While there's nothing like a clean diet, regular exercise and solid sleep hygiene to get your metabolism revving, anyone who really wants to live the their best possible life with their best possible health will want to take advantage of any opportunity to enhance the results of their daily efforts -- and what you do everyday matters, especially what you do first thing in the morning.
The first hour you spend awake is one of the best times to hone your focus and prime your body. On a physiological level, your body is rested, rejuvenated and ready for action. On a mental level, you have a clean slate and can set the mood for the rest of the day.
Mornings for Realists
Of course, not all of us have time to go through an elaborate morning ritual. With busy lives, sometimes even squeezing in half an hour in the AM for ourselves is impossible. Fair enough. That's why we've compiled a list of two powerful strategies you can implement within the first 10 minutes of wakefulness that will help your mind and body perform better all day.
Sunrise is your cue to brew. Both coffee and green tea have long been touted for their ability to bolster your metabolism. Which one is right for you? That depends.
Coffee has been shown to help you workout harder and longer, which equates to increased calorie burn. All you need is 2 to 3 cups of black coffee. The downside to coffee is that it is also increases your cortisol, which is naturally higher in the morning. So, if you have been stressed out lately (or chronically), opt for green tea instead.
Studies have repeatedly shown that people who drink 3-4 cups of green tea a day weigh less and are generally slimmer than people who don't. It's all thanks to the powerful combo of catechin antioxidants and caffeine (albeit less caffeine than coffee, which makes it ideal for people who have been feeling stressed.)
Something to keep in mind: the tannins in green tea can make some people feel nauseated if they drink it on an empty stomach, so -- if this is something you experience -- simply brew your tea first thing, and then enjoy it after you have eaten. Also bear in mind that you want your coffee and tea to be black: no milk or cream or sugar. These additions will negate the positive impact of these power drinks.
While that coffee or tea is brewing, it’s time to stretch. As little as a few minutes of stretching first thing in the morning can benefit your body all day. In addition to aligning your posture and giving you quiet time to also align your mind, it also increases blood flow, which will bolster your brain, your focus and your energy.
A simple series of stretches in the morning could be the difference between you taking the stairs or taking the elevator. Or the difference between you throwing together a healthy lunch from home or getting takeout. It could be the difference between you smashing your HIIT workout or getting smashed at happy hour. All because of a little stretching.
Two simple steps. They may seem impossibly small, but all the small stuff adds up. Never, ever underestimate the power of your most diminutive decisions: they can make or break you.
And this is the year they’re going to make you!
Pop a stretching video up on your screen!
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Well, I am an English girl….I love my hot tea..(not green).! I use unsweetened Almond milk….it works for me.! I love all these helpful hints to stay energized and healthy.! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.!
For those cream and sugar coffee lovers I have an option. I use So Nice Vanilla coffee creamer made from organic soybeans. I also put a teaspoon of cinnamon in my coffee grounds for brewing. The creamer has very little sugar and is thicker than the other dairy free options out there. I love it.
I love my one cup of coffee in the morning and it truly does make me feel more alive. I tried drinking hot water with lemon and freshly grated ginger which I loved and the fresh taste was certainly appealing but it just didn’t give me the hit that I needed. And stretching, yes a fantastic way to start the day! Wishing all at BodyRock a healthy and happy New Year xx
I’m currently reading this as I’m drinking my sugary creamer infused coffee..oops..
Last month, I challenged myself to stop drinking sugary drinks, which led me to drink black coffee. I dislike how my breath smells afterwards because it’s too strong.
Always great to read your suggestions, and get a little push from you! Sadly, I am a terrible, no-good, food lover, and I just can’t seem to stop putting sugar and half and half in my coffee!! Tough workouts are my only hope. You truly do inspire me. Keep up the great work, and have a Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for the advice an your knowledge. Sometimes I just have to have a reminder to do these things. ?
Enjoy your day.
Thankyou Lisa for that advice – and I take this opportunity to wish you a Very Happy and Healthy New Year – and much luck in all your endeavours.
Love and a big hug from me, Rita xxx