TIPS FROM A TRAINER | START FRESH WITH A MORNING ROUTINE
The way you start your morning can affect the entire day. By setting an intention and focusing on a morning routine that makes sense for you and your environment, you can slowly and peacefully ease into the day, giving your brain and body a gentle boost that will last for hours.
First, start with some gentle stretching. Our suggestions below begin with stretches that can be done in bed, eventually transitioning out of bed and into standing positions. This will wake up the body, moving the spine in all planes of motion. It’s also helpful to stretch the front and back of the thighs and hips, which can get tight overnight.
This twist stretches the glutes, chest and obliques. It improves spinal mobility and can aid in digestion.
The Supine Twist can be done while you are still in bed.
ACTIVE STRETCH (CHILD’S POSE)
This pose is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles. It can also help relieve back pain.
Child’s Pose can be done while you are still in bed.
CAT-COW AND HIP CIRCLES
Flexing and extending your spine can help improve circulation in the discs in your back. It can also help improve your posture and balance and relieve stress.
Cat-Cow can be done while you are still in bed.
STANDING HALF MOON (SIDE BEND)
This pose has tons of benefits. It deeply stretches and opens the sides of the body and improves core body strength, balance and concentration. It also helps to strengthen the ankles and knees, improves circulation and energizes your body – perfect for starting your day.
MOUNTAIN POSE WITH A BIND
Begin to stretch your shoulders with a mountain pose with a bind. This pose also serves as a chest-opener.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD
This pose may seem simple, but it can make a big difference. It stretches the hips, hamstring and calves and strengthens the thighs and knees. It also keeps your spine strong and flexible. You may also find that this pose helps to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
PRONE QUAD STRETCH
Stretching your quads activates your muscles, stimulates blood flow and can increase your short-term range of motion and flexibility.
Depending on your personal preference and your body’s needs, there are a few options for enjoying morning beverages.
Our first recommendation is to grab your tea kettle and make Matcha. Matcha provides a long list of health benefits – it’s high in antioxidants, boosts brain function and helps speed your metabolism. Matcha may even help protect the liver, prevent cancer and promote heart health.
If Matcha’s not your thing, it’s just fine to stick with coffee. It’s best if you can avoid adding any type of sweetener to your tea or coffee, though. Instead, add a little unsweetened oat or almond milk to incorporate some softer flavor without adding sugar.
Collagen peptide protein powder can also be added to many drinks, including Matcha and coffee, to help hydrate skin, relieve join pain, maintain strong bones and thicken hair and nails.
Alternatively (or in addition), you can try lemon water, which also has an abundance of health benefits including aiding in digestion, helping to stay hydrated, preventing oxidation, supplying an extra dose of Vitamin C and potassium and helping to prevent kidney stones. Just squeeze a whole or half lemon into hot or cold water.
A Peaceful Start
You’ve heard it time and time again, but if you can set your phone aside for the first 30 minutes of the day and focus your energy inward, you can begin your day in the headspace of your choosing instead of starting by reacting to all those notifications. We know it can be hard to stay disciplined, but you can help stay on track by creating an intentionally peaceful environment – light some incense or palo santo, try a 10 minute meditation and, weather permitting, take your entire routine outdoors. Enjoying a period of exposure to natural light in the morning has been shown to help you sleep better the following night and fight off depression.