In a perfect world, you would wake up at 6:30am (without an alarm) singing the Carole King lyrics, “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world, all the love in your heart,” as you throw on some gym clothes and happily head to your workout, kale smoothie in hand. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Most of us have to work a little harder to embrace mornings, but how you handle your morning really does set the tone for the rest of your day. Wake up cranky and rushed? Expect those feelings to linger. Here are five tips to make your mornings goes smoother and to boost your general well-being throughout the day.
1. Try Drinking Warm Lemon Water
This is a hot trend right now, but for good reason. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and pectin fiber. We recommend keeping the peel on lemon slices to maximize fiber. Warm lemon water serves as a natural digestive aid, helping the body eliminate waste easier. Starting your day off with warm lemon water can help boost your immune system, balance pH levels in your body, prevent the formation of acne and wrinkles, and reduce pain and inflammation in your joints as it dissolved uric acid.
2. Make Time for Meditation
Have you ever noticed that when you experience stress that it starts to manifest in your body? Maybe your shoulders and back ache or your experience an upset stomach. This is because your immune cells are in constant contact with your brain. Deepak Chopra writes, “Your response to potential illness, as managed by the immune system, improves with meditation. Being susceptible to chronic disorders like type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure, conditions that are not the result of invading microbes, is also reduced through meditation.”
Make meditation a habit by doing it every morning. Meditating before you start your day will help you stay relaxed and balanced all day long. Mediating first thing in the morning also helps you protect that time, ensuring that your practice doesn’t get pushed aside, or moved down a growing to-do list as all of your other responsibilities mount throughout the day. Just 15 minutes will make a huge difference to your health!
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Eating breakfast (a healthy one--skip the doughnuts!) gives you the energy to start a new day. Your body has been without food for at least eight hours while you were sleeping and needs energy to function well. While many people skimp on breakfast as a way to cut calories, eating a healthy breakfast is actually very important to losing weight and to maintaining a healthy weight. A breakfast that is rich in protein and whole grains can help reduce hunger throughout the day. Consider having a veggie omelette with some whole-wheat toast or greek yogurt with fruit and almonds.
What if you’re one of those people who just isn’t hungry in the morning? According to Dr. Eric Rimm, “If you don’t bother with breakfast, the prolonged fasting might lead to a bigger than normal boost in “hunger hormones” such as ghrelin, encouraging you to overeat at your next meal and leading to spikes and dips in glucose. Over time, if your pancreas is constantly producing insulin to compensate for high levels of glucose, it will burn out and you’ll develop diabetes.” You can start small, maybe a hard boiled egg and a banana, but try to get into the habit of eating breakfast.
4. Add a Multivitamin to Your Morning Routine
Sure, you can get most of the vitamins that you need with a healthy diet, but take a look at your food labels. Are you really getting all of the vitamins you need? Many of us are severely deficient in Vitamin D, which can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease and in iron, which can leave you feeling fatigued and also lead to heart problems. Put your multivitamin (a regular one is fine, no need to splurge on “mega” doses) next to your coffee maker or your toothbrush--something that you’ll see every day, to get into the habit of taking it daily.
5. Exercise Outdoors
Any exercise that you can get in (beyond your regular meditation) in the morning is going to positively impact your health. Starting your day off with physical activity can influence you to make better food choices throughout the day. It also gives your metabolism a great boost first thing in the morning, which can help you lose weight. Additionally, your energy levels will be higher throughout the day and your stress levels will be lower--even when you have to work late!
While working out in the gym or your living room is great, try to get outside if you are able. Whether that’s walking your dogs in the morning or biking to work, the fresh air, vitamin D from sunlight, and the opportunity to commune with your natural environment can do wonders for your mental health, too. According to the New York Times, “There seem to be other, more ineffable advantages to getting outside to work out. In a number of recent studies, volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, the other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside.”
This is a guest post by Danielle Hegedus. For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.