Can you too start the day straight away off?
It’s a great sentiment, but how can you create a morning routine that will make you happy, healthy and strong? The good news is that we figured that out for you. It’s a lot easier than you may imagine!
Here are our 10 beneficial early morning habits that will set you up for success for all day long:
1. Stretch dynamically
You would think that after a long night’s sleep, you would automatically feel refreshed and on the go to take on responsibilities. However, even a good night’s rest can come tough on the body because of the positions we doze off in. Sometimes sleeping can actually stiffen the body, and dynamic stretching is the way to stimulate and loosen those taut muscle tissues of yours.
So go ahead and get right into the ‘child’s pose’ and stretch out your back. In turn, it will increase your blood flow, and reduce stress and tension as well. If you’re not definite what to stretch, go from top to bottom, starting with the stiff neck, shoulders, chest, back, quads, hamstrings and calves.
2. Wake up on time!
You know what they say, the early bird catches the worm! So, pressing the snooze button, forsaking ten more minutes of sleep for a busy morning, a skipped breakfast, and the inevitable stress of getting the youngsters off to school and yourself to work on time, is just not right for you!
This terrible morning ‘bravado’ can lead to mental-health issues such as anxiety and depression, in addition to stress. None of these complaints is a good motivator for working it out, is it?
Instead, make sure your alarm clock is effective. What type of a ‘waker’ are you? Are you more likely to get out of bed with a loud ringing, or do you need a more gradual whistle? There are a ton of applications you can try to suit your needs. So, it’s really about finding what works for you best, and stick to it!
3. Set your ‘internal clock’
You know that when you travel, your body is set to your ‘home time to hit the hay,’ and when it is time to rise and shine? Well, for some individuals, that internal (circadian) clock might not be accurate, even at home. It’s not because they are lazy or bad-mannered people – it’s just who they are.
Harvard Medical School carried a study that discovered that those who sleep more than 9 hours a night secrete more of the hormone melatonin than those who sleep 6 hours, or less. So, we recommend that you check with your health professional to find out if supplementing with melatonin might be right for your body clock.
4. Have a cup of lemon water
If your stomach gets easily upset, it can wreak havoc on your energy levels. So, do take care of your digestive system with a mug of warm water with lemon. We deem that this morning habit increases the flow of digestive juices, helps to cleanse the body, and resets your pH balance, making you less acidic, which helps reduce the risk of a disease. It may also give your metabolism that ’nudge’ it desperately needs in the morning, and help you combat food cravings. It is actually a supercharger-drink!
5. Save your workouts for the morning
The next time you exercise, take notice of how you feel before and after. That post-workout glow is not just from your glistening, sweaty and flushed skin. Being physically active renders a huge energy boost! The early-bird gym session gets your heart pumping vigorously and the blood flowing freely, thus helping you feel alert.
6. Be a bookworm in bed
In order to get a good night’s sleeping, we know we must keep technology out of our bedroom. The lit-up screens on our phones and laptops can be too stimulating at night, and the stress from work can also keep us awake until late. But according to a story on Telegraph.co.uk, perhaps it is not such a bad thing to do when you wake up. Checking emails, reading the news on the Net, or other good reads, are a good way to wake up your mind.
7. Eat an iron-rich breakfast
Breakfast should be the ‘king meal’ of the day. There is no doubt about that. But if it is poor in iron, you might be setting yourself up for failure energy-wise. Doctors say that iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to concentrate. It is so because iron affects the amount of oxygen your body receives. So make sure your breakfast includes foods like: eggs, leafy cruciferous vegetables (e.g. the cabbage, turnip, broccoli, or wallflower), peanut butter, beans or tofu. And have some orange juice while you are at it! The vitamin C will certainly help your body with iron absorption.
8. Dress like you mean it
No matter how you work – from home or you do shifts – you still need to put on a ‘work garment’ when you wake up. Indeed, wearing comfortable clothes plays with your mind and your motivation as well. It somehow makes you think it is relax time.
9. Don’t sleep at weekend!
Try to have a proactive weekend, this very weekend! Keep to your sleep schedule, even on weekends.
In this way, you will be able to squeeze in that weekend workout, have 2 more productive days off, and you will eventually stop calling your Mondays ‘manic Mondays.’ Or you will dread them a little less… at least!
10. Take it easy and meditate
A sober head will make you more fixated, and it will allow you to tackle with all of your tasks for the day. You won’t get bogged down, or make pretexts if you’re thinking clearly. It takes only 5 minutes in the morning to meditate.
You don’t know how? Find a quiet place in your home, get comfortable, play some relaxing music (or not, if you prefer the silence), close your eyes, and focus on your slow breathing. Even just doing this for 1 single minute every day will bring mental clarity, spiritual well-being and ‘set the stage’ for the day.
We voted this the best morning routine of all!
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