9 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

Lifestyle

The way you start your day determines how the rest will proceed. If you get off on the wrong foot, you can feel “off” all day. You probably recognize this feeling from when you accidentally sleep through your alarm.

Why not choose to start your day healthily? There are dozens of ways to get going positively. Tomorrow when the alarm sounds, try one of the tips below.

1. Stretch

Few things get your blood flowing like stretching or yoga. The best part? You don’t have to get out of bed to enjoy the refreshment. You can perform gentle stretches before your feet hit the floor.

Wake up your spine with a cat-cow flow. Come onto your hands and knees, and as you inhale, let your belly dip down, arching your back slightly. As you exhale, push your spine up like a scared Halloween kitty.

2. Enjoy a Cuppa

Did you know coffee not only makes things like 9 a.m. budget meetings tolerable, but it also protects your heart? A 2015 study found that people who drink several cups of coffee daily have less calcium buildup in their arteries. Calcium can lead to plaque, which can spur a heart attack or stroke.

You can elevate your morning cup, too. If you have any chronic pain, try adding a bit of turmeric and black pepper in with your coffee grounds. It gives your brew a spicy chai flavor.  The black pepper amplifies the bioavailability of the curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, painkilling compound in turmeric, by 2000%.

3. Go for a Walk

If the weather cooperates, start your morning with healthy outdoor exercise by taking a walk. The fresh air and physical movement bust a blue mood as effectively as antidepressant medications in some people. Plus, if you head out on an empty stomach, your body has to burn fat for fuel. This combination can help you lose those pesky few pounds.

4. Meditate

Your mind is a muscle. Although it’s unlike any other, you can still strengthen it — through meditation. Meditation allows you to identify negative thought patterns that keep you from living your best life. It also enables you to focus on the present moment instead of fears of what may happen in the future.

5. Cuddle With Your Pet

Are you living the single life and loving it? You don’t have to have a partner to enjoy the perks of oxytocin, a brain chemical released through physical affection. You can stimulate the production of this happy hormone by cuddling up with your pooch or kitty. If you have children, they enjoy the warmth, too. Of course, if you are in a relationship, your partner probably won’t mind if you spend a few minutes spooning them.

6.  Shower Mindfully

Do you race through your morning routine in a mad dash, only to waste more time when you forget crucial details? You’re less likely to leave the report your boss needs today sitting on your dining room table if you slow down. When you feel yourself getting frantic as the minutes tick by, pause, and take a deep breath. Slow and steady wins the race.

7.  Grab a Healthy Breakfast

Do you try to make it until noon running on nothing but coffee? If you do, you’re leaving yourself prone to headaches and fatigue. Plus, some research suggests that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat later in the day, resulting in weight gain.

Instead, use your day off to prep healthy grab-and-go breakfasts you can eat during your commute or at your desk. For example, you could whip up a batch of breakfast burritos and grab one on your way out the door.

8. Commute With a Purpose

Sure, it’s fun to turn your car into a personal recording studio. However, if you want to learn anything from a new language to tricks for reframing negative thoughts, why not put this time to use? You can download podcasts on nearly any topic under the sun. Hello, Einstein!

9. Take the Scenic Route

Finally, if you take the same route to work each day, you run the risk of highway hypnosis. How many times have you arrived at your home or office with little recollection of how you got there?

It’s true — some days, you merely want to reach home and collapse on your couch. However, if the weather is lovely, why not walk or bike to commute instead of driving? Your body will appreciate the additional physical movement. Plus, when you’re not zipping along at 55 mph, you notice more about your surroundings. You could discover a hidden gem of a café that becomes your new go-to coffee spot.

Start Your Day the Healthy Way

Tomorrow morning, commit to doing something positive instead of hitting snooze or scrolling social media when your alarm sounds. You will make your entire day healthier and brighter!

Jennifer Landis
Jennifer Landis is a wife, mom, writer, and healthy living blogger. She enjoys longs walks around the block with her toddler, prefers tea over coffee, and eats way too much peanut butter. You can find more from Jennifer on her blog, http://mindfulnessmama.com or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis
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