5 Healthy Ways to Start the Day
There are few things I love more than a good morning routine. And I don’t mean the wake up, pound the alarm button, sprint to bathroom for a speed shower, grab a sugary yogurt and plastic spoon for the car and get out the door routine. I’m talking the calm, aware, present morning routine that makes you feel connected and charged up. If you don’t have a great routine and aren’t sure where to start, here are some of my favorite ways to start my day that are sure to leave you feeling good:
1) Set an Intention. Before you get up and rush around the house starting the coffee maker, packing lunches, checking your phone, turning on the TV, and all of the things you do to get your day started, take a few moments to set an intention for your day. It can be as simple as “be kind” or “have patience”. Doing this will carry through to your thoughts, words, and actions throughout the day and cultivate greater mindfulness in your life. (1)
2) Open the Blinds. Early morning light is one of the best gifts from Mother Nature because it signals the body that it’s time to awaken from sleep and sends positive signals to the brain. Exposure to natural light helps the body’s internal clock regulate which could help improve sleep, alertness, and focus. (2)
3) Drink warm water with lemon. Before anything else, drinking a mug of warm water with a squeeze of lemon will help wake up the digestive tract and promote hydration. The caffeine in coffee can be dehydrating and so can a night of sleep, so rehydrating this way is a gentle and calming way to ease into the day. (3)
4) Make a nutritious breakfast. Mornings can be rushed and hectic, but they don’t have to be. Scheduling time to take care of yourself and nourish your body is a really powerful weapon in staying on track through the rest of the day. When you eat well in the morning, you are setting yourself up for success because you have a strong foundation laid. You don’t want to eat fast food for lunch if you’ve set the right tone with a kale and apple smoothie that morning. (4)
5) Move your body! Whether or not you’re a morning person, waking up and moving your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It releases chemicals to the brain like serotonin that make you feel happy and energized like you can conquer the world. It’s also a sure fire way to get a workout in regardless of how your day goes. A lot of times, we have the best intentions to work out after work or in the late afternoon, but other commitments can pop up or your energy level can plummet and then it never gets done. Additionally, working out in the morning elevates your heart rate for the rest of the day so you burn more calories at rest. (5)
- “Only the Inner Protection of Patience… – Philosiblog.” Philosiblog. Philosiblog INC, 12 June 2011. Web. http://philosiblog.com/2011/06/12/only-the-inner-protection-of-patience/.
- “How to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep | Light Exposure.” Mercola.com. 19 Jan. 2014. Web. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/19/sleep-light-exposure.aspx.
- “4 Reasons to Drink Hot Lemon Water Every Morning.” Shape Magazine. Meredith Corporation, 7 Apr. 2015. Web. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/4-reasons-drink-hot-lemon-water-every-morning.
- “Why Eating the Right Breakfast Is So Important – Consumer Reports.” Why Eating the Right Breakfast Is So Important – Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports INC, 26 Aug. 2015. Web. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/10/why-eating-the-right-breakfast-is-so-important/index.htm.
- “Meet Your Happy Chemicals.” Psychology Today. Meet Your Happy Chemicals. Com, 2012. Web. https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/59029/happy-chemicals.pdf.