17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know

17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know
Photo: Pond5

Ever wonder how America’s fittest maintain their healthy bodies — and mindsets? Hint: It’s not just good genetics and a coffee IV. They start their day with certain good-for-you habits that set them up for success from a.m. to p.m. Read on to uncover the one morning ritual that keeps each of these 17 fitness buffs at the top of their game. And don’t worry, you can still pretend you #wokeuplikethis.

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1. Get sweaty.
“As a mom to a 3-year-old and 7-month-old, time management is key. I get outside and move early! The sun and fresh air instantly energize me. Typically, I walk my dog with my kids in the morning, and we are all better for it. I also like bringing a workout like this full body dumbbell workout outside while my youngest naps. Exercising early in the day sets me up for success.” — Jess Allen, MS, CSCS, personal trainer in Chicago and founder of Blonde Ponytail Fitness

2. Catch a zen state of mind.
“I start my day with a short five to 10-minute meditation. This ensures that I begin in a peaceful, mindful mentality, and primes me for whatever comes my way. Doing this on a daily basis, even for just a few minutes, helps to keep my stress and anxiety levels in check.” — Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CSCS, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

RELATED: How to Meditate (Even If You’re Insanely Busy)

3. Drink a tall glass of H2O.
“One thing that I make sure to do right after I wake up is drink a tall glass of water. I’m a big fan of coffee (I wouldn’t dare dive into my day without it!). But I’ve learned to start with water first, and I turn to it often in order to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day.” — Heather Hesington, personal trainer and blogger at Life In Leggings

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4. Roll with it.
“On days when I’m not heading to work before my kids are up, I set my alarm 30 minutes to one hour before theirs to have a little ‘me’ time. I start with a large glass of water — it’s how I earn my coffee. Then I pull out the foam roller for some self-myofascial release while catching up on news — multitasking is everything! I’ve committed to spending a little time each day on mobility and getting it done first thing has proved very effective.” Dara Theodore, Daily Burn 365 trainer and instructor at The Fhitting Room in NYC.

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5. Commit to a plan.
“I make my ‘to-do’ list before checking my email. This makes me feel like I’m in control of my day rather than being controlled by the never-ending inbox and people asking me for things!” — Stephanie Mansour, health and fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up with Steph

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6. Fire up the abs.
“I take five minutes for a mini abs session to check in with my core first thing in the morning. It helps me make healthier decisions all day long! Whether it’s what to eat at lunch, or whether or not to hit the gym after work, this puts me more in tune with my body and ready to treat it well!” — Katie Dunlop, certified trainer, fitness instructor and founder of Love Sweat and Fitness (You can watch her full healthy morning routine here.)

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7. Sip this feel-good drink.
“I start the day off with my favorite morning drink: a mix of hot water, a large splash of apple cider vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, plus a generous sprinkle of turmeric and cayenne. It can help to kickstart the metabolism, reduce inflammation and boost energy. I also find that I make healthier choices during the day when I take the time to sip this before breakfast.” — Gina Harney, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and blogger at The Fitnessista

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8. Set a fitness date.
“I sign up for classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Even if my son has a bad night’s sleep, I force myself to get to the studio with him in tow since there is babysitting! I can no longer sign up right before because of the limited babysitting spaces. It’s good accountability or else I get charged for not showing up.” — Sarah Dussault, certified personal trainer, YouTuber and blogger at Sarah Fit

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9. Get bulletproof.
“I mix a pad of grass-fed butter into my coffee for bulletproof coffee, then I get in cardio. I can’t begin my mornings without this endorphin release!” — Chris Powell, trainer on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss and co-author of Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days

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Photo: Pond5

10. Walk the pup.
“The first thing I do when I wake up is take my dog for a 20- to 30-minute walk. We live in a townhome without a fenced in yard, but I definitely enjoy the extra movement, especially since I spend most of the day on my computer. The fresh air, sounds of nature and movement start my day off well. It’s almost like a form of meditation for me.” — Nia Shanks, fitness coach, writer and founder of Lift Like a Girl

11. Let inspiration seep in.
“Each morning I make a little shake of water, 1/2 scoop protein powder and 1/2 scoop pre-workout and glutamine. It’s a nice little combo that keeps me in a fasted state, but seems to cut off sugar cravings later! I sip it while reading a couple positive quotes. I love reading Louise Hay, who has little sayings like ‘I rise above all limitations,’ which I can think throughout the day.” — Amanda Brooks, blogger at Run to the Finish

RELATED: 17 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

12. Get a sports bra on.
“First, I change into running clothes. Getting up and changing into workout clothes first thing helps make it easier to get it done. Putting on your sports bra is half the battle, right? Then, I make iced coffee and sip it while I braid my hair and slop on SPF 30 sport sunblock. By the time I’m ready to go, my coffee is gone and I’m out the door getting a few miles in before starting my day.” — Monica Olivas, certified running coach, personal trainer, and blogger at Run Eat Repeat

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13. Eat an energizing breakfast.
“No coffee. I go for yerba mate tea, then grind up one grapefruit and two oranges in the blender and have that with two eggs. I’ve never felt better, and this keeps me going at full power all day.”Jimmy Minardi, certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and founder of Minardi Training

RELATED: 7 Delicious Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

14. Pass the collagen.
“I began adding collagen to my coffee a couple of months ago and now it’s one of my daily staples. Collagen promotes hair and nail growth, reduces wrinkles, improves digestion, helps joint and cartilage health and provides a boost of protein and lots of amino acids. I add a tablespoon to my coffee. It dissolves instantly and doesn’t alter the texture or taste of my coffee at all!” — Julie Fagan, personal trainer and blogger at Peanut Butter Fingers

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15. Go high intensity.
“I do treadmill sprints. These fasted cardio intervals are a new addition to my morning routine, and have proven to shed fat on my body faster than any other form of cardio I’ve tried!”— Heidi Powell, personal trainer and co-author of Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

16. BYO everything.
“I pack a giant lunch box, specifically in my Elite Victoria – Meal Management Tote [since] I’m in my car going from client to client all day long. In it, I pack at least five big bottles of Fiji water, low-calorie popcorn bags, protein bars, oatmeal, egg whites and blueberries. A small canister of low-sugar chocolate protein powder is always in there too, which I add to my coffee.” — Erin Oprea, celebrity trainer at Oprea Personal Fitness in Nashville, TN and author of The 4 x 4 Diet

17. Just breathe.
“Even before getting out of bed, I put my mind and body into relaxation mode, as odds are it’s going to exist in the stressful ‘fight or flight’ mode for most of the day. I place one hand on my diaphragm, and slowly inhale through my nose. Then, I hold it for two seconds, and slowly exhale through my mouth. I do this every morning for at least five to seven minutes. The longer the inhale and exhale, the more this puts the body in its parasympathetic or relaxation mode. This gives me clarity once I finally get out of bed to start the day proactively, rather than reactively.”— Jim Karas, celebrity fitness and lifestyle expert, founder of Jim Karas Personal Training in Chicago and author of The Ultimate Diet REVolution

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