There is an absolute truth in the adage, “Morning shows the day”. Our mornings can definitely determine the make or break time that sets us up for a good day or a bad day. It all depends on how we begin our day once we are up after a good night’s rest.
Here are a few morning habits you can adopt and keep yourself fit and happy all through the day.
1. Wake Earlier
It seems there are endless articles online espousing the benefits of waking earlier. But when you think about it, this really is the key to overhauling your morning routine. With more time, you are free to develop the habits listed in this article and actually enjoy the morning free from the pressure of having to rush out the door.
2. Drink a glass of warm water
It is always good to rehydrate yourself first thing in the morning after you have gone without water for about 7-8 hours. Having a glass or two of warm water is a great way to wake your internal organs and get your body going.
A glass of warm water with a slice of fresh lemon will also help eliminate toxins in your body, hydrate the lymph system, purify and stimulate the liver, aid digestion and also enhance weight loss. Lemons are high in pectin fibre, which help fight hunger cravings.
Many of us reach out for a cup of tea or coffee first thing in the morning. Ditch the habit and switch to plain warm or lemon water instead. You will eventually feel and look better. The milk and caffeine in your tea or coffee can also add on to your calories.
4. Visualize the Day Ahead
A simple, yet extremely powerful, exercise to practice in the morning is to shut your eyes and visualize how you want the day to unfold. This will give you direction as you go about your day and help you to avoid getting distracted with “urgent” but unimportant tasks.
5. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
A nutritious and balanced breakfast is essential if you want to fire up your metabolism and keep yourself powered up throughout your day.
“Simple carbs release sugar in the body at a faster rate than complex carbs, fats, and protein, and give the body an immediate “up” feeling. But it is short-lived, and if you are in the habit of a high carb breakfast you are constantly fighting a battle for energy during the day.”
So forget the carbs and instead eat whole-grain cereal, eggs, fresh fruit or a even a health shake for breakfast.
6. Pack healthy snacks:
If you are having a light breakfast, you are most likely to get hungry before lunch. So, before you rush out to work, pack some healthy snacks like nuts and seeds or whole fruits that you can munch on in between your meals or whenever you are hungry. Carrying healthy snacks to work regularly will help you because you will not binge on junk like crisps, biscuits, or bars that are very high on calories.
7. Make stretching a habit
Stretching in the morning will awaken your muscles and prepare them for the strenuous day ahead. Even if you devote five to ten minutes of your time for this activity, you will see a world of difference in the long run. Workout according to your abilities and what makes you feel comfortable.
You can also utilise this time for your usual workout regime. Whether you are at the gym or a yoga centre or out for your walk, it is important to make your physical activity enjoyable. Only when you do something that you enjoy are you likely to stick to it.
The benefits of exercise are immense. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine has recommended a minimum of 30-minutes of exercise every five days in a week. This will not only keep you healthy but also reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
If you are an outdoors person, you could…
- Take a walk
- Take a walk bouncing a basket-ball at the same time
If you are an indoors person, you could…
- Do 5 min of yoga – hating Mondays is optional!
- Work out in your dining room, while you wait for your breakfast to be ready.
- Do 2 sets of push-ups.
8. Exercise Your Brain
Exercising your brain is as important (if not more!) than exercising your muscles. Some fun activities to keep your mind sharp include Sudoku, Kakuro (my personal favorite), crosswords, quizzes, and brain teasers.
9. Take Time to Look Good
It’s a fact of life that people judge us by our appearance. For this reason, it’s a good idea to spend a few extra minutes in
the morning to ensure you go out into the world looking the best you can. In fact, a recent study by two economists found “extra time spent grooming has a positive and significant effect on both men’s and women’s earnings”. This was found to be especially true for men, where “10 minutes daily grooming increases their weekly wages by 6 percent”. Just remember, though, at some point you will need to put your pants on and get on with your day.