Whether you’re a morning person or getting out of bed at 6AM each day is like medieval torture, most of us working professionals could do with a boost of energy to get ourselves through a slew of morning meetings and a long to do list. While coffee and energy drinks may give an initial boost, you’ll fare much better if you take a more comprehensive approach that considers the wider needs of your body mind. Here are a few great ways to get your morning routine started right.
Taking the time to do a few breathing exercises first thing in the morning will help to center you before a day of hecticness begins. What’s more, breathing exercise increase the oxygen in your blood, which helps to slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and improve your circulation — all of which will increase your energy and lower your stress levels. While breathing exercises are a great way to start the day, don’t hesitate to them use them as things get busy throughout the day as well.
2) Nibble on Protein.
You know how exhausted you are after a big Thanksgiving meal? The tryptophan isn’t the only culprit. If your morning meal is filled with carbohydrates, you are regularly triggering a parasympathetic response in your nervous system, which tells your body to slow down and concentrate on digesting. And the more you eat, the more insulin your body releases — and insulin is directly connected to the release of serotonin and melatonin, which will put you right to sleep.
The solution? Eat a smaller rather than a larger breakfast, and instead snack on proteins like almonds throughout the day to keep your insulin levels steady and to avoid the need for any heavy duty responses from your nervous system.
3) Walk or Bike to Work.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that turning your commute into a fitness regimen will be great both for your health and for your energy levels. Between the increased blood flow and the endorphin overflow, you’ll arrive at work happy and ready to tackle the day. However, there’s another subtler way that walking or biking to work can increase your energy levels: simply being outside. Of course, it depends on the venue (biking to work through a forest will affect your stress levels a little differently than biking to work through downtown Manhattan), but in general getting outside helps to lower stress hormones and blood pressure. At the very least, if there is any sun on your commute, you’ll be getting in your dose of vitamin D, which can help prevent the development of energy-draining Season Affective Disorder (SADD).
For more unexpected tips on how to increase your energy from your morning routine, we highly suggest this Real Simple article, Take Back Your Mornings.
How do you make energy a priority in your morning routine? Let us know in the comments below.