It's a new year, and if you're like most people, that doesn't mean that your life has gotten less busy. In fact, it's just as likely that things have gotten even more fast-paced. However, that doesn't mean that your New Year's health resolutions are doomed before you've started them. There are some ways that you can maximize your morning routine to get the most out of that limited time.
The best place to start is to develop a great morning routine if you don't already have one. Doing so can help you stay calmer, accomplish more, and be healthier. You can learn more about why following a routine in the morning is important and find a sample schedule in our article "Morning Glory: Healthy Beginnings for a Healthy Day."
Once you have a morning routine established, you can sneak even more healthy habits into it. Here are a few ideas that will help you get a jump-start on your resolutions.
Stretch for Five Minutes
Before you do anything when you get out bed (besides maybe visit the bathroom), do at least five minutes of simple stretching, such as yoga. Getting your blood pumping and your joints warmed up will go far in ensuring that your morning runs smoothly. Plus, you'll want to have done some stretching before you perform the next suggestion on our list.
Use Your Tooth-Brushing Time Wisely
It's important to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, morning and evening. That may seem like a short period of time, but think of it in terms of how long two minutes can feel when you're doing certain other things. For instance, two minutes can seem like forever when you're doing squats.
Two minutes per day of squats, done while you're brushing your teeth in the morning, will quickly bring about big changes in your body. Your arms are captives for that time period, but your legs aren't busy. Give them something to do!
Pre-Make Power-Packed Breakfast Foods
Grabbing a granola bar on your way out the door in the morning is easy and fast, but it might not be the best way to start your day. It could leave you feeling sluggish and hungry by mid-morning. But cooking a nice, healthy breakfast that includes protein, healthy fat, and whole grains may not be possible on a tight schedule. One great alternative is to pre-make healthy breakfast items that you can grab and go. Below are some suggestions.
- Hard-boiled egg. Hard-boil a dozen eggs at a time and use them all week. They are a great source of protein, and you can add spices that pack a healthy punch. One example is these Turmeric Hard-Boiled Eggs.
- Yogurt parfait. Use a mason jar to layer Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, and healthy granola.
- Healthy smoothie. A smoothie can easily be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator right in the container from which you'd like to drink it. You could also put all of the ingredients in a blender and put that in the refrigerator overnight, then blend up the smoothie in the morning. This Healthy Blueberry and Kale Smoothie is a great choice and so is this Savory Turmeric-Ginger Kefir Smoothie.
Strengthen Some Muscles During the Drive to Work
Driving is something you need to do with full concentration. However, you may be able to perform some simple isometric exercises while you're on your morning commute. This type of exercise isolates muscle groups and has you contracting them without moving the joints around them. Erin O'Driscoll's book "The Complete Book of Isometrics: The Anywhere, Anytime Fitness Book" can teach you what you need to know. And, if you're a woman, driving is a great time to do those Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Take a Powerful Supplement
While you're grabbing your power-packed, on-the-go breakfast food, take your Turmeric Curcumin Complex Supplement. Made with all organic ingredients and without preservatives, this supplement harnesses the power of the spice turmeric, which has been studied extensively in recent years for its ability to fight inflammation, act as an anti-oxidant, and even help increase energy and support weight loss. Taking it in the morning will help you fight off the afternoon energy slump. Leave the bottle next to your breakfast so you remember to take it.