Ever wake up to the perfect morning? It might start waking up before your alarm goes off, pouring yourself a cup of coffee and feeling productive after a workout or sending your first few emails. Mornings aren’t always this charming and if they are, well congratulations, you are “a morning person.” Morning routines are important to setting the tone of the day and implementing your healthy habits from the moment you wake up to the delightful comfort of your pillow at night.
We know the keys to a good attitude and energy is proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition. So if you’re looking to make the most of your mornings, read our morning routine ideas to enhance your overall health and wellness.
1. But first, water.
I know what you’re thinking, coffee is first! But ever feel lethargic, fog-minded, and stiff in the body? That might be a sign of dehydration in the morning. Starting your day with water can help reduce those symptoms and jumpstart your hydration for the day. How much water? Well that depends on a lot of factors like:
Weather: Is it hot, humid, cold, dry?
Exercise: Are you working out and how much do you sweat?
Body: size, weight, nutrition. Do you eat water based foods like salads, fruits, etc.?
Water is essential to life, in fact, our body is made up of 60-75% water at various life stages. This nutrient supports our body in many ways including transporting metabolized carbohydrates and proteins (aka food) in our bloodstream to properly feed us (Source: USGS). Another fact you may not be aware of--water lubricates the joints in our bodies, hello happy joints!
So the secret to waking up flawless is water. With just a 16 oz. cup of water we can jumpstart our metabolism, keep our joints and other tissues healthy, reduce morning lethargy and energize ourselves. Sounds like your morning cup of coffee has a new best friend---water!
2. Get Up and Get Moving
Save the lazy morning for Sunday. Plan to exercise -- and do it! Exercising as a morning routine can help set your mood, gets your blood flowing, and boosts your energy immediately. Lay your exercise clothes out the evening before so they are ready and waiting.
Whether you stay inside and do a quick yoga routine or head outside for a brisk walk, taking the time to get yourself moving in the morning is time well spent. Come up with a list of options that are short and long, indoor and outdoor so you won’t cave to the excuse of bad weather or lack of time. If you have a friend that lives nearby--perhaps your neighbor, try to include them in your morning exercise routine. Having a secondary person or group to connect with will keep you inspired to maintain your morning exercise routine.
Pro-tip: If you need a little ‘pick-me-up” before you exercise, be sure to keep Caveman Nutrition Bar Minis on hand. They are a perfect power snack.
3. Breakfast Matters
If you find yourself skipping breakfast regularly or grabbing a sugar-laden toaster waffle as you walk out the door, it’s time to get proactive. Making breakfast might be half the battle, so if you’re crunched for time, plan ahead. Make these Breakfast Egg and Sausage Cups or veggie-packed breakfast frittata the night before to give you more time enjoying your morning workout and coffee.
If you have the time to make breakfast, treat yourself to something out of the box like a smoothie bowl made with vegetables and superfoods or breakfast salad with poached eggs, peppers, bacon and roasted almonds. Choosing gut healthy foods like vegetables, grain-free cereals, and protein are great options in the morning to prevent bloating and sugar crashes.
4. Add in a moment of Zen
There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness including stress resiliency, focus, and emotional regulation. If it’s not possible to find a quiet time to reflect or rest the mind, you can try it when you eat, workout or any time you can focus on sensations and thoughts. It can completely reshape your day by reducing rumination, improving memory, and enhancing work performance.
Some ideas to practicing mindfulness:
- Take a yoga class at your local studio
- Start a journal. Make a list of questions you can use to help reflect on your day. Or keep it as simple as making a “weather report”: what went well and what didn’t.
- Set a mindfulness alarm to take 10 full breaths to a count of 4-6 on your inhale and exhale.
- Eat mindfully. Ask yourself if the food or choice is nourishing you socially, emotionally, or physically. Maybe you are sad and you want pizza. Or maybe you want pizza because it’s your birthday! Either way, being aware of your food choices can impact how or what you eat.
5. Plan for the Day Ahead
Before you walk out the door, be sure you have fully planned for all upcoming activities. If you know you have a busy day and are unsure how you will get away for lunch, grab a protein rich food like meat snacks to keep at your desk.
Keep a pair of sneakers in your car. If you have even five minutes, you can quickly slip them on and get in a brisk head-clearing walk.
Always hungry in between pick up and after school activities? Try some Grain-Free Granola Bars to keep them satisfied and your energy levels going with healthy fats and carbs.
Each of these steps is important alone, but when you combine them they pack a powerful punch to kick-start your day. With these small changes you can get rid of morning fatigue and slow starts with gut-healthy breakfast foods, exercise, plenty of water, and a good attitude. Yes please to better mornings!