The best way to give yourself a chance at a good day is to start your morning in the best way possible. And the best way to ensure that your mornings go well is to develop a routine.
Why develop a routine instead of just doing one or two things? We humans are creatures of habit; if we develop an unbreaking routine, those routines will become habits, and those good choices that you make will compound on themselves.
What, then, is a good set of healthy habits to develop into a routine?
The most important step to getting your mornings in gear is the first one, the step that gets you out of bed. That step should lead into another step, then another. This is figurative, of course; it’s more important that you continue moving once you get out of bed. This helps the blood to flow, and lets your body know it’s time to make good decisions.
Some good ways to get you moving include setting up some simple chore to perform as you wake up, setting up a dance party for one by turning on some music, or just simply walking around your home for a while.
You may feel compelled to have your first drink be a heavily-caffeinated beverage, maybe a coffee or a tea. While this is tempting, your body will likely prefer a tall glass of water or two. As you haven’t had anything to drink in hours when you first wake up, a glass of water will work to bring everything together.
Water will help your body to begin really waking up; that water will help your body clear waste, will lubricate your joints, will quench your thirst, and will whet your appetite for breakfast.
Caffeine isn’t necessarily a bad way to give you a boost in the morning, mind you, but remember that caffeine works best in moderation. Hydration is more important for your long-term health than the temporary boost you’ll get from caffeine.
Drinking a glass of water prior to breakfast is important because you may not want to eat breakfast when you wake up. Studies suggest, however, that eating breakfast can fuel your day, and can give you the energy you need right as you wake up.
It’s important to eat breakfast because your body hasn’t taken in any nutrition for hours. But breakfast, while important, doesn’t need to be a big to-do. If you don’t have time to cook a full breakfast, consider working a breakfast bar into your morning routine, as they will often have enough vitamins and minerals to work as a substitute for a full breakfast, with some additional proteins, fats, and carbs to keep you full and to fuel your day.
Having a good, healthy breakfast can make the difference between feeling full and feeling hungry long before lunch.
Morning is the perfect time to get in some exercise. Since you’ve already gotten some movement in with step one, now might be a good time to get a good workout going. Cardio tends to work well in the mornings, whereas strength training, and most other anaerobic exercises, works better in the afternoons when your body temperature has increased.
If you’re just starting a walking routine, get those miles out of the way in the morning. That way, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment at the very start of the day, and the energy you get from exercise will give you a boost when you get to the daily grind.
Once you’ve gotten some exercise, gotten a little bit of nutrition in your system, drank some water… you need to take a shower. The rejuvenating effects of a shower can help you to feel more energetic, even if all you’re doing is cleaning off a little bit of post-exercise sweat. Just don’t keep the shower too hot, as tempting as that may be.
The most important thing to ensure that you keep up a healthy morning routine is that you actually make it routine. Ingrain it in your mind that you must do every single step of this routine every day, and it will soon become second nature. This may not be the secret to eternal youth or to losing weight before swimsuit season, but it’s a great way to get a healthy start, to make sure that your morning starts off strong.