The Secrets To morning exercise
Your morning routine can hold the secret to better health. Find out the habits that will super-start your day
Would you love to have more energy and a better memory? Fewer colds and less aches and pains? The answer could lie in your morning. The start of the day holds the key to taking control of your well being, before time gets away with you and other people’s priorities invade.
You don’t need to get up at the crack of dawn to reap the benefits. Simply going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking up 15 minutes earlier the next day, before everyone else is up, you will have the time to make positive changes to your morning that will make a real difference to your health and happiness. So, before you tuck into your toast, try these tricks.
Health Benefit: Improve your memory
Switching your shower to cool for the last few minutes can help “shock” your body awake, helping to relieve fatigue and increasing mental alertness, so you will get more done throughout the day. In one study, a daily “cooler” shower (around 20⁰ C) was also found to help ease depression. But make sure check with your doctor before trying this, especially if you have a heart problem.
Work Out The Kinks
Health Benefit: Ease aches and Pains and boost energy
Doing yoga when you wake is great for loosening muscles and joints, boosting energy and starting your day in a positive mindset.
Try Laying Twist Move; it helps keep the spine flexible, kidneys healthy and improves blood pressure.
- Lie on your back with legs straight and arms out a little higher than hip height.
- Place one foot on top of the opposite leg and gently twist over from the waist, using your top leg as a weight to take you into a Lying Twist. Hold for 10 deep, slow breaths. Repeat on other side. Keep shoulders, arms and core muscles relaxed.
Scrap the Snooze
Health Benefit: Higher-quality rest
More than half of us set our alarm to snooze, but in fact, those extra few minutes won’t do your health or well-being any good. Set your alarm for the time when you really need to wake up. The reason? If you wake and doze, your brain will already be braced for the second alarm and it won’t let you dip back into the deep, restful stage of sleep. To feel well rested, it’s much better to get an uninterrupted high-quality stint of sleep and then get straight up.
Health Benefit: Beat fatigue
Instead of coffee, wake up with cup of peppermint tea, its smell lowers fatigue and frustration. Worried you can’t function without a caffeine hit? People who start day with a coffee are no more alert than those who don’t.
Mix Your Muesli
Health Benefit: Lose weight and feel great
Mix 8 handfuls of rolled oats, 2 large handfuls of ground bran, 1 handful of chopped dried apricots, 1 handful of chopped dried dates, 1 handful of crumbled walnuts, 1 handful of chopped almonds, hazelnuts or Brazil nuts, with plenty of skimmed milk and store in a large, sealable container in the fridge – it will last a good few days and you won’t be tempted to eat buttered toast instead. To serve, add more milk or yogurt, plus some grated apple, chopped banana or berries.
Health Benefit: Lowers blood pressure
That wonderful feeling of crisp air on your skin, the sounds of the birds in the trees…. Stepping outside makes us all feel better, particularly in the morning when it’s more quiet and tranquil. And it also brings with it a whole host of health benefits.
People who get a daily burst of vitamin G (what experts are now calling time spent in green spaces) have lower blood pressure and recover from illness quicker, thanks to stress-relieving benefits, which can last all day. A bit chilly to step outside? You can still reap of the benefits by enjoying your morning brew of peppermint tea while looking out of the window.
Try Your Trainer
Health Benefit: Get fit
Morning exercise is more beneficial than at other times. Those who reached for their trainers in the morning dozed off faster at night and had less disrupted sleep than those who exercised at other times.
One explanation is that the body releases stress hormones when you wake, and working out in the morning counteracts them. People who exercise in the mornings are more likely to stick to it, before that day gives you a raft of excuses.
The ideal morning workout is one you look forward to doing, whether that’s yoga, a gym class or swimming.