How Wellness Entrepreneur Lorna Jane Clarkson Spends Her Morning

By Lucy Slight
2024 marks 35 years in business for entrepreneur Lorna Jane Clarkson, who founded her activewear business in the 1980s, making comfortable and stylish workout clothing for her aerobics clients from her living room in Australia.

From workout apparel to cookbooks, Lorna Jane Clarkson helped shape Antipodeans’ concept of a balanced lifestyle and establish wellbeing as a consumer category, and 2024 marks 35 years in business. What do her days look like now? These are her non-negotiables for an energising morning.

There is no name more synonymous with the term “activewear” than Lorna Jane. In fact, it was Lorna Jane Clarkson who pioneered the athleisure category back in the 1980s when she began making aesthetically pleasing and functional workout gear for her aerobics clients from her living room.

Creating a leotard pattern based on her favourite swimsuit more than three decades ago proved a life-altering move for Clarkson, and 35 years later, Lorna Jane Active Living is a multi-million-dollar Australian brand with an international cult following. Just slip your legs into a pair of Lorna Jane leggings and you’ll understand why.

Highly regarded for her passion for wellness, which extends beyond her love of activewear and daily movement to six published books including two cookbooks, Lorna Jane is a poster woman for health and wellbeing and the notion that if you ‘win the morning, you win the day’.

Her philosophy is that being fit and healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or take up a lot of your time, it’s more about making a commitment to moving your body consistently and maintaining healthy habits.

With that in mind, we asked Lorna Jane to share with us her morning routine and daily non-negotiables for feeling great.

How do you like to begin your day?

Slowly. This is a bit of a luxury but I make it happen by setting my alarm for 5am. The first thing I do is drink a big glass of water. I then do some stretches, play with my dog (yes, he sleeps by my bed!) and go downstairs for a pre-workout snack of fruit and of course, coffee.

Are there any rituals that you try to incorporate into your routine each morning?

Getting that glass of water in my system first up is a big thing for me because I’m looking for hydration after seven to eight hours of sleep. My morning workout is also a must, as well as walking my dog (which is also a pre-work catch-up with my husband, Bill) and a good breakfast that will see me through until lunchtime.

A morning dog walk also serves as a pre-work WIP between Lorna Jane Clarkson and her husband, Bill.
A morning dog walk also serves as a pre-work WIP between Lorna Jane Clarkson and her husband, Bill.

Describe your perfect breakfast.

I like to start the day with a high-protein breakfast so it’s either an omelette or frittata or a high-protein yoghurt with blueberries and chopped almonds. I sometimes throw in a protein shake as well if I’ve done a strength workout.

How does exercise or energising activity play a role in your mornings?

I exercise every morning (no excuses) and have done for as long as I can remember. I weight train with my husband twice a week, do yoga two to three times a week and hike on the weekends. I find it’s a really great way to start my day. It increases my energy levels, makes me feel good about doing something for myself, and puts me in a good mood for the rest of my day. I also know that if I don’t get my exercise done in the morning I will usually talk myself out of it during the day!

What does your morning skincare and makeup routine look like?

I have to admit I’m pretty OTT when it comes to skincare but basic at best when it comes to makeup. My morning workout is makeup-free, as I literally just throw some water on my face and sunscreen if I’m going outside. After my workout I shower and start my legit skincare routine with cleansing followed by my red-light mask if I have the time. I then apply vitamin C, followed by a hydrating spray, vitamin E, a calming hydrating balm, moisturiser and sunscreen.

I don’t always wear makeup and on those days I just put on a tinted moisturiser, a little lip gloss and tidy my eyebrows. On the days that I do wear makeup it starts with Giorgio Armani primer and foundation, a light application of bronzer, an eyelash curl plus mascara, a quick touch-up of my eyebrows, lip liner and gloss — 10 minutes tops!

For anyone not a morning person already, do you have any tips on how to start embracing a holistic routine to start the day?

I’m a big believer that a good morning routine starts with going to bed a little earlier and establishing an evening routine that makes for better sleep. My night routine starts by reducing my caffeine intake from lunchtime and switching off from technology around 6pm. I keep my bedroom dark, choose reading over watching TV and have a magnesium drink just before going to bed.

Are there any other crucial elements to your morning you’d like to share?

I call my mum in the morning on my way to work to check in and wish her an amazing day.

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