Research has taught us that it takes roughly 21 days to form a habit, persistence is key and repetition is the method. However, during the cooler month’s motivation to get out of bed and maintain healthy habits don’t exactly take priority. But we all know that come Summer we kick ourselves for letting our good intentions hibernate. We talk to personal trainer and Body Science expert, Moodi Dennaoui, who teaches us how to get it together and adopt a healthier morning start.
image via pinterest
1. Take Away the Stress
This starts with a new alarm tone, there’s nothing more offensive than an alarm tone that sounds like a fire alarm. If you need an aggressive alarm to wake you up this may alert you to another problem, are you getting to bed early enough or are you producing enough cortisol which naturally wakes you? Your most important hours of sleep are before 12am. Having an abrasive alarm tone can produce a stress response, which is not ideal first thing in the morning when you want to be in a ‘rest and digest’ mode – optimal for actually digesting food.
Instead, pick a song that you often listen to when you’re relaxing, or if you have a digital clock use the radio to wake you up. If you’re a snoozer you may be more likely to get up if you’re gently stimulated by the radio that won’t lull you back to sleep. Additionally, give yourself an extra 5 minutes. If you have to rush yourself out the door your day will start off on a bad foot.
2. Yes, Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day
There’s good reason for why people harp on about breakfast so much, however, not all breakfast choices are made equal. Just because you decide to eat something doesn’t mean your body is going to be better for it. Typically, your body has had over 10 hours without needing to digest any food, so just like warming up the engine of your car in winter, adopting the same habit with your stomach is key. There are a few tricks to doing this – firstly a warm cup of lemon and ginger tea is a nice way to heat your insides but also spur your digestive system. We also know that apple cider vinegar helps to release pancreatic juices which help stimulate digestion as well as assist in breaking down our food. For those who find apple cider vinegar a little aggressive, you can now find it in a capsule form where it is dehydrated and easier to stomach. In the cooler month’s switch to nourishing and warming foods which won’t dampen your digestive system such as porridge, protein pancakes or bone broth which is great for your gut health and also your immune system.
3. Lay Everything Out
Getting your day off to a good start requires preparation and organisation from the night before. If I have training in the morning I lay everything I need out for myself the night before. This way I’m not scrambling around in the dark to find what I need, but I also avoid searching for something and eating into my morning schedule. Preparation also includes food. If I have made dinner I will always make up my lunch for the following day. I also like to make a list of things I know I need to achieve for the following day, that way I know what I need to do when I wake up.