Wake up! Famous Aussies’ morning routines

For many, it’s the worst moment of the day. Deeply, blissfully asleep, a device placed next to the bed goes off, marking the unwelcome start of another day.

But for some people, this does not trigger shock or dismay. Quite the opposite, in fact.

We spoke to six Australians, including Ita Buttrose and Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, who say that while early birds might catch the worm, a good day usually comes from doing what you love, living a healthy life and getting an early, productive start to the day. And drinking lots of coffee.

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Find how these successful people start their day, from wake up times, to breakfast habits, to workout secrets.

Ita Buttrose, 72

Co-host of Channel Ten’s Studio 10 & founding editor of Cleo magazine

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What time do you wake up and who wakes you up?
I get up at 4.50am during the week as I have to be at Channel Ten by 6.20am for hair and make-up and to do research.

I use the alarm on my mobile – the alarm is a barking dog which wakes me at once but my dog sleeps through it!

What is your morning routine?
I get up at once and head for the shower. I always eat breakfast, it could be scrambled eggs on toast, muesli, grilled tomatoes on toast, mushrooms on toast and I always have a mug of English breakfast tea.

Then I take the dog for a ten-minute walk and leave for work. On the weekends I sleep until I wake up, which is usually 6.30 or 7am.

After my shower I go for a long walk, at least an hour – weekdays I do this walk late afternoon – with my dog, buy the morning newspapers and read them over a leisurely breakfast and I have two large cups of tea.

What is your secret to a successful day?
I love what I do and I always try to do my very best at anything I take on.

But I must go … it’s almost time for me to go on air.

Meg Lanning, 22

Australian Cricket Captain

What time do you wake up and who wakes you up?
It depends on the day, but I usually get up at about 8am. I have my iPhone alarm that wakes me up.

I tend to only wake up 10-15 minutes before I have to leave. So I don’t like to be awake for too long. I like my sleep in!

What is your morning routine?
As soon as I get up, I head straight to the kitchen and have breakfast. Generally, I have muesli with passionfruit yogurt and a banana or apple with some water.

I’m not a big coffee or tea drinker so I don’t go near them.

Then I take a shower and head out. I’m a bit lazy; I don’t leave myself enough time to do any grooming.

Do you exercise everyday?
I train for a couple of hours everyday, but it depends on the day.

The gym is good because you can see results … Certainly when I started out I wasn’t a big fan of the gym but right now I really enjoy it. It’s a relief to get a bit of frustration out!

What is your secret to a successful day?
For me it’s about planning, so I know exactly where I need to be and what I need to do.

I try to do my planning at the start of the week … but I look at it every night to make sure that I remember what is happening the next day.

What is your favourite meal?
Poached eggs with avocado. My favourite meal is breakfast – I go out once a week and really enjoy it.

Leigh Blashki, 61

President of Yoga Australia

What time do you wake up and who wakes you up?
I wake up naturally at around 6am every day and the first thing I do is kiss my wife.

This might sound strange but it’s a reminder of what is important in life.

And I start each day by asking myself the question: what does life want in living through me? What is the offering that I’m meant to be making each day?

What do you do after that?
I have some warm water and do some yoga postures with some breathing exercises.

After that I have some seasonal fruit.

Then I get into my meditation, called iRest, which can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.

What do you have for breakfast?
It’s always good to have variety. Sometimes I have homemade grain cereal with nuts and dried fruits. Sometimes I have my homemade bread with a cup of tea.

It’s trying to be spontaneous and the meditation helps me decide what I feel like eating.

What is your secret to a successful day?
One should always start the day in a positive frame of mind.

Robyn Ayers, 50

Executive director of Arts Law Centre of Australia

The New Daily

What time do you wake up and what wakes you up?
An alarm wakes me up at 6.20am during the week and I don’t worry about the alarm on the weekends.

What is your morning routine?
I normally do some strengthening exercises in bed for about 20 minutes; they include some sit-ups, stretches and cycle.

Also, I use the exercise time to think about what I’m going to wear.

Then I take a shower; meanwhile my lovely husband prepares my breakfast with a cup of coffee.

I don’t spend a lot of time grooming, although I hope I look respectable.

What do you eat for breakfast?
I have a very small bowl of non-toasted bircher muesli with some gelatine free yogurt and half a banana or some strawberries with a cup of coffee.

What is your secret to a successful day?
Breakfast with my lovely husband and I walk for an hour to the office.

Whether it’s sunny or raining – whatever – I always walk. This allows me to move from being home and in that environment to being at work and ready to start the day – feeling energised.

Dr Dennis J Maddern, 61

Founder & CEO of Maddern Private Wealth

The New Daily

What time do you wake up and who wakes you up?
I wake up at 5am everyday; I have a radio that wakes me up with classical music.

What is your morning routine?
I pretty much get up straight away, I clean up and have a shower, and then I have breakfast, which is porridge with fruit, pumpernickel ginseng and those sorts of things.

I drink one cup of Greek tea when I get in the office.

During breakfast I also have various computers, various newspapers. I get my business and personal emails feed through, so I’m going over those. I do that just to know that it’s there. I don’t try and answer anything because no one is likely to be awake at that time.

But by the time I get to work at 7am, I pretty much know all the issues of the day.

The approach is very proactive.

Do you get any exercise in the morning?
I don’t do any exercise before arriving in the office but since I’m completely prepared and start work at 7am by the time the phones start ringing at 8am, I’m completely organised.

From 9 – 11.30am, I play tennis in the senior circuit for men and I’m ranked top 20 in the world, then I spend the rest of the day in the office.

What is your secret to a successful day?
The early bird catches the worm.

It’s all about mind, body and soul. I’m a man of faith and I say a rosary in the mornings. This combination put me in touch with myself and gives me the enthusiasm and the drive to run and built a business at 60.

It’s not about dollars it’s about relationships and about being proactive.

Mike Perso

Host of smoothfm’s More Music Breakfast show 

The New Daily

What time do you wake up and who wakes you up?
I wake up at 4.15am with my phone’s alarm, which I have a love/hate relationship with.

I wander out to the kitchen where I have my stuff to head out into town.

I don’t take a shower in that time because it will wake everyone up.

What is your morning routine?

When I get to work I get my coffee, grab my breakfast and just spend the time having a look at the papers to see what is going on. I have a look on social for bits and pieces.

I arrive at 4.45am and my producer comes in a bit after 5am.

Then we sit and go through the stuff that’s on. It’s a music based show, so we discuss highlights we might have, what songs people have requested, prizes we have to give away.

What do you have for breakfast?
Generally a bowl of cereal and an enormous cup of coffee – it’s not very glamorous. I wish it was more like something flash.

Do you get any exercise in the morning?
I used to ride my bike and then I fell a couple of times, so I got gun shy and now I drive.

I go to the gym a little bit and walk the dogs pretty much everyday. I probably should do more.

What is your secret to a successful day?
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever hit the snooze button. Because one day you will just mess it up and you will be in trouble.

Coffee is your friend.

Once the coffee machine was broken at work and it was like Armageddon. It was like the horses of the apocalypse were walking through the station. We are so pathetic; we can’t function without coffee at all.


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