Over the past couple of months, as well as shaking up my fitness regime, I’ve also concentrated on shaking up my mornings.
Some mornings everything goes right. You wake up before your alarm goes off. Your morning yoga session feels like playtime. The coffee tastes better. And there is no traffic on your way into work. And when you sit down to get to work, you feel like you could conquer the world.
Other days are not like that all.
And while you can’t prevent every unfortunate morning situation that might come your way, experts say there are a few things you can do to encourage your mornings in that direction so you can make the most out of the rest of your day, too.
“If you wake up full of energy, you’re going to carry that energy through the rest of the day,”
Why not start off your morning with little wins to help your day get started? If you start the morning off on the wrong foot, you’re already behind. And that means you’ll need to use the energy you do have to get to a better “emotional state”.
Energy = willpower — and you only have so much at a given time! So the more of it you use to recover from a train delay or an alarm-didn’t-go-off morning, the less you have later for concentrating on a big project at work, family drama or whatever your day throws your way.
There are also physiological reasons you’re doing your body (and the rest of your day) a favour when your morning right! The body’s natural body clock runs on a roughly 24-hour cycle with the help of your environment (like lightness and darkness and exercise) to help regulate sleep, energy levels, metabolism and other bodily functions. And the choices you make to start your day, from logging that early-bird home workout into My Fitness Pal to sleeping in for too long, either help or hurt keep that clock running on time.
Resist that snooze button (even if she is your BFF)
Giving yourself a few extra minutes of zzzz’s may seem like listening to your body, but in the long run, you’re probably doing more harm than good. That’s because those 10 extra minutes of snoozing tend to be low-quality, light sleep since it’s not long enough for your body to make it through another sleep cycle (which tends to take around 90 minutes).
Keeping your sleep schedule regulated is one of the most key things you can do to feel energised and ready to wake up morning after morning! If this means going to bed half an hour earlier, then do it! Give it a try and see how much difference it makes.
Drink water as soon as you wake up
If you’re not keen on straight up water, try adding lemon, ice or cucumber. We get dehydrated overnight (especially if nature calls and you’re using the bathroom in the early hours). A glass or two of water first thing helps replenish your body’s hydration stores.
It also starts your metabolism on the right foot (since the body relies on water to keep all your digestive processes running smoothly). I cannot stress enough how much this has helped me to function better on a morning and get me through any morning workouts I do!
Try meditation or yoga
I totally understand if getting your butt to your mat at 6 A.M. sounds like a special kind of torture for you—but there is really something to be said for the art of doing your practice first thing when you wake up in the morning.
Starting your day in asana (hi yogi term) means that you are starting your day cultivating breath awareness. When you do this first thing in the morning, you are very likely to keep your breath on your mind for the rest of the day.
You may have a million things going on, but by setting the tone with your morning practice, you are more likely to tune into your breathing for the rest of your day. They say that the slower and deeper you breathe, the longer you will live.
Smash out a quick workout
Muster the energy to start sweating first thing and it will reward you! Exercise releases endorphins — chemicals produced in the brain that help minimise pain and discomfort and increase well-being (essentially the body’s own painkillers). Plus, endorphins can reduce stress hormones, too — helping you start your day unfettered and in control.
Get some damn sunshine
Yes I know, sometimes in the UK this one might be a tad difficult! Even if it’s just sitting in the garden before you get ready with a cup of coffee, a little sunshine will do you the world of good.
Want to make your early workout work even harder for you? Do it outside in the sun. Trust me when I say, even if it’s slightly on the cooler side in the morning, but the sun is shining, it’s so much harder, and I always find I sweat more haha.
On a weekend we also try to have our breakfast outside, especially now as the weather is so good. I just love sitting in the garden, face in the sun, scoffing on some avo, smoked salmon and poached eggs on toast 😉
It may sound like such an obvious one but I used to be one for never having breakfast. It’s super important to not only start your day but to also help you with your weightloss journey if you’re on one!
Food is where your body gets energy — so it makes sense that starting your day with food is one of the most energising things you can do. Our metabolism works better earlier in the day. That means that the body is better able to turn the calories you eat into energy that you can use in the morning.
Plus, skipping breakfast may also make you overeat for the rest of the day! Which, if you’re like me and you’re shaking up your lifestyle, won’t help you in your goal to shed some fat.
Hand on heart, I’ve loved shaking up my morning routine
Personally speaking, it’s really helped with my weight loss and made me feel ten times better during the day. I find that I’m now not as tired at the end of the day, which means that by the time I get to the gym, I still have plenty of energy to smash out a good workout.
Want more tips and tricks? I’ll soon be releasing my lifestyle change guide up on the blog! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out 🙂