It’s the Monday blues. This is the day that people feel sluggish, with the weekend over and another day back at work. It doesn’t have to be the worst day of the week. By starting it off right, you can make the day the most productive and great for your weight loss efforts.
You need to focus on exercises to boost your endorphins and serotonin while burning more calories to start your week off just right. Here are 12 to try right away. And they don’t just have to be done on a Monday morning!
Get On the Rowing Machine
Rowing is one of the best overall exercises because it uses every muscle in your body. If you have a home rowing machine, or you can get to one in the gym, then great! But you don’t have to use one to get the same benefits.
There are rubber rowers. These hook onto your feet and then you grip the other side and go through the motions of rowing. You can do the workout from the comfort of your own home, for as long as you want. Many people will do them while they watch the news first thing on a Monday morning or for 10 minutes before their first cuppa of the day.
It’s possible for an 185lb man to burn 377 calories by rowing for just 30 minutes. The indoor rowing machines are of course better before they force you to use your legs much more, but you still get a good workout with the home options.
Start the Burpees
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This military exercise is not a fun one, but it’s one to burn those unwanted calories. You’ll also feel so much better afterwards (well, after your shower).
To do a burpee, you start by standing and then jump down into the push-up position. Do a pushup and then jump back up into the standing position. Really concentrate on the different sections of this exercise to really make the most of it.
You’ll build muscle and burn calories at the same time. This is one of those exercises that works the majority of the muscles in your arms, torso, and legs. Do 10 repetitions and see how you feel. Some people can do another 10, but you may find that that is just enough to get you started. If you feel dizzy at all, then stop this exercise and take a rest.
Do the Jumping Jacks
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Ever thought you wouldn’t have to do these after school? Well, jumping jacks offer a great cardio workout, and will burn the calories first thing on a Monday. As soon as you get out of bed, try 10 of them and see how your heart rate raises. You should be able to do at least 3 reps of 10, with a 30-second rest in between.
Like the burpees, listen to your body. If you find that 3 reps of 10 don't quite get your heart going, do 5 reps of 10 instead or 3 reps of 15.
Workout on the Stairs
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This will depend on your stairs (if they are safe enough) but going up and down them first thing on a morning will definitely get your blood pumping and your calories burning. There are a few options that you can do for this.
Start by running up the stairs at full pace and then walking down them to get the heart rate back down. Repeat this five times to feel the workout.
Another option is to go up one step and run back down. Turn around and run up two steps and then back down. Repeat with three and then four etc. until you get to the top and finish your workout.
This one is so good because it’s not just a cardio workout but will also work your legs. It’s also one of those that you can do without worrying about people seeing you so early on a Monday morning.
Run on the Spot With High Knees
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Running on the spot is a good way to get the calories burning, but you can do one better. Run with your knees high, so your knees have a 90-degree bend. You will find it much harder and burn a lot more calories.
When you are doing this exercise, make sure you keep your back straight. Focusing on your posture is essential, so you don’t do any other damage while working out. You’ll also want to make sure you have a slight bend in the leg that is on the floor to avoid injuring your knee.
Try doing this workout while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or your toaster to pop. You’ll not realise just how long you’re working out for, and it will be a great use of the time.
Do the Frog-to-Plank Workout
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This can look a bit funny, and you may feel a little silly, but it’s a great workout to start your week—and any day, really. It’s all about the cardio and your leg muscles, and you’ll also build some core strength. This workout is also known as the Frogger, and it will soon become clear why!
Start in the plank position, keeping your back straight and bum down. Jump your feet up to your hands, so they sit on the outside of them. You’ll look a bit like a frog in this position, hence the name. Keep your back as straight as possible to keep some focus on your posture and your core workout. Now jump back into the plank position.
Repeat this workout 10 times and have a 30-second break between reps. You only need to do three reps! You’ll definitely feel the workout. If you do really struggle, cut your number of jumps to 5 with 30 seconds in between.
Jump Squat to Success
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Another great calorie-burning exercise is the jump squat. The squat is already a great exercise for core strength and toning. Adding a jump will burn a few extra calories at the same time.
Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder length apart. Bend into a squat, keeping your bum tucked in and your back straight. Let your arms hang backwards to help you get the momentum to jump. Jump as high as you can into the air, bringing your arms up above you at the same time.
When you land, you want to go straight back into the squatting position with your arms back again. Focus on your core as you land to keep the muscle building there.
