10 Ways a Morning Routine Can Improve Your Health
Eating healthier? Check.
Working out 2-3 times per week? Double check.
Morning routine? Umm…
You might not think having a morning routine would be part of a healthy life, but following certain patterns first thing in the morning can help structure your day, reduce the stress of the day ahead, and increase overall productivity (13).
If you’d like to start owning the day, here are 10 ways a morning routine can improve your health.
1.Prepare Ahead of Time By Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Flying by the seat of your pants might sound adventurous. You never know what the day will hold. But after a while your mind will begin to feel cloudy, your focus will seem hazy, and your energy levels will tank.
Planning ahead by getting a good night’s sleep can help set the foundation for better health. Quality by keeping your immune system optimized, your hormones balanced, and your thinking sharp (14).
2. Set an Alarm – and Don’t Hit the Snooze!
If you’re the type that naturally bounces out of bed in the morning, congrats! But if you need 3 or more alarms to get yourself out of bed, you’re not alone. The University of Notre Dame performed a study that showed 57% of Americans hit the snooze button on their alarms multiple times (3).
And while it may seem harmless, habitual snoozers may be in for some negative health side effects. Hitting the snooze may gain you a few extra minutes of sleep, but your overall sleep cycle will be disrupted, leading to increased risk for developing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (5).
3. Express Gratitude for Another Day
Not getting a good night’s sleep, relationship problems, or personal conflict can make it hard to wake up feeling inspired and energetic.
But expressing gratitude first thing in the morning can be a way to set the tone for the day. Studies show that regularly expressing thankfulness can increase feelings of self-esteem, lower your blood pressure, and broaden your perspective (4).
Some ways you can implement this is by journaling, praying, or declaring positive verbal affirmations.
4. Give Your Whole Body a Good Stretch
You may have a busy day ahead, but you’ll get nowhere fast if your joints are stiff and achy.
Stretching your arm, leg and neck muscles gets your circulation going and can help start your day in a relaxing, comfortable way (11). Before you get out of bed, stretch your hamstrings by pointing your toes towards your face, hold, then point the opposite direction. You can sit up and roll both your shoulders and your neck.
5. Splash Your Face with Cold Water
You may have heard stories of how our ancestors would plunge into frigid waters for brief periods of time. Why – what was the point?
Cold water actually has a way of waking you up. When the change of temperature hits your skin, your brain sends out electrical impulses that can boost your energy, sharpen mental clarity, and heighten your sense of alertness (2).
6. Don’t Look at Your Phone Right Away
Technology is a normal part of our lives today. But checking your phone first thing in the morning can spark unnecessary feelings of stress, anxiety, even depression among younger generations (10).
A good rule of thumb is to keep your phone away from your bed when you go to sleep. That way you’re not tempted to check it first thing in the morning.
7. Prioritize Protein
Whether you eat breakfast or not, make sure the first meal you eat is packed with quality sources of protein. Protein helps fuel you for the day, and keeps you satisfied longer, and can help you digest carbohydrates more efficiently (1).
8. Work in Time to Workout
Whether it’s a brisk walk, or at-home toning exercises on the mat, getting your body moving in the morning is a great way to keep off excess weight gain, gain better perspectives, and boost your mood (12).
If you don’t live in a neighborhood that’s walking friendly, consider signing up for a membership at your local gym.
9. Take a Few Moments to Plan the Day
Life is busy these days, and it can feel overwhelming when you need to get a lot of things done.
Taking a few moments to get organized can help you be more productive, reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, and improve overall well being (6). Journaling or writing out your to-do list can help you collect all your thoughts and put them down in one place. Just make sure you don’t lose your list!
10. Incorporate Peaceful Music
Starting the day with notifications dinging, kids crying, dogs barking, and other chaos is enough to make anyone’s blood pressure skyrocket.
Playing soothing music in the morning can be a way to promote peace and harmony in your home (8). Music has been used as a therapy for centuries as a way to usher in a peaceful atmosphere (7). Certain notes and rhythms have been shown to be more healing than others (9).
Turning on some acoustics, instrumentals, or other types of calming music can set the tone for a peaceful, relaxing morning.
Making the choice to improve your health takes a holistic approach. In addition to focusing on a healthy body, a healthy mind and environment is just as important.
Part of cultivating a healthy environment involves establishing a morning routine. From breaking the snooze button habit to giving your face a cold splash, there are at least 10 new ways you can start improving your health today.
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References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author