If you are moving towards a healthy lifestyle, the information and "have to" workouts can be overwhelming. To start stepping into a better direction and improve your health, try these five simple things you should do each morning to feel your best and looking your best every day.
1. Stretch. We see our dogs stretch. We see babies stretch, but we have blocked out that reflex to reset our central nervous system each morning. Take a few minutes while still in bed to stretch your entire body. Lift one leg into the air and stretch it across your body and flex and point your foot. Then do the other side. Hug your knees to your chest and then reach then side to side. These simple stretches can do wonders for waking up your body and start circulating your blood. They do it in all the breakfast commercials when they are messaging how to start a wonderful day!
2. Drink a big glass of water. Your body uses water to heal the body and digest your last night's dinner throughout the night. It's no wonder that many mornings your muscles feel tight when you wake up. Your muscles are made up of 72% water! Drink a big glass of water immediately after your stretch and start your mind to drinking water throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you to work, class and the gym as a reminder to drink - and do so. Water has no calories but great impact on your body.
3. Positive mantra. Once you've down that gulp of water, look into the mirror and give yourself a positive mantra. It can be different for each day and pertain to what's ahead, but simply putting that positive thought into your mind can set the tone for the entire day. "I'm powerful and strong and I am going to rock the meeting this morning" or "I'm grateful to be loved" are just a few thoughts I have said to myself in the morning. If you truly believe in changing your mind for a more optimistic sense of being, your body will reflect the changes.
4. Healthy breakfast. We know to send our kids to school after eating a healthy breakfast on days with exams, but taking a test isn't the best reason to eat breakfast. Breakfast is "breaking the fast" of your body. It should be one of the biggest meals of the day because you have all day to burn it off. Make sure your breakfast has staying power: protein, fruit or veggies are key to a satisfying breakfast. Opt for 300-550 calories from high nutrient low calorie foods. And add some whole grains into the mix as well. People who eat more whole grains in their diet tend to have healthier body weights.
5. Step out. Taking a ten minute walk can invigorate the body but the sense of well being you bring with the change in heart beat, blood pressure, and hormone change, will change your mindset as well. Walking before or after each meal for ten minutes can add up to an increase in calorie burn and bigger decrease in the risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and many forms of cancer. Walking is key to good health.
Take a step in the right direction and try these simple steps for a healthier start on the day. You might be surprised to find how good they make you feel.