Having trouble making healthy choices throughout the day? Stuck in a fitness rut? Has your progress plateaued? Changing up your morning routine could be the solution!
There’s a lot you can do before breakfast to prepare your mind and body for the day, and to set yourself up for success both in your fitness goals and life in general. In fact, science (and many successful people) support and embrace this philosophy. Even Benjamin Franklin was on board when he said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
So jump-start your day with these 10 morning rituals of successful (and healthy!) people:
1. RISE & SHINE
Hitting the snooze button six times and then running around with your hair on fire isn’t a productive way to start your day. Even if you’re not a morning person, set the alarm clock back 60 minutes (no snooze!) for three weeks and watch how much better you feel after a relaxing morning – imagine an entire hour to yourself with no distractions!
Kick-start your metabolism with 16 ounces (at least) of water — warm, cold or room temperature are all fine. Water stimulates digestion, detoxes your body, increases energy levels and helps you burn an extra 70 to 100 calories a day!
Swap your coffee for a hot cup of green tea with lemon, which still gives you a caffeine boost if you need it but is a powerful antioxidant that can increase metabolism and reduce cholesterol and body weight. If swapping your coffee is not an option, don’t worry — coffee is loaded with nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin. One cup each morning can boost your metabolism and energy levels, and deliver many more benefits (but skip the cream and sugar, and drink your water, too!).
Open a window or go outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air. It will wake up and revitalize your brain, heart, liver and get nourishing oxygen into your bloodstream. Inhale. Exhale. Now you’re ready to take on the day!
Whether you do some yoga poses or stretches, take a walk or get your full workout in, exercising first thing in the morning is a great way to prepare for the day. Even 10 minutes of movement can get your metabolism going and release neurotransmitters that give your brain a boost, helping you feel more relaxed and in control of your impulses. When workout is done before breakfast, it can’t get bumped off the “to-do” list if your day gets hectic.
Take some time to relax, meditate … be grateful. Once the day starts for everyone else, it’s tough to take time to just be. Use 10 minutes of your newfound morning time to think, meditate or write about all the things that make you feel thankful.
Turn on some music — whatever kind of music you need to get ready for the next item on your new morning ritual list! Research has shown that music can improve your mood and your workout, increase your focus, help with memory loss, and even reduce chronic pain. Choose relaxing tunes to prepare your for stretching and yoga, something upbeat to get your blood flowing for a jog or cardio workout, or just music that makes you feel happy, positive and ready to take on the day!
Pack/plan your lunch and dinner and grab some healthy snacks to stave off the high calorie temptations and cravings that could foil all your hard work from your healthy morning ritual. Many people have better luck sticking to a healthy diet when they eat the same foods every day or rotate between three or four different meals for each meal. Make a list of the day’s schedule, tasks and errands while you’re at it.
Visit with your family before everyone is off and running in different directions. Take a walk with your spouse, call your kids just to say hi, or mail a note to your grand-kids and start your day off with something positive. It’s good for your soul, and theirs.
If you have an important project that requires your focus, morning is a great time to make progress. Your mind is fresh, the room is quiet, no emails to distract you. Enjoy some interruption-free time to cross something off your list.
Passion projects like writing a book, building something creative or even planning a vacation often get lost in the day’s whirlwind of responsibilities. Set aside some time in the morning — even if only 15 minutes — to keep those projects alive. They’re important!
Once you’ve gotten through your before-breakfast routine and you’re feeling great, remember to keep the momentum going with a healthy breakfast!