6 morning habits for optimal health
By Jessah Robinson, Adv Dip (Nut Med)
Whether you’re a morning person who leaps out of bed, or someone who hits snooze ten times over before begrudgingly crawling out of bed, these 6 morning habits are sure to benefit you in some way.
1. Let light in
After getting out of bed, make a point to open your blinds or draw your curtains aside – as morning daylight exposure helps to set your body clock. A study showed that morning light exposure suppresses secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone), elevates cortisol levels and limits alertness deterioration associated with overnight sleep deprivation. These factors ultimately boost your energy and alertness for the day, not to mention sunlight allows vitamin D production which can elevate mood.
2. Establish a regular sleep schedule
As tempting as it can be to sleep in until the late hours of the morning on weekends, the best way to improve long-term sleep is by setting a regular sleep schedule, even for weekends. Although this can vary from person to person, in general, we require 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. So, to get adequate sleep, it’s good to start winding down for bed around 10pm so you will feel bright and refreshed in the morning. This way you are less likely to snooze through 20 alarms, and will instead wake up after your first or second alarm. Magnesium is excellent for supporting relaxation, relieving sleeplessness and reducing restless sleep.
3. Get some exercise in
Regular exercise is linked to many benefits such as supporting a healthy weight, heart health, mood elevation, improved sleep and reduced blood pressure. Exercise in the morning is ideal as not only does it start your day with an endorphin release and natural high, but it’s much more likely you will stick with it. Whether you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening, doing it regularly is what’s important. You may benefit from taking glutamine, an amino acid that is needed for muscle growth, healthy muscle function and muscle recovery after exercise.
If you don’t have time for a workout in the morning, doing a few quick stretches or a short meditation is extremely beneficial and easy to fit into your routine. Stretching keeps the muscles strong, flexible and healthy, supporting good range of motion and helping to prevent against muscle strains and joint pain. The benefits of meditation include reduced stress and anxiety, pain reduction, memory improvement, reduced blood pressure and increased efficiency. There are plenty of useful online resources and apps available regarding stretches and meditation.
5. Set daily goals/tasks
Whether it’s the night before or the morning of, creating a daily to-do list is a great way to give you purpose and a feeling of accomplishment. These tasks can be related to work, family, lifestyle or chores, whatever the case may be, crossing off a completed task triggers the release of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) which can encourage you to achieve more.
6. Eat a clean breakfast
Unless you are practicing intermittent fasting, it is recommended to start the day with a nutrient-dense breakfast to provide energy for the day ahead. Ultimate Superfood is a quality vegetarian protein powder packed with vitamins, minerals and 28 Superfoods to boost energy levels, optimise fat burning in the liver, strengthen the immune system and enhance toxin removal. It can be easily added into your routine as a smoothie or simply mixed in water.