If you’re one of those people that smacks the snooze button when you hear the alarm go off in the morning, you might want to reconsider. There’s an increasing amount of research that gives credit to the old saying ‘the early bird catches the worm’ with early risers generally slimmer, healthier and happier than those who like a good lie-in.
However, if you find that by starting your day under stress is the general pattern of how the rest of the day will pan out, there are five simple things that will drastically improve your morning routine you can make a habit out of.
1. Get up and get out
While any exercise is good exercise, morning exercise has been shown to provide a boost of energy that also delivers a sense of accomplishment. Studies consistently show that if you exercise first thing in the morning it is more likely you will create a habit and less likely you’ll encounter a scheduling conflict.
2. Have a proper breakfast
Give your body the energy it needs to get you through an active day. Harvard researchers have found that a hearty breakfast can not only be good for managing your cholesterol but also makes your body more responsible for insulin, which would help protect against Type 2 diabetes, improve you memory and prevent you from indulging in snacks or too much food at other meals throughout the day.
Apparently the period of time after you wake up is the best for meditating. If you can commit two minutes to mindful breathing and meditation each day there are large benefits for both your physical and mental state. While breathing is an essential part of life — you all know where you’d be if you weren’t breathing — it’s the deep breaths that activate your ‘rest and digest’ system and helps with lowering blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels.
4. Drink plenty of water
If the last thing you had to drink was before you tucked yourself in the night before, your body needs some water. Not only will this rehydrate you but it will fire up your metabolism.
5. Set a schedule and stick to it
If you have a bedtime routine it’s important to stick to it as your body can get out of whack when you don’t. If you consistently fall off your perch at 10pm and rise at 6am, such a routine can remove some of the chaos of your day. What you are doing is stabilising your body clock and this in turn is positively affecting your hormones, your appetite, your stress and your blood sugar levels.