Early Morning Routines to Implement a Healthy Lifestyle
Ugh, mornings! Sometimes they can seem so difficult, especially in the cold winter months. Making a few simple changes in the morning can really improve your health and help you have a great day. Try testing out these steps to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health:
1. Get Enough Sleep
This one seems so obviously, yet so many of us still don’t get enough rest. When it comes to improving mood and energy, sleep is the quickest fix. For adults 7-9 hours of sleep a night is optimal. To get the best results try to keep your bedtime and wakeup time relatively the same from day to day. This means not staying up until the wee hours of the night on weekends and binge sleeping all day Saturday and Sunday. Getting your body into a routine will not only benefit your energy levels but it will make falling asleep and waking up that much easier.
Recent studies also suggest that individuals with a regular sleep pattern benefit more from diet-driven weight loss interventions than those who are deprived of sleep. Furthermore, those who get regular sleep not only lose more weight but also retain more lean mass. It is hypothesized that those who are sleep deprived lose less overall weight and a significantly larger portion of the overall weight that is lost turns out to be lean muscle mass.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” Sounds cliché but there’s something to it! Starting your morning with a nutritious healthy breakfast seems like another one of those obvious morning routines we should get into, yet we’re tempted to grab a donut with coffee and hit the road. A big breakfast can give you the fuel you need to have a productive first half of the day. Make it a nutritious breakfast and try to hit all your macronutrients – carbs, fats, and protein. Many people tend to skip breakfast because they don’t have a lot of time in the morning, especially when they’re not getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Below are some quick combos you can make in the morning. Don’t over estimate the time it takes to improve your day and your health. Cooking an egg with some turkey sausage only takes about 5 minutes.
Quick on-the-go breakfast ideas:
●Whole wheat toast, with peanut butter, and banana
●Whole wheat toast, with 1 microwaved egg (microwave in greased dish for 1 min) and 1 slice low fat cheese
●Overnight oats: the night before mix together dry oats, enough low fat milk to cover oats, peanut butter and some dried fruit; place in fridge and let oats soak up milk
3. Add a Morning Workout
Research shows that morning exercisers are more likely to stick with working out because there aren’t any conflicts to prevent you from working out. What’s even better is you are more likely to make healthier eating choices throughout the day! No one wants to undo all the hard work they just put in that morning! Working out in the morning literally gets your day going, gives you energy to be more productive and sets you up for success both in the short term and long term!
We say these tasks are simple, and many of us know we should practice them, but it can be so hard. If doing all of them seems overwhelming, try practicing just one or two to start. You’ll notice your mornings and your health improving. Once you’ve made some progress start implementing the others.
We may not be able to help you much on the getting enough sleep part but we can certainly guide you on healthy breakfasts and getting in that morning workout!
Come join us for Small Group Training, your first session is FREE which makes this the perfect time to start on getting your morning routine in tip top shape!
Kara Anne Nicholls
Public Health Intern