Sometimes our days get so packed with “to-do’s” that self-care and health habits can be pushed to the wayside. However, if we choose to start our day with a health supporting routine, we can at least be happy we did that, as a bare minimum, on the days that other things (exercise, eating ALL the veggies, getting out in nature, etc) get neglected.
So, instead of spending 30 minutes pressing the snooze button, use that time to get a head start on supporting your health for the day.
Health-Boosting Morning Routine
Drink a large warm glass of lemon water on waking.
This is a great way to get a head start on making sure that you start the day well hydrated. Not to mention that it will fire up your digestive tract, and stimulate liver function and bile flow to help your body flush out toxins. Just add the juice of 1/2-1 lemon to 1-2 cups of warm (not hot!) water, and drink up. A quicker alternative is to use 1-2 tablespoons of pure organic lemon juice (make sure there is nothing added - I use Santa Cruz organic). If you’re feeling fancy and want to spruce it up, you can add a little ginger, which can provide some extra warmth for cooler days.
Meditate for 10 minutes
One of the huge benefits of meditation is to help us learn to re-connect with our attention to live a more mindful life. This means paying attention, moment-to-moment, to our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It is being non-reactive and non-judgmental. It is being in direct contact with our experience, instead of getting caught up in our thoughts about it. It can help us better handle the ups and downs in our lives, and lower stress. There are so many health benefits, and even 10 minutes a day can be profoundly beneficial. For some tips, techniques and resources, click here.
Stretch/do yoga for 5 minutes
Pick stretches or a yoga sequence that feels good for you. Get your muscles moving, joints lubricated and blood flowing first thing in the morning. You will likely find that you have more energy and less aches and pains during the day if you can give yourself the time to do this.
End your shower on cold
An easy add-on to your morning shower, a 30 second cold rinse can stimulate your nervous system and boost your immune system. The cold rinse makes you feel more alert and can improve mood by increasing endorphins and norepinephrine, and stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. A cold water rinse has also been shown to lessen symptoms when you get sick. If you’re worried about feeling cold when you step out of the shower, you’ll be happy to hear that the cold water rinse causes vasoconstriction (makes your blood vessels constrict) on your skin, shunting blood to your core. This will actually make you feel warmer when you step out of the shower.
Power charge your breakfast
Skip the sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead opt for a vegetable heavy (or occasionally fruity) breakfast, with some protein and healthy fat. For example, a vegetable hash cooked in coconut oil, with an egg on the side. Or you could have steamed kale, beans and wild rice. Or maybe coconut milk soaked chia, almond butter and blue berries. Get creative! Don’t have the time to make breakfast in the morning? Cook it the day before if you need to! Preparation is often the key to eating a healthy breakfast.