after each raise

    Hold leg up and pulse

    Donkey kickbacks, half the time spent on each leg

    Alternate legs

    Hold at the top of the kick and pulse

    Fire hydrant, half the time spent on each leg

    Alternate legs

    Hold at the top of the movement and pulse

    Workout 3: 20 minute HIIT Session

    Complete each exercise for 35 seconds and take 12 seconds rest before moving onto the next movement. 

    Repeat the entire sequence 4 x.

    1. Drop lunge
    2. Burpee crunch
    3. Plank jack hop
    4. Step to jump squat
    5. Pop jacks
    6. Triceps press back

    Regression: Take 30-60 seconds additional rest in between sets if needed.

    Progression: Increase working time, reduce resting time, or both!

    Fancy some new workout wear to help motivate you? Shop Sundried's Gym Collection today. Both men's and women's options available.

    Workout 4: 45 minute Full Body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Squats

    4

    15x

    Banded around the knee, weighted, single leg, eccentric, or jump

    Press ups

    4

    10x

    On feet or knees, weighted, narrow stance, eccentric, incline, decline, triangle, or single arm

    Single leg RDL on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, eccentric, or raise the knee

    Triceps dip

    4

    10x

    Straight or bent legs, weighted, or eccentric 

    Bulgarian split squats on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, extended, or eccentric

    Extended plank shoulder tap

    4

    10x

    On feet or knees, wide or narrow stance, single leg

    Glute bridge

    4

    15x

    Banded, weighted, eccentric or single leg

    Super man with arm extension

    4

    10x

    Weighted

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    Workout 5: 30 minute Lower Body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Squats

    4

    15x

    Banded around the knee, weighted, single leg, eccentric, or jump

    Pulses in squat position

    4

    20x

    Banded around the knees or weighted

    Forward, side and reverse lunges on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, eccentric, or jump

    Wall supported sit and hold

    4

    60s

    Banded around the knees or weighted

    Step ups on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, knee raised, or explosive

    Single leg standing calf raises

    4

    20x

    Weighted or unsupported

    Workout 6: 30 minute Upper body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Press ups

    4

    15x

    On feet or knees, Weighted, narrow stance, eccentric, incline, decline, triangle, or single arm

    Inchworm

    4

    10x

    On knees or feet

    Triceps dip

    4

    15x

    Straight or bent legs, weighted, or eccentric

    Side triceps side push on each side

    4

    60s

    Weighted, eccentric or single arm

    Rocking plank

    4

    15x

    Weighted, single arm, or single leg

    Scapular wall reps

    4

    20x

    Weighted



    Workout 7: 30 minute Vinyasaa Yoga Sequence

    Before you start this workout make sure you have a comfortable flat space to use. Use a yoga mat if you have one or just a softer floor. If you're looking to purchase a yoga mat, shop Sundried's eco-friendly offering here.

    Starting Meditation (10 minutes)

    In a seated position, close your eyes and fold the sides of your tongue inward for Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath). Inhale through your curled tongue like a straw. Close your mouth and exhale through your nose, creating a “ha” sound in the back of your throat. Concentrate on your breathing, and try to keep your mind clear of distractions. Repeat this cycle for several minutes.

    Yoga Sequence

    Pose

    Time

    Breaths

    Seated cat-cow Pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated half-moon pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated spinal twist

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated forward with mudra

    1 minute

    8-10

    Cat-cow pose

    2 minutes

    16-20

    Downward facing dog

    (adho mukha svanasanna)

    1 minute

    8-10

    Low lunge 

    (ajaneysanna)

    1 minute each side

    8-10

    One-legged king pigeon pose

    (eka pada rejakapotasana)

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side

    Wild thing

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side

    Warrior II

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side
    Warrior II variation

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side
    Childs pose

    (balasana)

    2 minutes

    16-20
    Bridge pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Concluding Meditation (5 minutes)

    Extend both legs and lie comfortably on the floor, turning the palms open. Press the back of the head into the ground as you deeply inhale and focus on sinking into the group. On an exhalation, gently close your eyes and soften. Observe the breath as you absorb the benefits of this practice.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more home workouts at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • 20-Minute No Equipment Home Workout

    20 minute no equipment home workout by Sundried Activewear

    Staying active is hugely important for both our physical and mental health. This quick 20-minute home workout is the perfect way to get moving without needing to find lots of extra time and can be done at home with no equipment necessary.

    No Equipment Home Workout

    Get fit, lose weight, improve your mental health. All in just 20 minutes!

    Round 1 

    30 seconds drop floor touch

    30 seconds rest

    Round 2

    30 seconds mountain climbers

    30 seconds rest

    Round 3

    30 seconds side steps with floor touch

    30 seconds rest

    Round 4 

    30 seconds lunge kick through

    30 seconds rest

    Round 5

    30 sit up punch

    30 seconds rest 

    Rest for 5 minutes then repeat!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • 9 Bootcamp Exercises You Can Do At Home

    bootcamp home workout get fit

    Do you want to come out of this lockdown looking and feeling the fittest and healthiest you've ever been? Crush your home workouts with these 9 bootcamp exercises which need no equipment and can all be done in your living room or garden.

    1. Squat Jumps

    2. Burpees

    3. Inch Worms

    4. Jumping Lunges

    5. Renegade Rows

    6. Plank Get Ups

    7. Mountain Climbers

    8. Jack Planks

    9. Star Jumps

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • 5 Ways To Stay Motivated For Home Workouts

    athletic woman exercising home workout get fit

    Once the initial novelty has worn off, it can be hard to stay motivated when working out at home. Here are 5 top tips to help you maximise your workout time and get the best results with limited resources.

    1. Change into activewear

    It can be tempting to stay in your comfortably pyjamas all day and to even do your workout in them, but this won't help with motivation or with a good workout. Change into your activewear like you would when going for a run or to the gym so that there is a definite difference between rest time and workout time. Being comfortable and able to move freely will also improve the quality of your workout and will mean you won't be worried about working up too much of a sweat and ruining your comfy clothes!

    2. Remove all distractions

    When we're at the gym, we're able to just plug in our music, zone out the rest of the world, and get on with a great workout. Unfortunately, at home there might be any number of distractions from kids and pets to noisy neighbours or the temptation to have the TV on in the background. Eliminate as many distractions as you can so that you can focus on your workout and make the most of your exercise time.

    3. Set a time and stick to it

    When there is no clear line between your home space and your workout space, it can be easy to keep putting off your workout and finding other things to do. Set a specific time of day when you're going to work out and make sure you stick to it. If you're at home with a partner and children, let them know what time you intend to exercise so that they know not to bother you and allow you the time to get on with your training.

    4. Choose your workout routine in advance

    Making your workout up as you go along is never a good idea, even when going to the gym. By having a great workout routine already written down, you know that you'll have a meaningful workout and your time won't be wasted scrolling through your phone or thinking up the next exercise. It will also mean you're more likely to workout for longer and not give up after only a couple of exercises.

    5. Have a dedicated space

    One of the hardest things about being stuck indoors is that your home becomes your office, your canteen, your kids' school, and your gym. It can be difficult to get motivated to workout in your living room if this is a space you usually associate with relaxing at the end of the day, and it can become equally difficult to relax if you start associating certain spaces with educating your kids or working out.

    Try to dedicate certain areas of your home for different chores and activities. Have a dedicated workout space away from where you usually relax. If you can't do this because you don't have enough space in your house, not to worry! There are ways around it, such as rolling out a yoga mat in your living room to turn it into your workout space, and then putting the yoga mat away again once you're done.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
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