Get your day off to the best possible start with these 5 great morning rituals
- Boost up with a nutrient-dense super smoothie
Nutritionist Rick Hay recommends starting the day with nutrient density – aka food that’s high in nutrients and low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods typically contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats – basically everything you need nutritionally to start the day on the right foot.
“A fruit and vegetable smoothie with rice or almond milk will do the trick and is great for weight management and energy,” says Rick. “Think berries and beetroot with almond milk, or spinach, banana and dates with rice milk. You can even turbo charge it with a serving of plant-based protein or a few nuts.”
Check out Rick’s Berry Blast smoothie recipe and many more at healthista.com
- Stretch it out for joint mobility
Physiotherapist Kristi Bester recommends adding morning stretch routine to your am itinerary for a great way to start the day.
“It’s best to do your stretches about 15 to 20 minutes after waking up to give your joints and muscles time to move a bit and loosen up,” says Kristi.
“It’s really good to have a morning stretch routine to improve joint mobility and prevent lower back pain, or for those with osteoarthritis. For optimum prevention, the exercises need to be done daily and should be slow and controlled.
“You need to do at least 10 repetitions per exercise and hold muscle stretches for 20 seconds and three repetitions.”
Find out more here
- Wake up to a cold shower
Fitness guru and author Steve Bennett swears by a cold shower to start the day.
“I used to love them dearly and took them daily as they really woke me up,” says Steve in his new book, Primal Cure. “These days I only have the guts to do them after a workout in the gym. But, if you can, wow – what a great start to the day.
“The cold water makes us breathe deeply as we gasp so that we take in more oxygen. This leads to an increase in heart rate – releasing a rush of blood and energy throughout the body. Cold water is also great for our hair and skin.
“On a technical level, taking a cold shower, exposure to cold temperatures, cold-water swimming or cold baths is referred to as ‘cold thermogenesis’ (CT) and many elite athletes embed it into their weekly training.
“CT can help cure or reduce stress, increase our immunity and metabolism, and activate adiponectin hormones, which increases consumption of glucose and breaks down fatty acids.”
Steve’s book – Primal Cure: The Secret to Weight Loss & A Healthy Long Life That Government, Food & Pharmaceutical Corporations Might Not Want Us To Know – is available at amazon.co.uk
- Pump up the jam
Apex Hotels’ wellbeing ambassador Celynn Morin says playing your favourite tunes in the morning can help to put a spring in your step.
“Something as simple as upbeat music can be enough to get you pumped up for the day ahead,” says Celynn. “Your favourite tunes may also encourage you to get moving.”
Celynn has produced a podcast series with Apex, entitled ‘Relax, Rejuvenate and Refocus’. Listen here
- Just be
“There’s no better way to start your day than spending five minutes doing absolutely nothing,” says Jacqui Macdonald, author of The Lost Art of Being.
“When you first wake up, rather than reach for your phone or turning on the news, gift yourself five precious minutes of simply being. Make a pact that even if thoughts arise, you won’t engage with them. Try to focus only on what it feels like to be alive.
“Connecting with your ‘beingness’ in this way soothes the central nervous system and sets you up for a calmer day. Better still, it strengthens your connection with your inner wisdom, meaning you are more likely to make decisions throughout the day that are better for your health and wellbeing.”
Check out The Lost Art of Being at amazon.co.uk