For a better life : Morning routine part 3, working out !


So, let's recap !
Part 3 : starts by working out ; later, there will be yoga and Kegel.
First of all, I'm no sports coach, I'm no doctor, I'm only explaining what I do every morning or almost to keep in shape. 
Second : there are basics things to know before you start working out at home. 
  • In any case, you can ask the opinion of your doctor to see if he agrees and if there are some sports/moves you should avoid if you have health issues.
  • When you want to stand up and keep your back straight, remember that it musn't be ramrod straight : your spine isn't flat. To figure out what is the best position, lie down on the floor, keep your shoulders to the floor, your butt, your feet. You can feel that your spine, your knees don't connect with the floor. It's the position you must keep in mind when you're standing and working out, and remember to keep your pubis slightly forward and your knees relaxed, your shoulders down. You musn't be tense.
  • When you practice squats, your knee must never - never - go beyond the tip of your foot to avoid pains.
  • If a movement is painful, don't insist. It means it's not good for you - yet or never (that's why it's good to have the opinion of a doctor). 
  • Try to exhale when you make the effort, inhale when you get back in your primary position. Always remember to breathe !
  • Do the movements at your own rhythm : you don't need to be quick, you need to do them thoroughly, in your own time. The more you practice, the easier it will get, the better you will feel.
  • Always keep a glass full of water close at hand ! Refill it if need be.
If you can find a course to practice with a teacher, it's best, but in these days and age of pandemics... I work out at home because I do it very early in the morning, I've had gym classes before and know how to not hurt myself and, of course, it's cheapest. But if I could go to a gym class, I would. There are no yoga classes around here on my days off.
I have a little spot to myself (and the cats...) to exercise in the morning with a mat (that I fight for with the cats, they think it's theirs and cats love it when I lie down, they think I want to play with them - I don't) :
The yellow cylinder on the left is my yoga mat. The black thing in front of it is a cat (told you) ! I also use the steps (on the left also, that lead to the bedrooms) for yoga and for step practice, when I feel like it and if I have time, after the arms workout and before the butt/legs workout :

During the first lockdown, when I didn't want to practice in public in the living room, I simply used my bedroom. There's just enough space between the bed and the cupboard. I just take care not to break anything !
For my arms, I use weights (weighted gloves and dumbbells of two different weights), but you can use small/bigger bottles and, to warm up, just nothing.

First, I warm up. I use the warm-up on my old DVD of Kathy Ireland, Body specifics. I've done it so many times, I don't need to watch it any more and it warms the whole body. On Youtube, you can find other warm-ups with the length of time you can fit into your schedule. This one is short, easy and efficient :
Now the action : I start with the following movements with the weighted gloves to warm the arms. You can do it progressively if you're not used to it, just the weighted gloves for a couple of weeks, then gloves+dumbbells next, your choice. I started with the gloves then progressed to the lighter dumbbells when it became too easy and so on  :

On the gif, she does both arms almost simultaneously. I prefer working on one arm, then the other, it gives the other arm some relief. You can practice simultaneously later, if you want to. So, I raise the weights 2x10 times on one side, 2x10 times on the other. 2x10 is psychologically easier than just 20 ! You can do it more, or less, depending on your time and your strength. Control the movement, no balancing, it's best for your bones. Don't hurry, it's no competition, you'll end up doing it easily and will proudly consider all the progress you've made in just a couple of weeks.

Same here : 2x10 times on one side then the other, unlike on the gif. While one arm works, I put my other hand on my thigh. Bending helps preventing the back from being hurt. 
Again : 2x10 on one side, then on the other.
Next, 2x10 on one side then the other, unlike him. 
(I raise mine up to the shoulders but no higher)
Last move, 2x10 on one side then the other
Once you have finished, start again but with the dumbbells and do it twice more.

When that the arms workout is done, don't hesitate to bend forward (with a straight back and neck) with the dumbbells in your hands, twist and balance your arms to relax the muscles.

(I've been thinking of adding this movement next - see, the knee remains above the foot) :

Now come the squats (you can use a chair to keep your balance or you can stare at a point straight ahead of you) :
2x10 "normal" squats first, and the rest is a variation... Make sure to keep your weight on your heels to work on the right muscles and to help keep your balance. I tend to bend forward and have to take care and realign.

Next squat, and when you're almost seated (in the air), stay there and do 2x10 small movements (I didn't find a gif) like you're lightly bouncing on an imaginary chair, never really sitting, never really rising. Your thighs will hate you first and they'll burn, but they'll thank you later. They would if they could talk, I mean.
And because I'm a sadist, 2x10 "normal" squats again, he he ! 
Then the hardest part (for me anyway) : pretend you're sitting on the air and don't move until you've counted 2x10. Generally, when I rise afterward, I shake each of my leg. They burn.
Last movement, the same squat but with feet apart, 2x10 times :
That part of the workout is over! When you have finished this, you might want to do those stretches (a little longer than on the gif !) :

I do this early in the morning when there's noone around to watch me (mostly...) but you can do this anytime during the day, providing you don't forget to warm those muscles up first then stretch them. Don't forget to drink.
This is what I do to put some muscle and some agility back in my body. I love feeling the muscles during the day, not painfully (not since the first days !) but knowing they are here and they will make my work and my life easier. As a librarian, I often squat to reach the lower shelves and carry heavy books, so I appreciate ! Even when I want to fill the cats' plates : squat !
You can do this in music if you like it, I do it in silence - my family is not awake yet, neither are my neighbours and I want to concentrate on the good I'm doing to myself. Silly, perhaps, but true. It's peaceful in the silence and sometimes I hear the owls outside or the tits, depending on the season.
When that morning comes (and it will come) when you think that workout time will be better spent on the sofa with a book and a warm drink or more time in bed, think about what these bring you, the energy. My personal best moment is at the end of yoga practice, when I feel energized and relaxed, happy and smiling. This is what makes me take my dumbbells again every morning - or almost. 
Sick ? Periods ? Not feeling good ? You don't have to do it every day, just remember you do it for yourself, to feel better. If you're sick, take care of yourself. If you're not feeling good, the activity may help you, but you don't have to. Remember to work out regularly, that's all, and not lose the habit.
After I quit my gym class years ago, I used a DVD to stay in shape, it's the aforementioned Kathy Ireland's "Body specifics". It's old, the dialogues are... average, but it's wonderfully efficient and after a few weeks, I felt ready to conquer the world ! If you want to work your abds, buttocks and thighs, it's perfect. I only regret that there is no part on arms. There is a warm-up, then 3 work-outs of 12mn each (you can easily fit them into your schedule, I did as a young mother), then a few stretches to relax. I'll do a recap on yoga and sports YT channels in a few weeks.

What about you, do you work out in the mornings, or during the day, or during the week ? Do you walk ? Tell me all about it :)


  1. Very inspiring!
    By the way, not related, but I suddenly saw Burgundy on your twitter profile. Where in Burgundy? I lived 12 years in Chenôve and Dijon, where I did my studies and taught English. Then to the Champagne region, then Iowa, and now Illinois

    1. I live near Sens, in Yonne, near Champagne and not far from Loiret, I work in Paris and am from Brittany :) You jumped a long way from Champagne to Illinois !

  2. I can't find Cats don't Laugh here, sigh! It looks like a good book.

    1. It hasn't been translated, but I hope it will :)

  3. love that the cat caming running back inside due to the snow. And I love exercising at home as well. Lately I've been trying to do Hiit so I can have stone cold abs(lol) Fitness marshall is my go to.

    1. Wow, if you're a regular at Hiit, the abs will soon be here ^^