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May 13, 2017

Start Your Day Right: Best & Worst Things to Do in the Morning

Written by William Imbo

Whether you wake up before the sun comes up, or you get going a little later, how you start your morning lays the foundation for the day ahead–along with your athletic and mental performance. Here are some morning habits to incorporate (and avoid) to have a kick ass day!


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We can all benefit from some added mobility, so what better way to get 10 minutes of stretching than by doing it first thing in the morning? In fact, the morning is the ideal time to stretch, since your joints and muscles are likely stiff and tight from lying in the same position for hours. Considering many of us will head off to jobs which involve remaining in the same position for an extended period, it’s imperative that we get 5-10 minutes of stretching done in the morning. Doing so will help to increase circulation, relieve stress, tension and improve your range of motion.

Drink Water
Many people are in such a rush to get out the door they forget they’re dehydrated. When you sleep, your body performs a natural detox. Flushing your body with a glass of water first in the morning helps to push the toxins through your kidneys and out via urine. Your metabolism also slows significantly when you sleep to conserve fluids. A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking two cups of water increased metabolism by 30% after 30–40 minutes. So, when you wake up, aim to get at least two cups of water into your system—one of which should be hot water with lemon before breakfast. The lemon helps activate your digestive system to prepare it to break down food, as well as supporting the liver’s task of removing toxins from the body.

Meditate, motivate and set some goals for the day
You don’t need fancy candles or a gong to meditate. Finding a quiet space (or even the shower) and focusing on your breath and how you feel at that moment can help to relieve stress and increase productivity. Listening to your favorite music, watching a motivational video and giving yourself three goals for the day (say them out loud while you’re brushing your teeth) are great ways to get you pumped for the day ahead.

What to Avoid in the Morning

Specifically, social media and email. This might seem impossible, but the truth is that your news feed and emails will still be in your inbox when you get to them. Mornings belong to you. Avoid anything that disrupts your ‘me time’ before you need to.

Hitting the snooze button
Hitting the snooze button over and over, until the very last minute you have to get up isn’t the healthiest morning habit. For starters, it leaves you less time to get ready for work and to implement the morning routine above. Hitting snooze until you have no other choice but to get up leaves you feeling groggy and tight, rushing through breakfast (if that), not to mention stressed, agitated, and in a less than ideal state to be productive.

While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, incorporate what you can from the above and design a routine that works for you every day, even on weekends!

Do you have a morning routine? Share it with us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of Clarissa Blackburn/CC BY NC 2.0

About William Imbo

William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

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