Looking for a great routine to start the day
June 2, 2008 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a morning routine to start my daily writing tasks (i.e. dissertation). The routine needs to be home-based, include a moderate exercise routine, shower and breakfast. The aim is to get me feeling heathly and eager to start a long day of creative concentration.

I have an Ipod which I like to listen to while exercising. I have no exercise equipment but I am open to the possibility of buying some if it would really make things simple. I'm not looking to become superfit or muscular but of course wouldn't object to such side-effects if they met my main objective! Any advice on how to break up the day with exercise would also be great.
posted by vizsla to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a Nintendo Wii? I don't think WiiFit is going to make you really muscle-bound, but it's easy to store and has a wide-variety of exercises and yoga and will definitely get you going. I also find that the kind of automated tracking of BMI, weight, balance, frequency of tasks, etc, etc make me more motivated to actually do it.

Anyway, I find that if I wake up, go for a WiiFit jog and spend 30 minutes or so doing yoga and some associated strengthening exercises I can get the creative juices flowing!

I know I sound kind of stilted, but look, the Wings are on and I can't focus like I want to.
posted by kbanas at 5:44 PM on June 2, 2008

I have to write my dissertation from my office on campus, but I definitely find a truism to the "Keeps 'em full, keeps 'em focused" Mini-Wheat commercials. I often eat Mini-Wheats, Kashi Go Lean, Smart Start, or another high-fiber cereal for breakfast. I usually eat a small cup of fruit or a banana along side of it. I eat breakfast around 8a.m. and I can usually make it to lunch without snacking.
posted by sararah at 6:06 PM on June 2, 2008

If you don't have a Wii, but do have an XBox (regular or 360) or Playstation, Yourself! Fitness might be a good exercise program. It requires no equipment, though you can use weights with it if you have them, and you can do workouts from 15 min to an hour that focus on cardio, weight loss, upper or lower body strength, or flexibility. I hate exercise videos and I hate the gym, but this works for me.

As for the routine itself, any routine that you can stick to will probably work as long as it ends with you sitting at your desk with the right file open. This is what I *try* do: get up a regular time, stumble out of bed into exercise clothes, do a 15-minute workout (just long enough to be worthwhile and wake me up, but not so long that it's intimidating), shower, have breakfast (2nding the whole-grain cereal, or oatmeal, and banana) while checking email, facebook, etc. The rule is that when I've finished my breakfast, I have to stop faffing about on the internets and get writing. Dishes wait until lunchtime.
posted by Ms. Informed at 6:30 PM on June 2, 2008

Try this -- without the sweater which is totally unnecessary. It's surprisingly easy and yet can be a very vigorous workout, it's very cheap (almost free), and you can do it to your own music. I recommend "Sledgehammer" of course. Plenty of ways to add variety without adding cost or equipment. And if you're really into it, you can get buff on the side.
posted by Capri at 6:58 PM on June 2, 2008

I work at home. What works for me: Get up. Immediately make breakfast (apple with cheese and maybe chicken). Eat breakfast while working for about 1 hour. Then start having breaks every 50 minutes--10- or 15-minute breaks in which I do physical things, like chores or a wild fit of dancing to Bollywood music. I usually have a 30 min workout in the afternoon (hike in the woods or speed walk on treadmill or more crazy dancing).

If I worked out first thing it would turn into procrastination, and if I didn't move pretty vigorously several times throughout the day my brain would stagnate. I also recommend small protein snacks throughout the day.

My shower happens after my main workout.
posted by PatoPata at 9:18 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

I stumble into the shower as soon as I wake up, and do Sun Salutations right after I get out. It's a little exertion but it also limbers you up, and between the two I always feel alert and refreshed. After that it's breakfast, news, etc. as usual.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:02 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yoga, absolutely.

There are a lot of DVDs out there (check Amazon) that offer standard Hatha Yoga, or Power Yoga, or whatever other kind you might find interesting, in a variety of levels and program lengths. Great way to start the day, not only physically, but mentally.

Good luck.
posted by gb77 at 2:17 PM on June 13, 2008

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