Mornings can be brutal or invigorating–depending on your choices. What you do after your feet touch the floor sets the tone for the rest of your day, so it’s important to start your day in a healthy and happy way. Those of us who travel a lot have to be especially careful with our morning habits. Different time zones, strange environments, and wonky sleep schedules make us vulnerable to having some less-than-healthy morning moments while on the road. Whether you’re on the road or not, let’s rethink our current practices. Below are 5 things you should be doing each morning to keep you cruising through your day.
1) Get Enough ZZZ’s:
There’s no magic number here; we’re all very different when it comes to sleep requirements. The National Sleep Foundation states that the average adult needs 7-9 hours each night. While I prefer something in the normal range, James seems to need about five and a half hours. I think he’s part alien. When you’re sleep-deprived, all sorts of health issues kick in: cognition goes down, hunger goes up, stress hormones rise (which can lead to damaged blood vessels). Without enough sleep, you pretty much negate the rest of the healthy morning choices you make. This is the biggie, folks. Don’t neglect your pillow time.
2) Drink Water Right Away:
Before downing your morning cuppa Whatever-Your-Poison, have a big glass of chilled water. Your body’s been fasting all night, so you wake up slightly dehydrated, which can actually SLOWWW DOWWWN your metabolism. Dehydration saps our energy, too, and leaves us feeling sluggish. Drinking right away also helps our kidneys by flushing out various toxins and waste products. Drink up, folks!
3) Don’t Skip Breakfast:
I know, you’ve heard this one a million times. So, are you listening yet? Breakfast gets your metabolism revved up, gives you energy to start your day, and levels your blood sugar. It also gives your brain fuel for better concentration and helps clear away the morning cobwebs. Now you’ve heard it a million and one times. Enough said.
4) Limit Coffee to One Cup:
While it’s great to try to limit YOUR OWN coffee intake; be very careful if you’re trying to limit SOMEONE ELSE’S coffee intake. I got stabbed with plastic stir-sticks when I tried that on Captain Caffeine… (Hey, wait a minute. Maybe this has something to do with that five and a half hours of sleep.) The caffeine, which is a stimulant, will give you that initial pick-me-up, sure. But! It dissipates quickly. And there’s our problem. Once it wears off, you may feel more tired and fuzzy-brained than ever. One cup of regular coffee has 100mgs of caffeine. Compare that to a cup of green tea…20mgs. Try replacing your second cup with a more healthy green tea instead!
5) Move it, Buddy:
Rev up your metabolism and get those endorphins flowing by getting a morning workout in. The best thing about working out in the morning…you get to enjoy that sense of satisfaction the entire day. When you exercise at night, you have to think about it all day, perhaps with a little dread. A morning workout really sets a nice mood for a pleasant day; and leaves you feeling energized, clear-headed, and ready to tackle your day.
There you have it; 5 easy ways for a healthy start to your day. Do you have ideas to add to this list, things that you do to start your day? I’d love to hear from you; leave your healthy habits in the comments below!