Lunden Souza: Jump-start your day with 3 tips

By Lunden SouzaJune 7, 2013 

A lot of times we can start out our day with the intention of it being productive and great.

Many of us start the day saying to ourselves, "OK, I will wake up at 6, eat a great breakfast, go to work, run some errands, head to the gym and then head home."

Initially it sounds great, and we are ready for it. But as the day goes on and many other stressors creep into our lives, it's easy to find other things to do that derail your initial plan.

It's summertime, time for hot weather, barbecues and poolside afternoons. This is the time when most people begin to realize that they need to get their lives on track and start making a change for summer.

You should start a few months in advance to fully reach your goals, but it is never too late to get going.

So, this week I have a few fitness and health tips that you can implement before you even head out the door to start your day. They'll help get and keep you on track.

The first tip is stretching in the morning right when you wake up, before you get out of bed.

Bring both knees into your chest and rock your knees side to side. You can release one leg and do this with single legs as well for a nice stretch for the lower back. You can also cross that single knee over the opposite leg and keep the same shoulder on the ground for a supine twist stretch that is awesome as well.

As you sit up you can do the butterfly stretch and also extend your legs out in front of you and stretch, reaching for your toes. Remember, stretching and recovery are very important -- just as vital as any workout.

Another tip is to do calf raises while you are brushing your teeth. You are supposed to brush your teeth for about one minute, and if you do calf raises the entire time, you are sure to feel the burn. You can even do some heel raises towards the ceiling to target the glutes.

My final tip is to eat breakfast. I know that might seem like an obvious thing, but a lot of people leave the house in a rush without doing it, instead grabbing a doughnut or something equally unhealthy.

Instead, take the extra 10 minutes to put effort into fueling yourself and jump-starting your metabolism.

That will keep you focused and better able to conquer your day -- all day.

Try these tips a few times next week to start implementing some habits. The point of tips is to help you understand that you have to do a lot of little things over time to get where you want to be.

No matter how hard we wish and dream to be fit and healthy, those will remain only wishes and dreams unless we take the necessary steps to get there.

Notice how I said steps, not step, because there will always be multiple ways to implement more fitness and health tips. Be confident, focus on a few small steps to help you get where you want to be for summer and for the rest of your life.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at

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