With busy, hectic, over scheduled lives, most of us are sleep (and nutrient) deprived to some degree. Truly, this is a result of the daily grind of our modern day living. We have long, demanding days that can result in the lack of proper nourishment, rest, and play leaving us feeling less then energetic and motivated to exercise and eat well. Instead, we find ourselves spending downtime sitting in front of the computer or watching TV while eating processed garbage (aka junk food). Once in awhile we decide we are going to eat clean and go the gym but in a few weeks, our busy lives take over and our motivation dies down.
As a trainer, I have seen firsthand how stress, poor nutrition, and an overwhelming schedule can negatively affect one’s health and fitness goals. When we are so busy that we find ourselves forgetting to drink water throughout the day, skipping meals, and struggling through workouts, it’s time to “work in” instead of struggling to work out!
For these reasons and to cultivate a healthier and happier lifestyle for the long haul, here are my top 3 simple habits to develop in the mornings BEFORE the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
1) Drink water – If there was only one healthy habit I could recommend for you to begin, it would be to drink a LARGE glass of water first thing in the morning before anything else. Drinking lots of water hydrates the cells and ensures proper regularity. Most people are “backed up” and mistake being tired and hungry for dehydration. Being dehydrated slows down your metabolism and the process of burning fat. DRINK UP:)
2) Move your body - Do some sort of cardio for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning to awaken the body and boost your mood. Some mornings, you may only be able to fit in a brisk walk, but it’s important to do something every day. Walking, running, yoga or boxing are all great options. Doing so will work to kick start your metabolism and release the “feel good” hormone, serotonin into the body. This in turn, helps to relieve stress and increase overall self-confidence. Upon many other benefits, exercising in the morning can help you to be more alert, productive, and creative throughout the day. If you work in a high stress atmosphere, exercising in the morning is extremely beneficial. If you are more advanced, feel free to do a full, more intense workout in the mornings. Being intense AND consistent is great together, just make sure that you are consistent FIRST, in order to build the habit; especially in the beginning.
3) Be grateful – Practice gratitude by thinking of 5 things that you are truly grateful for everyday in the mornings. Give yourself a few minutes to dwell on them with an “attitude of gratitude,” possibly during your stretch after your workout. Although this can be tricky at times, especially as it tends to be human nature to notice all that is wrong or that we lack, I find that if we give ourselves the chance on a regular basis to notice the little things that are working, we can increase our overall sense of happiness, and create hope and optimism for the future, regardless of what is going on.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”- Robert J. Collier
I have always found positive, long term results by incorporating small, incremental changes that compound over time with any part of life. This way you can feel successful everyday without any overwhelm….awesome!
Much love and GRATITUDE,