Like the other exercises, do 3 reps of 10 jumping squats, with 30 seconds between your reps. As you get better as this, you’ll be able to do 3 reps of 15 and 3 reps of 20!
Start Some Stepping
If you have the Wii Fit, you’ll know the stepper workout is one of the most popular. It’s also one that encourages you to step while you watch something else on TV, so you don’t realize that you’re working out. That’s because stepping is a great calorie-burning exercise and one you can add to your Monday morning routine.
Get a box, and start stepping up and down on it. You don’t need to start too fast, just focus on not missing a step and doing a consistent job for 5-10 minutes. This will get faster with time, and you’ll also find that you can go for longer.
If you don’t want to step up and down, or the box isn’t sturdy enough for that, you can toe tap instead. Keep your weight on the foot on the floor and place the other lightly on the box. Skip between the two legs for 5-10 minutes. This is one that you can do without a box and is similar to the high knees skipping mentioned above.
Pull Out the Jump Rope
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This may be something else you never thought you’d do, but there are reasons boxers skip a lot. It burns calories and builds muscle at the same time. If you do it just on your toes, you’ll improve the muscles in your calves so you can jump much higher. It’s why skipping is also popular with basketball players.
Pull out the jump rope and start skipping as fast as you can for 30-60 second bursts. Have a 30-second rest and do again. Do this 3-5 times to make the most of this Monday morning workout.
When you are skipping, make sure you have enough room. The last thing you want is to break everything in your house! You’ll also want a good quality skipping rope to avoid hurting your hands and ensure you don’t get hurt if you miss a skip!
Get Out for Some Hill Reps
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Some workouts are best done outside, and you will need a hill. You may have a park or conveniently live on a hill. Don’t worry what other people think right now—they’ll be jealous when you have the body that they’re dreaming of getting.
Hill reps allow you to do the high-intensity training that you need to burn more calories. Start at the bottom of the hill and run as fast as you can to the top. Turn around and lightly jog/walk to the bottom to get your heart rate back down. Repeat this at least 5 times but aim for 10.
Don’t have a hill nearby? That’s ok; there is another way to do this. Take a flat spot and sprint flat out for 30 seconds. Then lightly jog/walk for 30 seconds and repeat this 10 times. If you feel this is too easy, you can stretch the spring sessions to 60 seconds.
Try to keep the recovery period to 30 seconds. The less time it takes for your heart rate to get back to normal, the fitter you are overall and the more calories you will burn throughout the day!
These high-intensity workouts are so great because you don’t just burn calories during the workout. You’ll burn them at a higher rate throughout your day, which will help with your weight loss.
Get to the Swimming Pool
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If you can get to the swimming pool first thing on Monday morning, this is definitely something to add to your routine. There are different routines that you can do to burn calories, but just being in the water and swimming is extra good for you.
Like rowing, swimming will work your whole body. This can help you burn more calories.Of course, the faster you swim, the better chances of burning more calories.
You can do some high intensive interval training mentioned above in the pool. Swim a length and back at full speed and then take a 30-45 second break. Repeat this at least 5 times.
Cycle to Work
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After doing your workout, it’s time to get to work. Why not ditch the car for the bike? You can continue your workout and burn some more calories. Cycling is another excellent workout, and one that you can fit into your day relatively easily.
If you’re not able to cycle the whole way there because your commute is too long, you could consider cycling some of the ways and taking public transport the rest of the way. You may have to change trains, so cycle to the second train you would usually take instead. Not only are you getting a better workout and burning more calories, but you’ll also save money on your train fare.
You can then cycle half of the way back, so you get an extra workout at the end of the day. If this really isn’t a possibility, remember to add it in when you are on your day off so you get the calorie-burning exercise into your week. Try to go for longer if this is the case.
If you can, invest in a home cycling machine. You’ll be able to get the workout done from the comfort of your own home to really burn the calories. You won’t need anything special, and there is equipment to make your own bike stationary to get the workout in.
Most of these workouts you can do from your own home, and they won’t take you too long. In fact, you can fit them into 20-30 minutes to start your day. Swimming is something you can do on your way to work, or fit it into your lunch break to really make the most of your day.
All the workouts listed above will burn the most calories on your Monday morning, getting you ready for a week of work and making you as productive as possible. By the end of it, you’ll feel like you’re ready to tackle anything.
Doing these weekly and building a routine out of it will get you into shape in no time. The benefits your body will get from these workouts will not only get you through the week, they will also last for the longest time.