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15.8.2019

My 5 Favourite Morning Habits to Help You Achieve Your Health Goals

We all have some form of morning routine, whether it just includes the bare essentials (showering, brushing teeth and getting dressed), or something a little more elaborate.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion around morning rituals and there are a number of these that people swear by to get them fired up and in a positive mindset.

Everybody is individual and it’s easy to get carried away or feel a little overwhelmed by some of the ideas, so I’m sharing what I consider to be my top 5 non-negotiables to starting my day.

1.Gratitude


As soon as I wake, and whilst rehydrating with some warm water an lemon (kept in a Thermos on the beside table), I write down 10 things I’m grateful for and why.



Simple enough, but a really effective way to start thinking positively, especially during periods of stress.
Not just that – studies have shown that those who practice a daily gratitude routine may benefit from:


2.Goals


Following my gratitude list, I write down 10 of my goals, ranging from the physical, to business and personal.

Right from the get-go this helps to focus your mind on what you want to achieve and it has been suggested that people who write down their goals are between 1.2 and 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.

Include your health goals in this list - it makes sense!

3.Yoga


Just 5 minutes of morning yoga can totally transform how I feel both physically and mentally, especially if I’ve had a tough workout the day before. As well as relieving any stiffness and muscle aches, it helps to energise me and makes it much more comfortable to sit still for meditation.



If you’re not convinced, give yourself 12 minutes and try out my morning yoga video.

Always listen to your body – starting gently and not forcing any stretches.

4.Meditation


The benefits of meditation are often mentioned in the wellbeing arena. Managing stress, reducing anxiety and depression relapses, supporting weight loss and improving sleep are just some of these.

Despite all this, and like many of us, I’ve been strangely resistant to meditation, even though I have experienced its benefits before. In fact, I’ve often convinced myself that I don’t have time to meditate. The only way I have got around this barrier, is to include it as part of my non-negotiable morning routine. Prioritising it allows me to work everything else around it.



10 minutes is all I need using a meditation app– and on days when I have more time, then I’ll increase this to 20 minutes.

5.Cold Shower


Admittedly this took a little time to get used to, but I am now a huge fan of the cold shower! Out of all five habits in this list, this is the ultimate fail-safe to wake me up.

Aside from the quite literal, cold, sharp shock, a 2-minute cold shower can help to boost immunity, initiate brown fat activity (thermogenesis) which supports weight loss, and may help with depression.



Start by adding in 30 seconds of a cold blast at the end of your shower, and gradually build this up, so that you then can go in cold. Another tip is to have a great playlist to sing along to whilst you’re in there!

Stepping into a cold shower is the first bit of resilience to overcome – so I view it as a warm up for the rest of the day. Not dissimilar to the William H McRaven advice about making your bed first thing to give you that first sense of accomplishment and pride.

Everyone’s routine is individual, and there are a number of morning ritual ideas to choose from. If you find yourself struggling to find time for certain activities, such as meditation and exercise, morning can be an ideal time to fit them in. For most of us, the first moments of the day are completely our own and so it can really help to maximise this before other people and tasks make demands on our time.

If you want to make changes, add in one activity at a time, see how it works out and give it a few weeks to settle into a habit.












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