You can begin your day either by dragging yourself out of the blanket in the last minute, rushing to get going with your day or getting up a little early and indulging in some good habits like exercise. We recommend the latter. Incorporating following habits in your morning routine can do wonders to your personal well-being.
Create Healthy Morning Habits
1. Drink water
Drinking a glass of water after waking up in the morning and then going hours without even a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. For better results, add lemon to water as it helps remove toxins from your digestive system that may have crept in your body overnight. Moreover, lemon freshens your breath and improves metabolism and digestion.
Meditating in the morning has the capacity to instill a lot of things like calm, patience, acumen and a better perspective to life. You can train your mind and emotions a certain way which further affects how you respond to challenges throughout your day. Only when you are clear-headed on how you want your day to go by can you be able to make decisions for your life. Here is a simple meditation you can do in the morning:
- Get into a comfortable position and set a timer for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Inhale through your nose four times, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose eight times.
- Every time you notice your mind wandering and distracting, gently guide it back to focus on your breath.
- When the timer goes off, release your counting, but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
- Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself accomplishing your intention.
3. Practice Gratitude and Optimism
The moment you open your eyes, make sure you take in good thoughts and breathe positivity. Allow yourself to smile and practice gratitude for having to see another sunrise. When you smile, it releases neurotransmitters which lift your mood, thereby enabling you to start off your day on a positive note. As you smile, start to reflect upon what you’re grateful for. Studies have revealed that practicing gratitude about little things reduces stress and improves your mood.
4. Stretching Routine
Performing a morning stretching routine will help you to loosen your muscles after sleeping and increasing blood flow to your muscles.
Take ten minutes to do the following yoga poses:
- Child’s pose(Balasana)
- Cat/Cow pose(Bidalasana)
- Downward Dog Pose(Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Standing Forward Bend pose(Uttanasana)
- Triangle pose(Trikonasana)
5 Health Benefits of Morning Workout
1. Improves your Metabolism
Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC) means that your body is capable of burning more calories after exercise, even when there is no physical activity going on. A study showed that people burned an extra 190 calories in 14 hours after exercise compared to those who did not exercise at all.
What do you think happens when you eat after exercise?
Basically, your body is replenished. Exercising in the morning lets you replenish your body and provides calories to meet your metabolic requirements. You do not get this benefit if you exercise during the day.
2. Improves Physical and Mental Energy
Exercise understandably can be a source of energy. Besides the obvious benefits, morning exercise leads to improved focus and mental abilities for the rest of the day. In addition to feeling more energetic after your workout, your mind will be ready to take on the challenges that the day has in store for you.
Some research has measured the impact of exercise to jog your mind and the results show that it does a better job than coffee!
3. Develops Self Discipline
This point is pretty much self-explanatory. Waking up early in the morning to exercise inculcates discipline. Initially difficult, it is extremely rewarding as the discipline instilled comes in handy in all respects of life. Once you do it with conviction, it becomes easier with time.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
A study conducted by Appalachian State University reveals exercising in the morning reduces blood pressure by 10 percent and this dip stays all day long and comes down to even 25 percent at night. Exercising in the morning can prevent heart attacks in the aged people.
5. Protects you from Diabetes
Exercising or going to the gym in the morning on an empty stomach also protects you against glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes, according to a study. During the six-week study, participants who exercised without eating first, compared to those who ate carbohydrates before and during the workout, showed improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, in addition to not gaining any weight.
Take Home Message
Besides these points, exercising in the morning also leads to better sleep at night, builds muscles more effectively and allows you to reach your fitness goals faster. Integrating exercise and other aforementioned activities in your morning routine can bring all the difference in your dull lifestyle. Try waking up early. You might just add a year or two to your life!