Now that school is officially back on in the state of Virginia, I think many of us parents are ready to get back to our own routine. Let’s face it, we all function better on routines. From the time we are infants (yes, we followed the Baby Wise Method for sleep scheduling with both kids), we structured a routine. Our kids function much better on a routine – they sleep better, they eat better, they behave better. And the house flows much better. And while the fun of summer and sleeping in was fabulous, the routine of the fall schedule is one that I welcome and crave. Especially for myself. I thrive when I have a structured healthy morning routine, and I know that I have a better day because of it. For the past few months, I have been working toward my perfect healthy morning routine, and I hope that by sharing it with all of you, I will inspire you to maximize your morning everyday!
Our Top 5 Tips for Healthy Morning Routine
- Drink water – As soon as you wake up, and stumble to the bathroom or kitchen, drink a tall glass of cold water. This is something that I have always read about, but never implemented until recently. It is key to start your day right. Think about it. Your body is craving water when you wake up. You have been in a dehydrated state for at least 6-8 hours while you were sleeping, so you must replenish those organs. Your skin is dehydrated too. And that water will help you look more youthful and really glow. Plus, if you are looking to take in more water, maybe top out at 8 glasses a day, why not knock out 1 glass as soon as you wake up???
- Get outside – You guys know how much I love going for a morning run. But this summer, given my injury early this year, I have been relegated to walking. I have relished in my time outside, even if it is for a walk. I especially love taking the baby for a walk in the stroller, giving me an extra 20lbs to push for a tremendous workout. But what is it about being outside??! For me, it is invigorating to be connected with the outdoors before the world is even awake. In fact, studies have shown that spending 20 minutes outside can wake you up just as much as a cup of coffee (wait, I am not quitting coffee…). And a huge side benefit, I am super creative during these morning walks. I have actually forced time with my brain and my thoughts, and that is so valuable in the high tech world of smart phones, laptops, Facebook and Netflix.
- Get moving – A morning workout does wonders for me. On a completely selfish level, I can quickly accomplish something, even if it is just burning 100 calories with a morning walk. And it gets you day started a positive. The day is more productive when I have completed a solid workout. My outlook is better and I feel amazing. Why? Working out can improve your mental clarity for 4-10 hours post workout! Your metabolism is boosted and you will sleep better!
- Fill your bucket – This is a new one for me, but I have become a huge fan of podcasts or audiobooks this summer. And when do I find the time to listen? During my morning workouts. It is my time for personal development, time to focus on me. As a mother of 2 kids under 4, I don’t get a lot of ‘me’ time, so I cherish this time. And truth. If I did this during the day when the kids were away, I would have a mountain of guilt for taking time to focus on my growth. Instead, when I incorporate it into my morning workout before the family is awake, I don’t harbor that guilt at all! My latest obsession outside of podcasts and audiobooks – moving meditation and using apps to help me clear my head.
- Eat breakfast – Yes, you read that right. Just eat something in the morning. So many Americans skip this most important meal of the day, and they are just killing their metabolism. The morning meal is critical for boosting your metabolism and fueling your day. Although counterintuitive, studies show that those that eat well in the morning crave less later in the day. And by choosing foods lower in glycemic index and higher in protein allowed for higher energy throughout the day. Finally, when it comes to your family, healthy breakfast habits have led to better test scores and academics in children. Why not model this habit for your kids and get them started off right for life? Don’t know what to eat in the morning or don’t have the time? Try some of our favorites…
So what are your tricks to start the day off right? How have you built a healthy morning routine? Please share your thoughts and ideas below!