Morning Routine

Though I no longer need to get up at four in the morning, it is a habit I find difficult to break. I enjoy two cups of fresh ground black coffee while responding to emails and comments or preparing a new blog post.

Cleansing and moisturizing is a ritual that I always enjoy. I start and end each day with a few minutes of me-time. Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream is the perfect daytime moisturizer.

Next, I get dressed for my walk and still have time to dustmop the hardwood floors or start a load of laundry. I find that doing a few chores each day means my home stays neat without having to devote a whole day to house cleaning.

As daylight comes, I go for a brisk walk every morning that the weather allows. My route includes three miles up and down hills and around the neighborhood lakes. I often go for another walk in the evening.

When I am outside for more than a few minutes, I use Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick. (Always continue down to your chest.) For the body, I use Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist with SPF 30.

Brisk walking has always been my favorite exercise. I wear the same type of casual street clothes I wear while relaxing at home. My scoop-neck T is from Macy’s. Since all my other items are old, I will link below to similar current items. The ankle-length white jeans were from Chico’s several years ago. Referral and affiliate links in my posts may result in a small commission paid to me at no cost to you.

Walking ShoesWhite JeansScoop Neck TSocksHatSunglassesSkincare

The hat protects my face from the sun, but it also works like a charm to keep my hair from whipping into my face when it is windy.

Dance classes or going to the gym may pass in and out of my routine, but I enjoy being outside most. Walking is the only exercise routine I have continued to enjoy all of my life.

I appreciate this skincare line by Beautycounter so much! The formulas are perfect for our delicate, aging skin.

After my walk, I prepare breakfast, clean the kitchen, make the bed, and take a shower. When I get out of the shower, I use the other Beautycounter daytime skincare products and finish with a bit of eyeliner pencil, shadow, mascara, and bronzer. I use the sheer lipsticks most often.

What is the exercise you enjoy most?

  1. I love my morning walk as well! I do try to get to the gym 2-3 times a week, but walking is the best!

  2. Hi Susan, my question is whether you have any experience with the Chico’s No Stain white jeans? Since I started reading your blog I have purchased two pairs of Liverpool white jeans, am wondering if Chico’s no stain jeans should be the next addition to my wardrobe?

  3. My favourite exercise is also walking. Like you, I go every morning before breakfast. There are lots of hills where I live, so I get a good workout!

  4. I always need to wash my hair and shower in the morning. Do you do that after you take a walk or are you ready for the day after your walk?

  5. I also enjoy walking, but need to get into a daily routine, like yours. Next week we’re heading to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, so I’m looking forward to some nice strolls along the sand. Have a lovely day!

  6. I am a big walker, too, however, I also go to Holy Yoga twice a week. Yesterday I tried a Vinyasa Yoga class which was extremely challenging. I walk with my dear friend. We’ve been walking together for 16+ years.

  7. I am with you, walking lifts the spirits. I have a little dog, and live in a townhouse so I walk 5 times a day, rain, shine or snow! I have developed planters fasciitis recently so am keeping my walks to 30 minutes per session, but that still adds up to about 90 minutes a day. I avoid mountains with this injury, but love the estuary where there are birds of all sorts. Eagles, swans and singing birds brighten the day, I do my thinking and contemplating life while walking. I search out wildflowers in the spring and gobble up blackberries in the summer. Last night I saw a raccoon family, and I see otters and deer regularly. How lucky am I.

    1. Hi Janice – I had severe plantar fasciitis and was about to have a (very painful I hear) cortisone injection. First I was given some exercises by my podiatrist and they have worked great. I continue them on a less stringent basis and have been pain free for over a year. You might want to try something like that. Mary

  8. Have done both the walking and gym routines a good portion of my life however was involved in ongoing home renovations during the past two years (as do all the painting among other things which are a work-out in themselves) but all came to an abrupt halt, as sustained two fractures in my back while skiing during the winter season so am currently restricting myself to just exercising in the pool. That said; I am envying you to be able to walk the distance you do and enjoy such beautiful scenery while doing it as currently walking on hard terrain is brutal for me after just fourty-five minutes (but I am improving).
    Wishing you a beautiful day.
    -Brenda –

  9. I run, walk, hike, do yoga, and love to swim and kayak. I turn 60 this September and I’m going to retire from teaching at the end of this school year. I’m really excited to have time for more adventures and to visit my children, who all live in cities quite far away.

  10. Susan, I am thinking of changing my skin routine from Rodan and Fields to some other routine I just haven’t decided yet what I should go with. I am 68 and I need a change. Do you like the Beauty Counter products and does it help you with anti-aging and also does it have retinol in it..



    1. I love the Beautycounter products so much I became a consultant a few years ago. (I have used the skincare exclusively since.) The Countertime collection is perfect for our aging skin. The Countertime Tripeptide Radiance is formulated with a powerful blend of peptides, amino acids, and a plant-derived Retinatural Complex. Beautycounter only uses safe ingredients.

  11. It’s too hot to walk here in Florida. I enjoy body compat, body pump and cardio dance. You have a beautiful walking area.

