We’ve all read about how the most successful people in the world start their days, and how much this impacts their day, yet what they fail to tell you is that we ALL a routine, some are just more effective than others.
Most people’s morning routine involves, getting out of bed at the last possible minute, rushing to get ready and grabbing a coffee en-route to the office whilst scrolling through Instagram. Sound familiar?
Developing a morning routine is just as important as your pre-bed routine, however before we look into it, we need to first address a few things, to help free up some time.
1. Creating left-overs - Instead of cooking multiple meals a day, try increasing the volume and creating leftovers which can easily be consumed (quickly) for breakfast or lunch the next day.
2. Skipping a meal – I’m a huge advocate of intermittent fasting not only for its health benefit but for its simple ability to free up so much time! Plus, when combined with our first suggestion, you’ll only be cooking once a day, freeing up hours in your schedule.
3. Pre-planning – On our ‘bedtime routine’ blog, we suggested packing your clothes and bag the night before, and you can apply the same technique into your morning routine. Laying out your clothes, coffee and teas, supplements and any non-chilled foods will save you so much time.
Now that you have a little more time to yourself in the morning, let’s look at how you can build on this.
I’ve personally added, ditched, switched and adapted a variety of things in my morning routine over the years, and although it might be a little too much (or too little) for your current lifestyle, simply keep in mind that I didn’t start out like this, and neither will you, which is absolutely fine.
Here are some ideas to help build your morning routine;
Before you get out of bed
1. Snoozing - Don’t allow the snooze button to rule or ruin your morning. Snoozing for too long (anything more than once) will take up precious time, and can negatively affect your function and productivity for the rest of the day. Fragmented sleep causes exhaustion throughout the day damaging your work, workouts, family and social life.
2. Schedule a regular bed-time – your sleep-wake cycle is synced to your habits which is why a regular bed- and wake-time is key to long-term health.
Once you’re out of bed
1. Water first - Whilst asleep we become dehydrated, and a glass of water (with a slice of lemon or lime if you’d like), will help you “awaken your senses”, by firing up your metabolism and re-feed your brain.
2. Light exposure - Sleeping in the darkest environment, is essential to a good night’s sleep, which means the opposite is best in the morning. During the winter months, I’d suggest using the light on your phone since daylight is generally limited.
3. Move a little - Stretching, foam rolling or a brisk walk can make all the difference to your morning. Personally, like to use a 10-minute flow or some foam rolling to help mobilise and wake myself up, especially after a few hard days of work and exercise.
4. If you’re working out early in the morning remember this; sleep and exercise go hand in hand, and the more you sleep and recover, you more you’re able to train optimally. Following a late-night, try working out at lunchtime or in the afternoon to make sure you’re not then having to get up too early the next day. But, if the morning is your only workout window, then shorten the duration but maintain the intensity. This way, you’re able to find a balance with both.
5. Stimulate yourself - Caffeine is the world’s most popular drug, and there’s no denying it’s benefits but it’s important to understand your tolerance as EVERYONE is different! A caffeinated drink around 2 hours after waking up is generally the best approach for maximal effects.
6. Quiet time - Now there are many things to talk about here, and some will resonate more than others. Reading and audiobooks are by far some of my favourites, but meditation is also extremely popular with highly successful individuals. Taking a few minutes to yourself each morning, will not only help improve your concentration, productivity and problem solving but improve your mood too.
7. Replenish your vital vitamins and minerals stores - Eating a nourishing diet is key, however, most people are still deficient in key nutrients. Vitamin b12, D, magnesium, omega-3, iodine and iron seem to be the common deficiencies, and so you may want to look into adding a few of these into your morning, to help.
Remember a morning routine is extremely personal but something stimulating and engaging is a better way to start your day.
Do you have any recommendations? Let me know below.
JC and The Nutri-Team