By Adrian Schirr of Forum Health Clarkston
Before I even knew what I was doing, I had a morning routine. I used to notice a little anxiety creeping in on days I went off the path. On lazy mornings I’d put my phone in my face, drink that extra cup of coffee and skip my workout. By late afternoon, it was hard to catch my breath. I was irritable and exhausted. I wasn’t making good food choices. After a few instances like that, I started to notice it was a pattern and it was only occurring on the days I didn’t fall into my normal, morning routine.
My morning routine is somewhat like this:
- Before my feet hit the floor, I stretch
- Make my bed
- Drink a glass of room temperature water with my daily probiotic
- Eat half a banana or yogurt to get a little fuel
- Pilates session and 30-60 minutes of cardio. On my rest days, I do yoga.
- Eat a super healthy breakfast that usually consists of a protein shake or egg whites, avocado, fruit, and toast.
- Take my supplements
- Plan my day
- Get ready
- Drink 1 cup of coffee (my reward)
I’m sure many people could find similarities in my routine and their own, but this is what works best for me. It’s taken many adjustments to fall into this particular sequence. It is so routine that I don’t even think about what I’m doing next—every step just flows because it’s the rhythm my body, mind, and spirit crave.
Morning Routines are Good for Your Health
The point is I don’t do it to give myself an atta boy! I don’t do it to look a certain way. I do it because it makes me feel good. Starting your day off right actually benefits your health in so many ways. As a matter of fact, a significant part of living a more balanced life is done by creating a morning routine because it:
- Maintains your normal biological clock by keeping that rhythm our body craves for creating mental alertness, eating habits, normal body temperature, healthy hormone levels, and other body functions.
- Supports healthy digestion when you rehydrate with a glass of water at room temperature before anything else and gets your insides moving.
- Keeps you honest by reducing binge eating and over-indulging. When you start your day in health, you tend to follow that path all day in order to keep the same vibe.
Give your morning a routine with these simple, sustainable steps!
During sleep, your body and even your mind are working hard to recharge and rebuild all that’s broken down during the day. It’s your body’s time to heal. When you miss this important step, it puts the rest all out of whack and leads to irritability, stress, fatigue, foggy brain, and so much more. Tip: After a night of tossing and turning, try and reset by falling into your morning routine. Slip a rejuvenating yoga session in after a few minutes of meditation. It should help you recover.
Wake up Well
- Don’t look at your phone: News platforms and social media tend to come with a few triggers lately. That alone should make you want to avoid looking at your phone until after you’ve meditated and prayed for patience. There is a scientific side to this, of course. According to Dr. Karan Raj, “When you wake up in the morning you transition from a delta brainwave of sleep to a theta brainwave. We need this theta brainwave. It helps the brain with learning, memory, [and] problem solving. If you wake up [and] check your phone… social media, messages, etc. you skip the theta brainwave and go straight into high stress beta brainwaves. This altered brainwave pattern affects your performance for the rest of the day.”
- Morning Meditation: Prayer and meditation have been shown to increase longevity, balance inflammation, boost your immune system, support positivity, and help reinforce good habits. Just a few minutes in the morning will do wonders for the rest of your day.
- Make your bed: It’s just another step, but making your bed every morning is known to add a feeling of accomplishment to the beginning of your day. It also allows you to end the day with a feeling of comfort as you turn your blankets down and slide into the cool, crisp, clean feeling of a made bed.
- Stretch: Stretching first thing in the morning relieves tension and increases blood flow. Don’t even get out of bed. Just stretch every limb while you’re still lying down. Sit up and fold over your legs to stretch your back. Do it long; do it LOUD (unless someone is sleeping next to you), and do it until you feel all that tightness go away.
- Work Out/Yoga/Pilates: A good morning workout boosts your metabolism, creates hormonal balance, and improves your sleep. It promotes a healthier mindset for the rest of the day and helps you stay focused, avoiding distractions and obstacles.
Eat the Right Breakfast
I like to eat my morning meal without looking at my MacBook or phone. Breakfast happens to be my favorite meal, so why not focus on it? I don’t watch TV or do any work and my loved ones know not to ask me questions that will make me think during this time. I just want to eat, savor… appreciate. Breakfast after your workout depends on you, really. What are your goals? What was the intensity and duration of your exercise? A well rounded breakfast consists of a little of everything to get the body balanced: protein, healthy fats, and good carbs.
Here are some healthy breakfast ideas to enjoy after a workout:
- Eggs, avocado, 2 pieces of gluten free toast
- Oatmeal with berries and nuts
- Gluten free waffle with almond butter on top and a side of berries
- Probiotics work to protect the gut from everyday life, the environment, diet, and antibiotics, which can all damage the gut ecosystem—the entire foundation that keeps us healthy.
- Collagen is good for joint health, gut health, and promoting healthy hair and skin. Give your protein shake and extra boost by adding in a scoop and you won’t be sorry.
- Multivitamins are a great way to fill in the nutritional gaps that the modern diet has. We don’t get enough fruits and veggies and we miss essential nutrients that we need to lower our risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other health conditions. The right multivitamin will contain all the basic vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, A, E, D2 (or D3), K, potassium, iodine, selenium, borate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, beta carotene, and/or iron.
- Fish Oil is an anti-inflammatory brain food and protects the body from disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Arthritis, Anxiety, and Cardiovascular Disease.
- Vitamin D plays an essential role in making disease-preventing proteins and enzymes, and affects more than 2,000 genes in the body. It enhances muscle strength, builds bone, has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects and bolsters the immune system.
- Do a gratitude check: What are you grateful for? What are you excited for? On days I feel more resentful than grateful, I look around the room to find something—anything at all. I usually land on my husband or my dog, Treeny.
- Make a list of goals: What do you want to accomplish today?
- Foresee and Prepare for Challenges: Who or what tests your patience and how can you rise above? Find the possible kink in your goals and strategize how you’ll anticipate it and avoid.
If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, check out these ideas to help you build your perfect routine!
Final Thoughts on Morning Routines
Our bodies crave rhythm. Find yours and make it a good one. At Forum Health, our experts will teach you how to get to know your body with our customized plans and services.