A morning exercise routine is something to be embraced, not dreaded or feared! Why then are so many of us unwilling or unable to do something that has proven health benefits, takes so little time to do, and which just makes us FEEL better? After all, chances are you already do that little arm stretch when you first get up in the morning – what do you think your body is trying to tell you?! Depending on where in the world you are reading this you may argue “it just isn’t part of our culture to have a morning exercise routine…”, but is that really true?
The Morning Exercise Routine Through History
If you’re reading this in the USA, before 6 am pilates and yoga classes, before Jack LaLanne even, there was the Metropolitan Life Health Exercises – literally a morning exercise routine where you could exercise along to instructions broadcast on the radio at a set time every day. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s hundreds of thousands of people started their day RIGHT, by propping up their exercise chart and following along to the announcer’s instructions.
Why not take a look through this “collective opinion” of the exercises – they may be laying on the benefits with a trowel, but I defy you not to get caught up in the excitement of it all!
Example from the “Collective Opinion”:
“I take the exercises every morning, sometimes all the way through,” a Philadelphia woman writes. “What with them and rolling around the floor, I have lost fifty-two pounds since last March—isn’t that encouraging?” And from Gloucester, Massachusetts, a high school girl writes: “I have been taking the exercises for a month now and have gained four pounds already.”The Collective Opinion
At the time, these were referred to as ‘setting up exercises’, in other words, they were exercises to set you up for the day. I’m not saying you need to forgo your morning cuppa joe (after all, that’s more to help you face the world as much as set you up for the day, am I right?), far from it in fact; a good morning exercise routine is just another piece in the puzzle.
Walter Camp’s Daily Dozen was another morning exercise routine designed to set you up for the day, and as someone who does that routine regularly, it really CAN get you out of a funk, wake you up a bit, and get rid of that sluggishness and lethargy that can creep up on you. I’m equally fond of the Metropolitan Life health Exercises however because they offer VARIETY.
The Daily Dozen is made up of 12 simple exercises that are easy to remember and don’t require you to get down on the ground at ANY point. That routine is great if you just want that little instant pick-me-up, but like anything it can get stale and you will start to think of excuses not to do it. The Metropolitan Life Health Exercise routine, however, consists of a selection of DIFFERENT exercises every day, so in a full five-day week of exercising you don’t have to repeat any exercise! Read more about that HERE.
As the Internal Force Fitness library grows, I want you to experiment, to have a go, to pick and choose what works for YOU. That’s how Internal Force Fitness started in the first place – trial and error.
Radio Taiso and Japanese Morning Exercise Routines
Some savvy Japanese businessmen were visiting the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and immediately recognised the benefits such a routine could have in their homeland. It wasn’t long before Japan had their very own morning exercise routine: Radio Taiso. Much like the Daily Dozen, the Radio Taiso I have written English instructions for does not involve getting down on the ground, and I think this is one of the reasons it is so popular. In keeping with the idea of variety, the fact there are three Radio Taiso routines just helps keep it that little bit fresher too.
Join a GLOBAL trend
This isn’t just about a long-defunct American exercise program and a bunch of elderly Japanese people clinging on to an archaic piece of culture. Internal Force Fitness originals and reproductions are downloaded by people from all over the world; and not just from the countries that course originates in.
Don’t think you can use “but I’m not really a morning person” excuse either, most of the exercise routines on this website take under ten minutes to complete. You don’t need special clothing, you’re not going to end up dripping with sweat, they are going to help you BECOME more of a morning person. Failing that, there is honestly nothing stopping you doing your morning exercises when you get home from work!
From the feedback I receive, people are now actively hunting out these simple ‘vintage’ exercise routines. Often they are unsatisfied with all the up to date ‘sophisticated’ fitness routines they try, and want to try something they can actually understand and ENJOY!
As long as that continues to be the case, I’m here to help.