Buzzz. It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm just went off — what’s the first thing you do (besides reach for the nearest cup of coffee)? No pressure, but what you choose to do next could help set the tone for the rest of your day. To help you get a productive start, we’ve compiled five morning routines that could help improve your overall health, according to science. And don’t worry, you won’t need to wake up hours before the sun rises to reap the benefits — these tips are simple changes you can integrate into your week — no matter how busy you may be.
If you’re tired of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, here’s how to make the most of your morning!
Your body’s circadian rhythm is your 24-hour internal clock, which helps to naturally regulate your body’s chemical processes. These processes affect your physical, mental and behavioral health.1 Your metabolism follows this natural rhythm by being most efficient during the morning and then winding down in the evening. Here’s a simple way to stay in tune with your circadian rhythm and set yourself up for success: Ensure you eat a healthy and sustainable breakfast to start your morning (your first meal really can be the most important meal of the day!). Research indicates eating earlier in the day, rather than reaching for late-night snacks or meals, may help you stay in sync with your metabolism and could also support your weight loss efforts.2
#2. Get Active
If you have trouble squeezing in a workout after a long day, make exercise part of your new morning routine. If hitting the gym first thing in the morning isn’t your cup of tea, try some alternative activities — yoga, dancing, tai chi, and weight lifting are just a few great options you can try. Your workout doesn’t need to take up the entire morning either. Just 30 minutes a day can help you reach the 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.3
Physical activity is just one of the ways your body releases stress, and it’s one of the healthiest outlets you can choose.4 Even something as simple as a short walk may help to lift your spirits and get you ready to
take on the day.5
#3. Don’t Miss Out on “Me Time”
Feeling stressed? It may be time to take a break — and do something for yourself. Experiencing chronic stress can lead to a number of negative side effects, including weight gain.6 With the hustle and bustle of every day, it’s easy to lose sight of what you need to relax and recharge. Whether it’s getting a soothing massage, soaking up a little sunshine, or simply listening to your favorite podcast, there are plenty of ways to squeeze in a little “me time” before your day begins. Remember to take the time to treat yourself — you deserve it!
#4. Just Keep Sipping
Every cell in your body depends on water to thrive. Without proper hydration, you may feel fatigued, dizzy, or even experience lowered blood pressure.7 The amount of water you’ll need will vary each day for a variety of reasons, including your weight, exercise level and the temperature. In addition to helping you feel
your best, research shows that staying hydrated may even help you lose weight.8
Jumpstart your morning with a delicious infused water that you can enjoy sipping all day long. Simply cut up fresh cucumber or your favorite fruit, add to a pitcher of water to soak overnight and enjoy!
#5. Try a “Digital Detox”
If you’re one of the many people who reach for their smartphone first thing in the morning, you may be setting yourself up for a stressful day. A recent study showed more than four out of five adults in the U.S. constantly or frequently check their social media accounts, email and text messages.9 A digital break may be just what you need to avoid early-morning stress, but it doesn’t mean you need to abandon your devices completely.
If you’re already nervous about leaving your phone alone, don’t worry — here are a few easy ways to dial down your tech usage:10
- Use your devices mindfully.
- Schedule certain times to check apps and messages.
- Recharge your devices in another room.
- Set limits on certain apps you tend to frequent – some phones now offer this feature.
Get Ready for a Great Morning!
Let’s face it — unless you’re a self-proclaimed “morning person,” the first few hours of the day can be difficult. Slowly introducing simple morning routines can make a huge difference to your health and well-being without disrupting your regular schedule. The key is to find a routine that works best for you. When you create a healthy, consistent morning routine, you may find more ways to be positive and productive all day long.11
The hardest part is getting started. Try choosing one or two of these routines to start, and add on others as you get more comfortable.
Which morning routines do you want to try? Let us know in the comments below!
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, CA. They’ve focused on writing within the health and wellness space for the last several years, but have dabbled in the tech and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Stephanie employs a “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoys the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find Stephanie photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.
Favorite healthy snack: Green apple slices with sunflower butter.
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and reviewed by certified professionals.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.