Trust us, we know the feeling. Waking up efficiently each morning is easier said than done but whether you’re a professional fighter, or just fighting the rush hour traffic on your way to the office each morning, there are a few handy tips you can take advantage of to ensure you’re at your absolute best first thing every morning.
Establish A Healthy Sleeping Pattern
This might seem like an impossibility for all the night owls out there but waking up early and going to bed at a reasonable hour will produce noticeable benefits to your health over time. Getting up early will make you feel like you have more time to achieve your daily goals, be they work, exercise or health related, and will lead to that ‘fog’ which inhabits your brain every morning slowly lifting over time. As for when to go to bed, try and calculate the ideal time to shut off the lights based on your circadian rhythm. On average it tends to take people around 15 minutes to fall asleep, after which point most people will sleep in a series of 90 minute cycles. Do you ever feel like death warmed up when your alarm clock goes off each morning? That is probably because you woke up in the middle of one of your sleep cycles, interrupting your healthy sleeping habits. Work backwards from what time you want to get up in a series of 90 minute blocks, add the 15 minutes and that’s your bedtime.
Drink A Large Glass of Water
Think about it. When you wake up your body has gone without water for around 8 hours and rehydration is the first thing you should do in order to keep your body performing like the well-oiled machine it should be. Water is one of the building blocks of life and its importance in your morning routine should not be overlooked. Save the orange juice or coffee for later. If you are looking to go that extra mile, make your first beverage of the day a warm glass of lemon water. This will kickstart your digestive process ahead of your first meal of the day.
After a long sleep your body will have been inactive for hours and you need to kick it back into action. Your hamstrings, for example, will likely have been curled up while you slept and will need to kick them back into gear. A series of tendon and muscle stretches will iron out the kinks and have you ready to assault the day.
Dry Brush Your Body
What on earth is dry-brushing? It’s a technique to help exfoliate your skin, ridding it of the dead cells it accumulates while you sleep and it also serves as a method of kickstarting your circulatory system each morning. Make sure to brush everything in the direction of your heart too. All your blood is trying to get there, so help it out a little. Follow this immediately with your morning shower and, if you like, apply moisturiser afterwards as your skin will likely feel a little chafed.
Make Your First Meal A Healthy One
It’s incredibly tempting in the mornings to just opt for a pastry and a coffee to help stave off hunger rather than ingesting the right kind of fuel that your body needs to set it up for the day. A banana is a good place to start, followed 30 minutes or so after by a healthy homemade smoothie. Avoid the ‘smoothies’ that you can pick up in your local shop as these often contain as much (or more) sugar than a soft drink. If you can stomach it, make yourself a smoothie which includes spinach, ginger root and a clove of garlic – while it’s not the most delicious concoction ever made by man, you’ll feel like a million bucks after it.
Don’t Have Coffee First Thing In The Morning
Coffee is one of life’s great pleasures but it’s not some sort of cheat code to help you wake up in the morning. Follow the advice listed elsewhere in this article before having a coffee a little later in the day. Coffee isn’t an early morning crutch, it is more of a mid-morning top up.
Take A Few Minutes To Yourself Before Leaving The House
Sit down. Calm your mind. One of the biggest mistakes people can make in their early morning routines is to rush from point a to point b without taking time to ease yourself into the day. Constantly rushing everywhere can lead to elevated blood pressure and, as we all know, that often leads to further problems down the line.
Listen To Music, A Podcast Or An Audiobook
Your body is now ready to face the day, but is your mind? It’s the most oft-preached slogan in the health & fitness world, but your brain is indeed a muscle and it needs to be exercised too. Give it something to work with.