Start Your Day with These Healthy Habits
You know the feeling: your alarm has gone off for the fifth time, and no matter how many times you hit snooze, it’s just impossible to get going in the morning. Believe it or not, there are more ways than chugging a cup of coffee to get moving.
Here are five easy and healthy ways to start each day:
Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends) will help you be ready to go every morning. A regular sleep schedule will align your circadian rhythm, biological clock, and the actual clock, naturally waking you up at the right time each morning, making it much easier to get out of bed. Just make sure to get about eight hours of sleep each night.
2. Start the Night Before
It’s not just how much you’re sleeping that matters, but also the quality of sleep you get. This means avoiding a few things before bed: no exercising or eating a big meal close to bedtime, and avoiding computer, television, and phone screens shortly before sleep. Establishing a solid bedtime routine means your body will be ready to rest once you get into bed.
3. Caffeinate Differently
Some of us just aren’t morning people, and no matter how good our sleep hygiene is, we’ll still need a little jolt to get moving. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to endless cups of coffee every morning, especially if you’re the type of person who adds cream or sugar. Try a caffeinated tea instead: tea has a host of health benefits that coffee doesn’t have but still packs enough kick to wake you up.
4. Fuel Up
Every American student knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But there’s a big difference between diving into a bowl of sugary cereal and fueling up for a productive day. Yogurt, granola, and fresh fruits will do more than just give you the calories you need for the morning: a breakfast like this will promote digestive health and give you a good chunk of the nutrients you need daily. Oatmeal, also with some fresh fruits, is another great meal for the winter months.
It may be tough to drag yourself to the gym or out the door for a morning run, but there’s hardly a better way to start the day. In addition to all the benefits of exercise at any time, the endorphins and energy from a workout will last well into your day.
For most people, the morning has a set endpoint: starting work or heading to school. That means the period after you wake up can feel like a race against the clock, especially if you have kids. So, here’s a bonus habit:
Bonus: Set a Schedule and Stick to It
The need to walk out the door and get going can make mornings stressful, and while it may be energizing at the moment, it’s draining and can spill over into the rest of the day. Set a fixed wake-up time and schedule for each morning, and you’ll find yourself moving a bit more easily and feeling less stressed. Plus, it’s the best way to ensure you have time for the other healthy habits above.
These tips may not guarantee you’ll become a morning person, but they’ll help you start your day in a healthy way, making sure you’re ready to take on whatever the world wants to throw at you.