Having a healthy and productive morning routine can set a positive and productive tone for your whole day. Check out these 11 healthy morning routine habits to start your day off on the right foot.
1. Drink water.
Keeping hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body. Drinking water keeps your heart, kidneys, liver, and digestive system in top shape. Among its many benefits, water also:
- Regulates body temperature
- Keeps your digestive system regular
- Works with the kidneys to flush toxins from your body
- Keeps skin hydrated and bright
2. Make your bed.
Sleep hygiene can have a big impact on your physical and mental health, and making your bed is the first step toward practicing good sleep hygiene. Just this small act of pulling up the covers can provide the sense of a cleaner sleeping space and in turn lower stress levels. Plus, once you make your bed, you’ve already done one thing that day. One task can turn into another and another, and finishing this small task helps set your mind for success. Once you’ve done one thing, you can absolutely do more.
Working out in the morning may seem impossible for some, but there are actually many benefits to getting your body moving before you start your day. Among other things, there are fewer distractions in the morning. Studies have also shown there are tangible health benefits to working out in the morning compared to midday or after work. One 2019 study found exercising in the morning improves attention and decision-making skills.
Morning exercise can also help regulate your circadian rhythm. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which keeps you awake and alert, is naturally higher in the morning.
4. Take a cold shower.
Although cold showers aren’t everyone’s favorite, they can be beneficial in the morning, especially after a tough workout. When cold water washes over you, the shock increases your oxygen intake and heart rate. Both of which increase circulation, which can help promote alertness in the morning.
5. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Nutrition experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – meaning what you eat first thing in the morning will impact your mental and physical performance for hours to come. Healthy, easy breakfasts can be hard to find as lots of quick breakfast foods are full of sugars and other processed ingredients. Check out these seven healthy breakfast recipes from IIN grads for some inspiration on how to step up your breakfast game.
6. Don't check your phone right away.
How many of us are guilty of checking social media first thing after waking up? It’s become a natural part of our morning routines. But we often spend more time checking our phones than planned, causing us to run late and raise stress levels. Turn off your notifications overnight if possible, and check your email and scroll through social media once you’ve settled into your day.
7. Stretch it out.
Simple yoga stretches, like sun salutations, can be very energizing. Yoga gets your blood pumping, and if you’re not a morning person, this low-impact form of exercise can be a great option. Yoga and stretching can also be a great time for meditation. Stretching is very important, especially if you’re an active person, and improving flexibility can help prevent sprains and strains.
Morning meditation is a great way to start the day, but there's not always time to go through an entire meditation routine. For a shorter version – while still reaping the beneficial effects of meditation – try closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. This simple act could take a minute or less and is a great way to center yourself before beginning your day.
Journaling for a few minutes a day is a great way to reduce stress and center yourself. By getting your thoughts down on paper (or even in your Notes app), you can help build self-awareness as well as commit things to memory. Doing something like a line-a-day journal lets you easily look back at past entries to see what you’ve accomplished over time.
10. Review your goals.
Ever found yourself exhausted at the end of the day but haven’t felt like you’ve accomplished anything? Everyone has. Setting goals and achieving them are two different things, and setting expectations too high can lead to disappointment.
Using the S.M.A.R.T. method for goal setting is a great way to review your goals to see what is achievable versus what isn’t. Whether you’re looking to transform your health, build a business, or improve relationships, using the S.M.A.R.T. method to set goals can help you use your time productively.
11. Make a morning playlist.
Music in the morning can help get you pumped for the day ahead. In fact, it can even improve your heart health. According to an article published by Harvard Health, “sound processing begins in the brain stem, which also controls the rate of your heartbeat and respiration. This connection could explain why relaxing music may lower heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure.”
The bottom line
There are lots of ways to kick-start your mornings and help you make the most of the day ahead. Plus, many of these tips work well to help your physical and mental health anytime during the day. Experiment and find what works best for you!