Hit House is a Muay Thai fitness studio and Gympass partner in New York. Check out what one of their writers, Ace Boutin, had to say about revamping her morning routine. 

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This year has been one of the most unique challenges yet, and my daily routine went out the window during the beginning of self-isolation. I’d go to bed past midnight and wake up at 10 (and then take an afternoon nap). In mid-April, I wrote down everything I used to do before the pandemic. My commute, my workout, and my social life were completely cut from this piece of paper. What stared back at me were empty lines.

And that’s when it hit me: this was my time to do the things I didn’t have time for before. The routine was in my hands, I just had to stick to it — and that started with setting my alarm for 8 A.M. the next day. I collected some tips from our Hit House instructors and fitness and self-care experts to help you become a morning person, even when you’re staying home.

Tip 1: Your alarm clock can make or break the day

Your alarm clock is the first thing you hear in the morning. By simply setting a time to wake up, you are taking the first step toward making time for the things you want to accomplish during the day.

alarm clock on pink and blue background

  • “Set your alarm away from your bed so when it goes off in the morning, you have no choice but to get out of the bed to shut it off. Once you’re standing, you’re less likely to lay back down.” Brianna Biffignani, professional dancer, ACE certified personal trainer, and creator of Barre for Muay Thai
  • “Make your alarm your hype teamuse your favorite workout song (or a song that makes you really happy) as your alarm. Your blood will be pumping and your outlook sunny before you even get out of bed!” Kristen Kendrick, a Hit House instructor and natural early bird

Tip 2: Sunlight is your best friend

The sun was the original alarm clock. Our bodies naturally recognize it as a signal to wake.

  • “[Open] the blinds or curtains to let sunlight in. Studies have proven that people who get sunlight fresh in the morning have improved alertness and mood boost!” Biffignani

Tip 3: Get your blood pumping

I know, I know. The dreaded “E” word. But, hey, you’re on the Gympass blog, we know you’re interested in fitness and wellness. Plus, moving first thing in the morning can increase oxygen to the rest of your body, trigger endorphins, and improve your sleep quality.

  • “Benefits of a morning workout? If nothing else it keeps you on a schedule. It also boosts [your] mood, checks off something on your list, increases blood flow … and I tend to be more productive if I start with a workout. It helps to give flexibility at the end of your day for other priorities: dinner, hobbies, friends.” Katie Werbowski, director of brand strategy & development Skin Spa New York
  • “Get your workouts on a repeating schedule that you can stick to.” Jon Bianco, Hit House instructor and MMA fighter
  • “A 10-minute meditation pre- or post-workout is a great way to set your mind and body on a healthy track for the day.” — Kendrick

Tip 4: WATER, WATER, WATER

I know you know this one. And you know that I know that you know the benefits. But considering that up to 75% of Americans may be chronically dehydrated, it’s worth repeating. After a good night’s rest, you’ve deprived your body of water for (hopefully around) eight hours. It’s time to replenish.

mug of water with lemon

  • “A large glass of water … splash some lemon in there for an extra kick and boost in your digestive system … after [this], you’re set for a bright and motivated morning.” — Biffignani
  • “Keep a bottle of water next to the bed (closed top, so it’s clean in the A.M. still) to start the day hydrated. Add lemon if you can to flush toxins.” — Werbowski

Tip 5: Self-care is key

Self-isolation is the ultimate time for self-care. You deserve some quiet time to reflect on you.

  • “The first month or so of quarantine I felt kind of lost without my routine, so I decided to start my mornings in a similar way that I would if I was going into the office. I set my alarm a bit earlier, go for a walk, and catch up on my daily podcasts. It’s a nice way to do something for myself before I log in and I get a little exercise in at the same time.” Elora Sullivan, currently working from home full-time, also a kickboxing instructor (who’s used to teaching at 6:15 A.M.)
  • “Create a morning routine you look forward to! I love waking up mostly because my morning routine is damn juicy and I immediately get excited about it. It’s the same every day: skin care routine, light clean-up (make my bed, put my books away, etc.) while I sip on apple cider vinegar and cold water, pour my homemade cold brew and write in my journal, meditate, read the news, and play a chess puzzle. I take about 1.5 hours for my morning routine and then I feel ready to start my day. Fill your morning with things you love that leave you feeling good about the new day!” Regina Postrekhina, Muay Thai and yoga instructor

Tip 6: Avoid morning stress

It’s important to find ways to reduce stress first thing in the morning while you prepare for the day ahead.

  • “Something I strive to do (and ends up happening about 40% of the time) is avoiding social media in the morning for at least 30 minutes. It is such an easy habit to get into. When I start out with a clear mind, my day goes so much smoother.” Marissa Graham, certified trainer with Dancers Who Lift and Hit House
  • “The first thing I do in the mornings is journal! I aim for three pages before I even get out of bed. This sets up my day by setting goals organically, easing any A.M. anxiety, and giving me a sense of accomplishment right off the bat. No matter where the day goes, I know that I put some time into mindfulness and connecting with my needs, which makes the activities that follow (a workout, cooking breakfast) that much more intuitive.” – Cam Norsworthy, creator of Cam on Demand

This is a historically weird time. It’s uncomfortable and painful, and if you’re feeling alone, this article offers tips on how to be there for yourself and treat yourself with the respect you deserve.

From workouts to therapy, meditation, and everything in between, a Gympass membership gets you moving — mind, body, and mood. Sign up today and start your free trial.

Ace B. Boutin graduated from the University of Vermont with a double major in Environmental Science and Writing. She recently received her Masters in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from The New School. She is currently a model with New York Model Management and loves to spend her free time kickboxing and playing with her cat.