If mornings aren't your jam, and you hit snooze eleventy-million times before diving head first into a pot of dark roast, you probably don't have a lot of time for exercise before work. However, the best workout to help you wake up in the morning takes just seven minutes, and it can give you an energy boost that will carry you through your entire day. If you're not in the know about the Scientific 7-Minute Workout, this quickie exercise routine incorporates cardio, circuit training, and abs.
Before you groan about being tired and not having enough time, consider the fact that if you commit to hitting snooze one less time, you can absolutely fit the Scientific 7-Minute Workout into your morning. OK, I'm not gonna lie and say I do this routine every morning, but I have gone long stretches where I began my day with this workout, and it did indeed make me feel more awake.
What's more, if you think there's no way a seven-minute exercise routine can both wake you up and provide physical and mental health benefits, a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal found that in this case, less is actually more. "Individuals who previously believed that they did not have the time for exercise can now trade total exercise time for total exercise effort and get similar or better health and fitness benefits."
You can access a variety of follow-along videos for this workout on YouTube so all you have to do is roll out of bed, hit play, and spend seven minutes jumping around. The Scientific 7-Minute Workout includes jumping jacks, wall sit, abdominal crunches, chair step, squats, tricep dips, planks, high knees running in place, lunges, and push ups. If you can't do any of these exercises for whatever reason — push ups aggravate my chronic shoulder condition so I do them against a table — modify the moves to meet your needs.
By committing to just seven minutes, you can not only wake yourself up, you can get your exercise in for the day. "For years, a growing body of research expanded on the benefits of this highly efficient mode of training," the study noted. "Researchers have examined how increasing the intensity of this type of training by using exercises known to significantly elevate the heart rate and limiting rest time could elicit even greater gains in even shorter overall exercise time."
Seriously, if 30 seconds of high-knee running doesn't wake you up, nothing will. If you can't wake up without coffee, remember that this is your seven-minute workout in the privacy of your bedroom, which means that the rules of the gym don't apply. You can do it in your pajamas — or in your birthday suit — and sip your coffee in between intervals. Whatever your jam is, you do you.
Business Insider Video Producer Kevin Reilly tried the Scientific 7-Minute Workout for 30 days and reported in a YouTube video that he felt a mental boost that lasted all day long on the days he did the workout in the morning. Additionally, he said that the ease of being able to get up and just press play made the routine easy to stick to.
On the website Coach Me, people noted that exercising for just a short amount of time in the morning helped wake them up and feel more present throughout their day. "I exercise for 10 minutes in the morning," one user noted in a Q&A. "I start with a few sun salutations, which gets the blood flowing and then do one fairly intense exercise — jumping jacks, max squats, max pushups, ab workout, etc. For me this works great. I build and maintain muscle and it gets me energized for the rest of my day."
This is basically aspects of the Scientific 7-Minute Workout with some yoga thrown in. If you've tried everything else to get going in the morning, consider committing to getting up seven minutes earlier every day for a week, jump around your room in your PJs, and see if you feel more awake. If 30 seconds of jumping jacks doesn't help you shake off the sleepies, you can go right back to hitting snooze and mainlining coffee.