We chatted with nutritionists, personal trainers, and yoga teachers about their top morning habits that set a healthy tone for the day. Give these five easy tips a try to make your day that much healthier—and enjoyable!
Drink a glass of water.
“We all wake up slightly dehydrated,” says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, a dietitian in New York City. “Even a little dehydration can cause low energy levels and a sluggish metabolism. Keep a glass of water right next to your bed and drink at least eight ounces when you first wake up in order to boost energy levels.”
Close your eyes and meditate.
“Taking just a few minutes out of your morning to sit and observe can have a huge impact on your focus and stress levels the rest of the day,” said Kara Lydon, RD, RYT, intuitive eating dietitian and yoga teacher at The Foodie Dietitian in Boston. “Research shows that meditation can actually change our brain, enhancing the areas associated with cognition, empathy, learning, memory, compassion, and emotional regulation, while diminishing the areas associated with fear, anxiety, and stress.”
Eat your fruits and veggies!
“I'm a breakfast advocate, and I'm in favor of getting produce at your morning meal,” says Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, a nutrition counselor in New York City. “Whether that's berries over yogurt or oatmeal, avocado and tomato on whole-grain toast, or kale in your smoothie or eggs, it's a good chance to boost nutrition and get your day off to the right start.”
Plus, fresh fruits and veggies offer water, helping to amp up you're a.m. hydration!
Have a mini stretch session.
“I like to stretch upon waking up because it not only gets my blood flowing but it also makes me feel more awake,” said Ryan Whitcomb, RD, CLT, owner of GUT RXN Nutrition in Jersey City, N.J. “Stretching also helps with my posture by lengthening my spine so I stand upright as opposed to slouching. If I've been sitting or standing all day long, I usually have to do another stretch session to re-align myself.”
Add whole grains to breakfast.
“Considering that breakfast foods are an easy way to work in whole grains, starting your day with a bowl of whole-grain cereal or a piece of whole-wheat toast is one of the easiest things you can do to get your day on the right track,” said Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging. “Whole grains have been linked to a slew of health benefits like less heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity.”
FYI: ½ cup cooked oatmeal, 1 cup of whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal, and a slice of whole-grain bread all count as a serving of whole grains.