Morning is an ideal time to set your day on a course of health. By incorporating a few simple habits into your morning routine, you might find yourself with a bit more energy and spark, as well as the peace of mind of having eaten your proverbial, and possibly literal, vegetables at the beginning of the day. Try incorporating a few of these tips into your morning routine.
Reflect and set an intention for your day
The quiet hours of the morning offer a great time to spend a reflective moment with yourself before heading into “active mode,” which will likely characterize much of the remainder of your day. If your mornings tend to be rushed and not quiet at all, try getting up a little earlier, maybe just 10-15 minutes, to make time for this habit.
Create a quiet, reflective practice that works for you. This could be meditation, writing in a journal, or just taking a few deep breaths. At the end of this practice, set an intention or goal for your day. This can be as simple as noticing the calm state you are in and reminding yourself to hold onto that if the day becomes frantic or challenging.
Hydrate and stimulate your metabolism
While you were sleeping your digestive system also had a chance to rest and clear out. Now you are ready to start the engine again, so to speak. This is a perfect time to send your digestive system a message of health. Ideally before any caffeine (tough, I know), try starting your day with a glass of warm water with lemon juice. This will gently wake up your liver and promote your gallbladder to produce bile, thus stimulating digestion.
In addition, you can start your morning with a glass of detox water. If you’re wondering how to make detox water, you just chop the ingredients and put it in the water. You should let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. The combination between water and fruits or spices helps flush toxins from the body. The secret is to pick something that tastes and looks delicious that will inspire you to drink more water, and more of the vitamins and nutrients infused into it, throughout your day.
Get moving and breathe deeply
Start your day off with movement. It’s best to start gently here, even if you are a spunky morning person who is ready to run out the door first thing. Your body has been moving very little for the last eight hours (ideally), so give it time to warm up. Start out with some gentle movement like simple stretches, yoga, or Qi Gong. You can even incorporate some simple self-massage, which is not only healthy but just feels good. As you get your body moving, focus on taking several deep breaths. You’ll be helping to move oxygen and blood through your body, clearing out toxins, fueling the brain, and stimulating your muscles and joints.
Once you’ve warmed up your joints, muscles, and circulatory system, you can get a little more vigorous. Morning is a good time to work out as the body is fresh and you face fewer of the excuses that can arise later in the day, like being tired or grouchy after work. Running is a great way to energize your morning, even if just a short jog around the neighborhood. Choose a workout that is fun for you and that you think you will stick with. If you have the option of getting outside to move in nature, use it. Fresh air will provide even better fuel for your brain and body, and being in nature is great for the spirit.
Good foods for your body
Once your metabolism is ignited, go for a balanced breakfast (possibly after habit #4). Experiment with what works well for your body. Some people feel they need protein and fat in the morning, others prefer light and simple. Try thinking outside the box. We tend to habitually think of cereal or eggs as breakfast, but consider some less conventional options like leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner or a warming soup to offer variety.
Humming for health
If you tend to sing in the shower, you might consider trying something new, humming in the shower. Studies show that humming can prevent respiratory issues by improving ventilation of the sinuses. Humming regularly seems to prevent upper respiratory infections and is especially helpful for people with allergies or asthma. You can hum anywhere you feel comfortable, it does not have to be in the shower. Give it a try as you prepare for your day in the morning.
Try adding these habits to your morning routine, ideally starting with just one or two at a time to set yourself up for success. Feel free to personalize them to make them appropriate for your lifestyle and preferences. Feel great throughout your day and set your life on a path of wellness by incorporating simple habits into your morning!