Healthy morning routines can make the start of your day awesome! And if the start of the day is good, then the rest of the day is bound to be good as well, right? For example, if you wake up in a bad mood, you are likely to carry that bad mood through the rest of the day. If you wake up energized, you are likely to get more done and feel happier for the rest of the day.
In their ‘Happy as a Lark’ study, researchers Biss and Hasher found positive emotional and general health benefits among both younger and older people who were considered morning people. On the other hand, night-type people who are forced to wake up early in the morning experienced “social jetlag” and experienced emotional struggles and loss of sleep.
You can start out by going to bed early so you can wake up early. Then, incorporate these healthy morning habits to make sure every morning is a good one, and increase your chances of enjoying more good days!
Below are great ways to develop healthy routines.
The best of nutritious healthy morning routines: Eat breakfast.
Eat SOMETHING! Eating breakfast is one of the healthiest morning routines you can have! It will help you jumpstart your metabolism, and give the appropriate energy you need to get on with the day.
Chowdhury et al. found that obese adults that ate breakfast experienced higher levels of activity during the morning hours. On the other hand, those that skipped breakfast (and continued to fast through the entire morning) consumed more calories later on in the day.
Additionally, a study conducted by Kamada et al. determined that the type of food consumed for breakfast was important. They found that breakfast foods specifically lower in the glycemic index and higher in protein were associated with higher energy levels. Their study concluded that long-term effects of this healthy habit could result in better health status and metabolic disease prevention.
If you have kids, it is suggested that healthy breakfast habits in children showed evidence of quality school grades and test scores. Model a healthy morning habit of having breakfast and your kids will follow your lead.
The best of happy healthy morning routines: Meditate in appreciation.
Woke up in a bad mood? Just spend 10 breaths pondering about the good stuff in your life. You may feel grateful about…
Your body – Just think how many cells do their job right, right now, just to keep YOU living – this is true even if you are sick.
The people you love – Your family, husband/wife, friends, etc.
The work you do, or your hobbies – Aren’t the flowers in your garden pure beauties?
Turakitwanakan et al. researched the effects of mindful meditation on the cortisol levels of medical students. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and its levels fluctuate dependent on stress levels. This study revealed that these med students had significantly lower cortisol levels after mindful meditation. Thus, the lower cortisol levels suggest stress levels are lowered. They concluded that the risk of diseases that are caused by stress, i.e. psychiatric disorders, migraines, and ulcers, could be lowered as well.
Are you new to meditation? UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditations and podcasts to help you get started.
Even if meditation still isn’t your thing, you can start a journal to gain similar benefits. Every morning, list at least one thing (or several) that you are grateful for. Researchers Emmons and McCullough found that people that journaled about things they were grateful for, rather than hassles, experienced better well-being.
The best of energizing healthy morning routines: Get moving.
Some people really like the mental win of crossing exercise off their to-do list before they begin the rest of the day. Better yet, you won’t make excuses at the end of your day to skip it if it’s already checked off your to-do list! Best of all, that exercise endorphin high goes a long way in the morning – who doesn’t love starting the day out with a natural boost?
A study by Bond et al. found that morning exercise could be a successful way to promote a physical activity habit in inactive people. This means that you’re more likely to stick to a routine in the morning than any other time of the day.
Additionally, Alizadeh et al. concluded that women that exercised in the morning experienced greater levels of satiety after eating over the course of 24 hours, compared to women that exercised in the afternoon. So, you’re more likely to feel full after eating if you work out in the morning.
Let’s consider these famous successful people that Business Insider identified who also start their day off with exercise: Tim Cook (Apple CEO),Oprah Winfrey (Media Mogul), Barack Obama (Former President of the USA), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO), Bill Gates (Co-Founder of Microsoft), Anna Wintour (Editor in Chief of Vogue Magazine).
Maybe you enjoy being outdoors. If so, you can begin your day with a walk (or even a jog!) to get a dose of fresh air with your exercise. Additionally, a 30-minute morning yoga sequence can get you moving in the morning!
The best of happy healthy morning routines: Family life.
Healthy morning routines aren’t solely based on diet and exercise habits. Of course, this category is subjective to your own family and will adapt as your life changes. Your family may include a spouse, children, parents, and/or a pet.
The great news is that you can combine this facet of your healthy morning routine with the others mentioned here to maximize your day. If and when your family grows, you can model healthy habits for the little eyes that watch and learn from your behavior.
If you have a pet, spend time walking your dog (you can get that exercise in at the same time!).
If you have a spouse or significant other, get that morning workout done together. Then, enjoy a breakfast date at your kitchen table and connect before the rush of the day begins.
If you have children, start your morning off together at the breakfast table. Encourage them to start healthy morning routines by giving them a habit to model. Follow that by a consistent routine as you get them out the door.
Reliable routines are important for family – especially if you have kids. Almost every monthly parenting magazine will stress a consistent routine to make mornings go smoothly. When kids know what to expect next, they behave much better.
How will you make your own healthy morning routine?
What is a new healthy morning routine you want to establish? How can you accomplish that? We would like to here from you.