  12. I love moderate weight lifting, both on my own and in a class at the gym. When I started in my 40s it eliminated pain and stiffness I had started to feel in my lower back. I think that squats and lunges are especially good for me but I also enjoy and take full advantage of the upper body work. When it’s a gym class I really enjoy that I am get to enjoy current music I might otherwise miss too. The driveway at our home is one third of a mile so walking is definitely baked into the cake for me!

  13. Susan,

    I enjoy walking in the early mornings as well, especially this time of year. I know it gets cold in the winter where you live. What do you do about walking then?

    1. I walk laps around the mall, big box stores, the grocery store, and on warmer days, I bundle up and walk outside in the afternoons. I also take every opportunity to visit more temperate climates in the winter months.

  14. I, also, walk in the morning but I do it as soon as I get up. I dress, put on tennis shoes, wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses and I’m out the door. My neighborhood is small with several streets with an incline. I wear a pedometer and usually walk about a half hour. I see many people with earbuds but I prefer to listen to nature (and listen for cars as people leave for work). In the late afternoon, I do the workouts provided by Faster Way to Fat Loss.
    Thank you for the tour of your neighborhood, Susan, it’s lovely.

  15. Oh, you have a beautiful place to walk! When it gets cooler, I want to start back walking in our neighborhood. It is the best exercise and you can’t really injure yourself, unless you trip over something, which I’ve never done. 🙂 I have a treadmill, but it is not the same as getting out in the fresh air. Thanks for the info and the pictures!

  16. I go to water aerobics classes and swim an hour 5 days a week. They are my preferred forms of exercise but I also take training classes and use the weight machines as well.

  17. You have a lovely area to walk around. I too am lucky that I now live on a canal that is next to a lake so I get to walk in a lovely area too. I do half an hour most mornings but not if the weather is horrible. I also belong to a ladies walking group that meets once a week and walks right around the lake, followed by coffee.

  18. I also enjoy walking my lab 3 times a day! We take a long walk every morning and 2 shorter walks early afternoon and evening. I requested a stress test a year ago because my brother had a heart attack. The technicians were amazed at how long it took to get my heart rate up and how quickly it came back down once done. Their advice was to KEEP WALKING!!!

  19. It sounds like a relaxing morning. I do the same but still at 6. It is so much easier doing some cleaning every day.

  20. I enjoy walking. I am interested in the skin care products. Are there any discounts available for first time buyers/tryers?

  21. Hello Susan, I would love to be able to get up at 4am during this extremely hot summer ( South of France) .I too walk every day, with my little fox terrier, but even if I’m up at 6am at the moment it is already far too hot for me. Do you have a nap during the day, or do you go to bed very early? I really enjoy your blog, best wishes, Gillian.

  22. I do love walking and try for 30 or more minutes six days a week. When it’s too hot, I slack off for awhile but my body really wants to walk. I also do some Chi Gong exercises a few morning a week, too.

  23. I too am a 4 AM riser! Always have been and I too find it wonderful to get a lot done. My favorite exercise is bicycle riding. I ride about 4 times a week, either on my road bike or when I go on trails I use another type of bike suitable for that surface. I ride fewer miles now than I did a couple of years ago. I still like to do at least 20 miles anytime I get on the bike. In the winter months I walk indoors at a couple of local large malls for a 45 to 60 min walk. I am 74 and feel exercise and eating less sugar are key to my staying healthy.

  24. I wake early and set out for a 40 minute walk with my Garmin counting steps. When I get back home I water my flowers outside and then my cup of coffee which is enjoyed outside listening to birds and taking the beauty of trees and plants. I usually do devotions with coffee and then breakfast followed by shower and dressing for the day. When I start my walk I try to be grateful for all my blessings and my health.

  25. I love walking and bicycling and here in San Diego can do both just about year round. Thanks for the encouragement to get up early and get going each day!

  26. I love your neighborhood! I do hope to move up there someday – from Florida. I do Essentrics every morning which is great for flexibility and toning. I also walk my sweet black Lab a few times a day. I also go to Dance Trance classes 2 – 3 times a week for a great cardio workout. I love learning new dance numbers – it keeps the mind sharp. I am thinking about switching to BeautyCounter products but they seem a little pricey. Do they last a long time? Thank you for your wonderful blog. You help me to stay on a positive path.

    1. Since you only use a tiny amount each time, they do last a long time. I am impressed with the results with Beautycounter much more so than those I got from much pricier brands.

  27. I too love walking as my first form of exercise.
    Like you I too have a lovely neighborhood in which to walk. Plus I have the demands of two rambunctious Shelties dogs who know when it is walking time.
    I’m an active 68 and I do need a tad more exercise such as yoga for stretching and balance. I have an exercise bike for rainy days and I am fortunate to have a gym in the neighborhood for working out in classes and social interaction.
    Your morning posts are an inspiring part of my morning ritual along with my cup of good coffee!

    Rosemary xoxord

  28. I have a membership to the YMCA and enjoy the Silver Sneakers exercise program they offer as well as the low impact aerobics classes. I don’t enjoy treadmills or recumbent bikes. I like the variety of exercises offered in the classes as well as the comraderie with the other participants.

