After doing my usual trawl of Twitter and Facebook for ideas on how to develop (and maintain) that healthy lifestyle, I came across an article on Women’s Health which encouraged people to do more in the morning, specifically before midday. My initial reaction was “no thanks”, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. My problem? I don’t really have much spare time in the morning, nor do I feel like getting up at 6am to work out etc. It did, however, get me thinking. How can I fit the ethos of the article I to my lifestyle so that I’m setting myself up for “all day success” in the health department? Let’s see, shall we?
Research suggests that the early morning sunshine energises and refreshes us, putting us in the best mindset for a positive day. This, in turn, allows us to be more focussed on our goals- be it work related, or lifestyle related. Surely, this will also mean that we’ll be more inclined to make better choices for the duration of the day. Psychologically this makes sense; you’re starting your day feeling more accomplished. Nothing will stop you (bring it on, work- you just try and beat me once I get going with this!). By taking the following seven steps, the pounds will drop off “with a lot less effort” than I would think. It sounds good to me so far…
1. Sleep in longer
Without sleeping in later than you need to, hitting snooze for half and hour will reportedly make you feel more rested which is a problem according to Brittany Kohn, a NYC nutritionalist: “Not feeling rested makes you more likely to eat throughout the day”. Getting enough sleep also makes your hormones and metabolism work more effectively.
What I’ll do: set my alarm for thirty minutes earlier than I intend to leave my bed, allowing myself to wake up gradually, enjoying a little snooze in the process.
2. Soak up the sun
“Throw those curtains wide, a day like this a year will see me right!” The sun’s UV light has an uplifting, energising effect, which helps to synch your body clock, cranking up your metabolism. Extra sunshine also makes you want to be more active, therefore lowering your BMI.
What I’ll do: open those curtains as soon as I wake, and have my breakfast in the sunshine, when the weather permits!
3. Eat protein, pronto
I’m going to be honest here. I don’t do breakfast. Sometimes I’ll manage a banana on my way to work, but I generally don’t eat until lunchtime. I know, that’s naughty. Slap on the wrist time for me! My research states that a protein-carb combo is the best for beating cravings later in the day, so we should go for egg whites on toast, or Greek yogurt and fruit.
What I’ll do: Prepare some hard boiled eggs, and eat the egg whites on brown toast, or prepare a pot of fruit and yogurt the night before so I can grab it in the morning.
4. Drink plenty of water
Hydrate yourself as soon as you wake up. By flushing out toxins you’ll be reducing bloating. Infuse some fruit in your water as an alternative to juice, saving 100 calories per 250ml.
What I’ll do: this is one I can stick with as I do enjoy a glass of lemon water, so I’m happy totes this daily.
5. Enjoy a morning workout
This is where I’ll struggle, as I don’t have too much spare time in the morning, what with getting myself ready, and making sure that Noah is sorted. I could do a yoga DVD, or go to the gym before work, as it is another way to fire up that metabolism.
What I’ll do: try doing 10 minutes of gentle cardio before my shower in the morning.
6. Take healthy snacks to work
To prepare you for those hunger cravings at around 11am, take some healthy, low-cal snacks (fruit is ideal) to work to nibble on. It might stop you from craving a biscuit, or those milky coffees.
What I’ll do: take an extra portion of fruit for late morning, and continue drinking a fruit tea as an alternative pick me up to coffee.
7. Walk to work
Whether you walk the whole way, or park further away and walk part of the journey, a stroll can really kick start your day. You’ll burn calories Whilst clearing your head and getting some time to yourself.
What I’ll do it: walk every morning, and not use a little light rain as an excuse for a lift!
There it is, my seven steps to a more productive morning. I’m going to try as many of these as possible. Join in, and let me know how you get on!