If you regularly fight with your alarm clock, stress about the mere thought of your overwhelming to-do list, and grab whatever you can to scarf down on your way out the door – irrespective of its nutritional value – then this article is for you.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a healthy morning routine. How we start the first hour or two or our morning has an impact on our mental, emotional, and physical state for the rest of the day. These routines have been shown to reduce stress, improve your metabolism, and even make for a better night’s sleep.
By creating a ritual, you’ll start your day on the right foot and be ready to take on all of life’s curveballs. While different things work for different people, here are 7 ways to improve your healthy morning routine:
Drink Lots of Water
Your body never stops working – not even when you’re asleep. Your heart is still beating, your hormones are finding homeostasis, and metabolic activities are continuing–though at a slower rate. All of these functions require water, which works in your body similarly to how gasoline keeps your car running. When you wake up in the morning, your body has greatly depleted its fuel supply and needs to recharge. By rehydrating yourself first thing in the morning, your body is able to replenish all of the water that your cells and organs needed during your slumber.
Drinking lots of water in the morning is also a great way to cleanse your body of any toxicity that your body has metabolized while you were asleep. By flushing out those harmful substances, your body can return to its normal functions with greater ease. This makes for healthier organs, improves bowel movement, and helps prevent diseases that are often associated with dehydration.
Drink Green Tea with Lemon and Ginger
Once you’ve replenished your body’s fuel with water, lose weight and get energized by drinking green tea with lemon and ginger. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel after consuming three glasses a day for three days. Here’s why:
Green tea is chalked full of flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants in your body. They boost your metabolic rate and help you burn unwanted fat. By adding ginger, you’re boosting your metabolism even more while also easing indigestion and reducing gas. Adding lemon is equally important in this process. When you’re drinking your morning green tea, your body may destroy some of the enzymes that you’d otherwise benefit from. The phytochemicals in lemons will counteract this, allowing for your system to get all of the benefits of your morning brew.
Plan Your Breakfast
Any nutritionist will tell you that you should start your day by eating a healthy breakfast. However, that’s often easier said than done. If you’re running late to work, it’s easier to grab whatever’s handy on your way out the door or faster to go hit a drive-thru than cook something. More than half of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week, and 12% don’t eat breakfast at all. While we’re all running to work, we’re disrupting our metabolism and making it more difficult for our bodies to function at full capacity.
Plan your breakfast choices ahead of time. Have healthy snacks readily available, prep your shakes so that they just need to be blended, and experiment with some of these healthy homemade energy bar recipes. Your body will love you for it.
Get Active Early
Getting motivated to go to the gym or for a run can be different–especially when you’re just waking up. However, by starting your day with physical activity, you’re boosting your endorphins, which in turn immediately improves your mood. Also, by getting your workout out of the way in the morning, you don’t have to channel the energy later on in the day to get on the treadmill. A lot of highly effective people start their mornings with a healthy workout routine. For example:
- Congresswoman and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walks on her way to work
- Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning
- Kevin O’Leary, a Shark Tank investor, starts out on his elliptical or exercise bike
Journaling for a few minutes a day is a great way to reduce stress and find your center. By taking a little time to get your thoughts down on paper, you can build self-awareness and reassess your goals and priorities. Writing about your thoughts and ideas is very therapeutic. It also helps you commit things to memory, and every now and then, its fun to look back at past entries and see what sort of milestones you’ve accomplished.
Make Your Important Decisions the Night Before
Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of American Express, ends his day by writing down three things that he wants to accomplish the next day. Mornings aren’t meant for important decision-making. This could lead to stress, elevated blood pressure, slow you down, and drain your brain. A healthy morning routine is meant to return your body to homeostasis, not disrupt it by making hard choices. By taking care of them at night, you’ll sleep easier and enjoy a much more relaxed morning.
Create a Routine – And Stick to It!
No matter what your morning ritual is, it’s important that you have one. Try experimenting with a few of these, mix and match, or even create your own. You’ll quickly discover that you’re sleeping better, more relaxed, and find that you’re managing time easier than before. Once you’ve established a healthy morning routine that’s right for you, it’ll become second nature.