An increasing body of research demonstrates that early risers are generally slimmer, healthier, and happier which proves the old saying the “early bird catches the worm”.
Shake up your wake-up by including these five simple habits in your morning routine.
1. GET MOVING
While there’s no best time of day to exercise, the morning appears to have one main perk: it’s off the “to-do” list and studies consistently show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to make it a habit, as there’s less chance of scheduling conflicts (school drop-offs, back-to-back meetings) that take priority.
2. EAT A REAL BREAKFAST
By knocking out your exercise first thing, you may find you approach your food differently throughout the day. According to researchers from Harvard, a healthy breakfast can keep your cholesterol in check, make your body more responsive to insulin (and so help protect against type 2 diabetes), improve your performance on memory-related tasks, and minimize impulse snacking and overeating at other meals.
Besides, breakfast eaters are most likely to consume a wider variety of nutrients by including more fruit, vegetables, milk, and whole grains than non-breakfast eaters. An excellent way to start the day!
3. DEEP BREATHS
On average, a person takes 23,040 breaths a day. But how many of those are relaxing? Committing to two minutes of mindful breathing and meditation each day can have huge benefits for your body (both physically and mentally). It activates the parasympathetic nervous system (better known as the ‘rest and digest’ system), which helps to lower blood pressure, and heart rate and reduce stress.
Just close your eyes and focus on a slow, deep complete inhale and exhale. You can do this on the bus, the train, or first thing in the morning upon rising.
4. BE CONSISTENT
Waking up at the same time every day will stabilize your circadian rhythm (internal body clock), which helps regulate hormones that control appetite, stress, and blood sugar levels.
Oversleep or stay up too late and you throw these hormones out of whack. Not only does this affect your energy levels, but can also lead to mindless overeating, increasing your risk of chronic health conditions.
When you sleep for a long period of time, it’s normal for your body to lose moisture, which is why drinking water to replenish makes sense. However, not so fast with the hot water and lemon — often touted to speed up metabolism, detoxify, and aid digestion — as the impact of the ritual is greatly overstated. What’s worse, it can ruin the enamel on your teeth! Best to quench your thirst with water first.
Good hydration also improves exercise performance, and skin complexion, and keeps you regular. So have a few glasses first thing and save your coffee for a mid-morning pick-me-up!
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