Sure you can workout before work, but when it’s pitch black at 6 a.m. and you don’t have time get to the gym, what is one to do? Here’s an idea: Build a workout into your workday.

This is the first in a two-part series from certified personal trainer Andrea Metcalf on how to make simple, small changes to your daily ritual to build a healthier lifestyle. Today’s segment focuses on your morning ritual, from early morning to your commute, which obviously could be used to and from work. Give these a try!

Early Morning

1. 15 Minute Movement -Wake up 15 minutes earlier to walk, jog, stretch or jump. Many times going to the gym at the early hours of the morning require a 60-90 minute commitment. Even 15 minutes can add up to a change in your strength and stamina over a few months time. Try to wake up earlier and walk around your home while listening to music or planning out your day. Jump on a bike and take a quick ride around the neighborhood or just follow a simple yoga sun salutation.  At the end of the week, this adds up to over 100 minutes of exercise and even low to moderate intensity (3 mph) movement can burn approximately 350 calories. Take this to a higher intensity jog or run (5 mph) and you can triple it to more than 900 calories for the week’s effort.

2. Fast forward your morning chores.  There are several things we do each morning that can burn a few extra calories. Make the bed in record time! Time yourself to see how quickly you can make the bed or other daily chores. As a mother, I used to time my kids picking up their toys. The extra effort in moving can burn a few extra calories.

3. Power of 60. Try of each of these basic strength moves for a one-minute for a quick 6-minute workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, bridges, bicycles, and superman. These movements cover the main muscles for a total body workout.

Commute to Work

1. Power Posture Seat. Whether you’re driving in a car or sitting on the train, power posture is a good way to strengthen your back muscles and core.  Try sitting tall with your back off the seat and pull in your belly while you exhale. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and open up your chest.  Hold for 3-5 counts. Bad posture can cause neck and low back pain. Even simple exercises can help.[1]

2. Walk if off. Chose to park the car farthest away from the building or walk an extra block from the train station. Adding even 100 extra steps a day can add up.  

Small changes can make a big impact. Change your routine for a healthier life. Check back for part two– at the office!



Andrea Metcalf

Andrea is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist and Health Expert. She’s based in Chicago and has appeared on NBC Today Show, USA Today,, Rueters Health Report,, Better TV and local Chicago stations. You can find her at

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