Mornings are the most important hours of the day. Yet despite the opportunity, most of us remain in bed for too long before lazily climbing ourselves out like a zombie.
But this is no way to be productive and happy.
So below, we’re going to go over 10 morning habits that will benefit your mind and body to get you ready to tackle the day ahead.
1) Slowly stretch your muscles
Sleep is a sedentary activity that lasts for hours, so taking the time to slowly move your joints and muscles can have an energizing effect on your body.
Aside from feeling good, it actually does help to wake you up. Stretching works to increase flexibility and range of motion in the muscles and joints. It also improves circulation and relieves tension.
2) Start with protein
Cereal is a common breakfast, but it’s not the best choice. According to research, protein may be better for you. A study found that people who got 35 grams of protein at breakfast were less hungry throughout the day and saw favorable changes in the hormones and brain signals that control appetite.
3) Start your morning the night before
Spending a few minutes the night before to get prepared for the next day can save you a lot of time. Pick your clothes and set your to-do list and when you wake up. Organizing what you’re planning to do tomorrow before you even leave means you’ll hit the ground running when you come in the next day.
4) Let there be light
Whether it’s natural or artificial, light sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up and stop producing melatonin – the sleep hormone. Flip on the light switch when you get up!
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Sorry to be a buzz kill, but exercise is really good for you, especially in the morning. This is a time when crucial hormones (i.e., testosterone) that help build muscle are elevated in the body. By exercising in the morning, you’re taking advantage of these naturally circulating hormones as they’re peaking, rather than later in the day when they’re lower.
6) Banish the snooze button
Look, I understand. Your bed is comfortable and cozy and you want to stay in it. However, when your alarm goes, it’s already interrupted your REM cycle, and getting that 10 extra minutes throws your body’s natural rhythm off. Resist the urge and get on with your day!
7) Wake up with gratitude
When you wake up, ask yourself this question: “What am I grateful for?” You’ve heard before that you should start every single day with an attitude of gratitude. This is probably the simplest way to actually do that.
8) Drink water
Your body is likely dehydrated after sleeping, so grab some water. Drinking at least one large glass of water in the morning – about 16 oz of cold water – can boost your body’s metabolism by about 24%, which can aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
9) Get in a positive mindset
Attitude is everything. You can either start the day thinking that it’s going to be the worst day ever. Or you can be optimistic that you’re going to enjoy every moment and embrace every opportunity. The choice is yours.
10) Use technology for extra help
If you need a little assistance to make your morning the best it can be, your cellphone is where it’s at. From an app that tracks your sleep cycle (and wakes you during the lightest part) to one that offers endless smoothie recipes for breakfast there’s something out there for everyone. Time to make technology work for you.
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