Starting your day off right and healthy won’t just benefit you over the next 24 hours, but your future health & wellness, too.
“Your mornings set the tone for the day,” Andy De Santis, a Toronto-based registered dietitian, told Global News. “When kids and adults eat breakfast they tend to focus better at school and work and it may also help reduce cravings that come from unaddressed hunger.”
There are tons of ways to make your mornings more fruitful and beneficial to your health, and it all starts with eating right. A well-fed body leads to a well-fueled mind.
“When you are properly nourished and fed, you are much more resilient to the ups, downs and stresses of daily life. Imagine how much harder it is to deal with a stressful situation in the office if you’re starving.”
The following tips, provided by nutrition, fitness, and wellness experts across Canada, are crucial things you can do every morning to instill a healthy, balanced lifestyle:
Wake Up with a Cold Shower
“I start my day with a cold shower, or at least I start it cold,” says De Santis.
“It wakes you up and energizes you like nothing else, and when you finally turn the water warm, you appreciate it 1,000 times more. I can honestly not enjoy a purely warm shower anymore because of how much better it feels when you suck it up and face the cold first.”
Do the Child’s Pose
Inderjot Sandhar, a yoga instructor based in Mississauga, Ont., explains: “Do a child’s pose or bring in the knees into your chest before even getting out of bed. [This helps] to stretch out your lower to upper back, and release any tension from the hips.”
Drink Lemon Water
“It’s always a great idea to go to bed with a glass of lemon water or supplements beside you,” says Anna He, a wellness expert based in Toronto. “Your body has been dehydrated for eight hours and in general, people don’t drink enough water. Start your day with a glass of lemon water.”
Make a Plant-Based Breakfast
“Eat a plant-based breakfast,” De Santis told Global News. “Everyone thinks we need milk or eggs to have a healthy breakfast, but we get plenty of protein at other times throughout the day. I challenge my clients to stick to a purely plant-based breakfast. It feels good to be able to say you can go without animal products for one meal a day. I opt for bananas and almonds or avocados if I have any available. The added benefit is these foods require zero preparation time.”
Do Five-Rep Exercises
“I adopted this tip from author Tim Ferris,” Matt Mombourquette of One Up Fitness in Halifax, explained to Global News.
“This could be five push-ups, five body weight squats or lunges — just move slowly and thoughtfully. There is nothing magic about five, it is just a generally easy and obtainable number for the majority, and it instills the habit of getting moving in the morning. Also, research indicates that accomplishing something, doesn’t matter how small, early in the day sets the tone for accomplishment for the rest of our day.”
It’s tempting we know, but don’t give in to the allure of the snooze button, He warns.
“It’s a great mental game,” He says. “Every time you hear the alarm in the morning, don’t hit snooze,” she says, slowly (but surely), we will train our bodies to get out of bed.
“Take anywhere from three to 10 minutes to clear your mind and focus on your breath,” says Inderjot Sandhar, a yoga instructor based in Mississauga, Ont. “Either long deep breathing or rapid-fire breathing.”
Meditate or Write for 10 Minutes
“This gives us time to be present and focus on ourselves before we give ourselves to the day,” says Mombourquette. “Journaling is a great way of putting your thoughts down, identifying what thoughts you should focus on and what thoughts you can let go of … it decreases brain clutter.”