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3 Quick Exercises to Jump-Start Your Week

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Waking up groggy on Monday morning is no way to start your week. No matter how much fun you had over the weekend, it's important to get ahead of your busy week and kick things off right.

Researchers have found that although it may feel counterintuitive, short amounts of low-intensity exercise can improve overall energy levels. One study from the University of Georgia performed in 2008 revealed that just three 20-minute exercise sessions per week resulted in a 20 percent increase in energy for participants. 

You might not need that sugary energy drink to wake up, instead try starting your Monday with a few quick exercises and a tasty nutrient-packed smoothie for post-workout revitalization. Here are a few of the best early morning exercises that'll help you be ready to tackle what's thrown at you.

1. Split squats 
Work your glutes, hips and thighs first thing on Monday with this simple exercise. Women's Health magazine recommended split squats as an energizing morning exercise. Start with your feet hip-width apart, your hands on your hips and body straight. From here you'll drop one foot back and lunge, bending the knee of your front leg. Keep moving in this position for about 30 second while you feel the burn on your glutes and hamstring. Once you're done with one leg, switch to the other. Although your legs may burn a bit more when you get to the office, you'll be wide awake. 

2. Crunches
The U.S. military's fitness blog told people who are strapped for time in the morning to start off their workout with some crunches. If you're not a fan of the traditional crunch, there are a number of specialty crunches that focus on various core muscle groups. You can combine these for a brief, complete core workout. Start with 10 to 20 traditional crunches, then do a set of reverse crunches followed by double crunches, left crunches, right crunches, bicycle crunches and then a plank for 40 seconds. Stretch out afterward. You'll feel good and energized, and it all only took under 5 minutes. 

3. Yoga and stretching 
Some people love getting up early and going for a run, but you don't need a lot of cardio for a healthy early morning workout. You can get energized and feel great for the rest of the day by waking up and stretching out. Whether you prefer yoga with a focus on breathing and relaxation to start your morning calm or a more intensive stretching process to loosen up your shoulders, spine, neck and legs, these workouts are a good way to get you ready for your Monday and the rest of the week.