    My husband died suddenly of a massive heart attack July 21, and the four women I socialize with after class came to the funeral home to pay their respects. The leader of the Silver Sneakers group provided a sympathy card and many regular members of the class offered sympathetic remarks which brought comfort to me. I believe exercise at this particular time is extremely important.

    I was blessed to have a 53 year marriage with a man who cherished me and I will miss him greatly. Friends and extended family members have extended such kindness, and I am very grateful they are in my life. My faith and the prayers of friends are sustaining me during my time of grieving.

    I began the exercise program at Silver Sneakers about two years ago to maintain stability and balance which is necessary as we age, and friendship has been the result of my participation as well. Walking is wonderful when the weather is good, but living in Michigan doesn’t always allow it so I like exercising with a group of people indoors. If I choose to walk, I have access to a track at the YMCA so it’s the best of both worlds.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and routine Kathy. You’ve brought so many important topics to the table. Family, friendships, and social connections are important to our well being and happiness. My heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your husband. May the memories from all those years together give you comfort.

  29. Thanks for sharing your routine, Susan. It’s helpful to hear how others manage to get everything done. I do a vinyasa flow yoga class 2-3 times a week and dance, mostly ballet, 2-3 times a week. But I’ve been known to pop in a jazz or hip hop class every now and then when I have time.

  30. Walking is my favorite form of exercise too. I’m lucky enough to live near a county park, so there are paths I can follow without any traffic to worry about it. I love to watch the seasons change and enjoy the solitude.

  31. In my 40’s it was spinning and road biking. In my 50’s it was Zumba. I’m now 65 and …..Now I’m playing Pickleball! I’m a former w basketball Coach and athlete this has fed my desire to compete on my standard. There are peeps up to 85 that I know that play this game. So fun AND social. Love walking when I’m not playing.

  32. Brisk walking is also my go too… mother walks briskly and that was something i picked up from her….without even realizing it. We’ve been known to walk when conditions aren’t as nice such as carrying an umbrella when raining or even wearking ski style masks (not the scary kind) in the winter….if we feel like it on less desirable days we just dress accordingly cause sometimes you just need to walk 🙂

  33. My husband and I love to golf. We walk the course at least 3 times as week. Exercise is fun if you are doing something you truly enjoy

  34. Thanks for sharing. I believe we are about the same age and your posts are inspiring. If I could only get up that early!

  35. I tried to walk 4 miles 5 days a week. I also love the outdoors. It does get hot in Louisiana, so I have to go early. I also do free weights for my upper body 3 times a week. Sometimes I will do a stretch yoga routine to get the “kinks” out. May you have a blessed day

  36. I like you, mostly walk for my exercise. I have been doing that my whole adult life…But my question to you is how did you lose 15 pounds. It’s not easy when you’re slim to lose that much weight. It’s very noticeable and you look great. I’m interested in health also so I’m very curious how lost the weight.

    1. I have stopped eating bread and any form of wheat, grains, and nightshades. I also eat less fruit and avoid all sugar and never eat fast or processed food substances. I drink lots of filtered water and eat only a couple of small meals per day. I never snack and restrict my eating to a 6-hour window. I eat this way to correct digestive issues that prevent me from being able to process some foods.

  37. Thank you for sharing! I am an early morning walker in the San Diego area. For many years, I have been a tai chi and qigong practitioner. Movement helps my flexibility and balance.
    Thank you for sharing quotes. You continue to inspire!

  38. Like you, the morning work is the constant exercise in my day and has been for the passsed 40 years. The most recent 18 years have been here on “Rifflerun” which is 100 acres of bushland with a dirt road to the front gate. This provides a 3.8 km workout due to two fairly steep hills. Previously, while living in the centre of Sydney (Australia) I took the 4 km paths around Centennial Park. The change in surfaces took quite a bit of getting used to, however in getting used to the rough surface of the dirt road I notice I have strengthened my balance, which I consider a bonus. There is no doubt we both enjoy clear, fresh morning (and sometimes evening) air.

    Thank you for your blog.

  39. Walking! I try to fit it in a few days a week. We have a indoor track near us in a community center and I love going there!

  40. I love tap dancing (as well as ballroom). After a hiatus due to back problems l hope to resume tap classes this fall and my husband and l are taking country dance as well. Good for both the body and mind.

  41. We are fortunate to have retired to the beach – which, while lovely! – gets warm. Hubby & I do our walks together – we get moving around 7:30 and walk about 3 miles and come in for breakfast & showers. We have a full time special 24 year old at home so walking together gives us some “alone & talking “ time. Then we all walk the beach after supper. Bikes rides are also a firm favorite around our island. (Unfortunately I am laid up right now with a sprained ankle & fractured foot!) I ordered 2 of the sunscreen sticks you recommended from Beauty Counter. Excited to try them as easy to apply sunscreen is very important to me! (I’m Fair and burn! And while pink cheeks may be cute on a 20something – not so much on a 50something! Haha!) Thanks so much for your blog

  42. I too love to walk and enjoy it as often as my schedule permits. I loved reading about your morning routine and how you prioritize things. You inspire me!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.