Morning rituals set the tone for the rest of your day. Really, I don't feel like a day has even started before my morning coffee. But what if those same habits could change your whole life for the better? The tiny changes you can make to your morning routine that will increase your lifespan are all pretty simple and do-able. Even the most dedicated night owls might find a reason to get up a few minutes early for these healthy routines.
Why is it so important to do these simple tasks in the morning, as opposed to late afternoon? A lot of people in productivity circles value those first hours of the day. "I have found that I am most productive as soon as I wake up," said Ken Brokaw of Leveling Up Your Life in Forbes. "Creating a morning routine for yourself is essential to a successful life. Waking up earlier than usual will give you ample time to focus on your goals and conquer the day with more energy, mindfulness and strength." For many people, mornings are the best time to work on personal goals, fitness routines, and maybe even adding years to your life. Read on to find the simple ways to boost your mornings now.
Bust out those running shoes. People who jogged were found to have a 44 percent reduced mortality risk when compared to non-joggers, according to a large, long-term study in Denmark, as noted in JAMA. "We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity," said lead investigator Peter Schnohr, MD. "The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits." Log a few miles before breakfast to really kick-start your day.
2. Drink Tea
This is great news for my fellow tea fiends. Drinking tea, particularly green tea, promotes a reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, and depression, as well as improved glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, according to a study in the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. I'll drink to that.
3. Brush Teeth
Teeth can say a lot about your overall health. In fact, loosing teeth may be linked to a shorter lifespan overall, as a 2016 study in Periodontology 2000 found. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth each day, and getting regular checkups at the dentist, can do so much for your dental health. Also, that minty hit of toothpaste is also one of the most pleasant ways to start the morning.
4. Go Outside
Enjoy a little sunshine before your day really kicks into gear. As it turns out, almost half of adults don't get the required amount of vitamin D each day, which may affect bone health, heart disease, and even diabetes, according to Very Well. Even 15 minutes of sunshine a day is enough to maintain vitamin D levels, as further noted in Very Well.
5. Strength Train
Don't stop at cardio alone. People with strength-based exercise routines reduced the risk of dying prematurely by 23 percent, according to a University of Sydney study, as reported in Science Daily. Both body weight and gym-based exercises were effective.
6. Play A Team Sport
Get a double-dose of wellness by meeting a friend for partner or team sports. "For both mental and physical well-being and longevity, we’re understanding that our social connections are probably the single-most important feature of living a long, healthy, happy life," said Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, in TIME. "If you’re interested in exercising for health and longevity and well-being, perhaps the most important feature of your exercise regimen is that it should involve a playdate." Schedule an early morning game of tennis with your BFF for a great start to your day.
Spending a few minutes doing sun salutations each morning might offer lasting benefits for your health. In fact, regular practice of yoga may help slow the effects of stress and inflammation on the body, as a 2017 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity determined. Yoga practice can lead to lower levels of cortisol and inflammation overall, as the study determined. Whether it's yoga or any other healthy practice, these morning habits can have a super positive effect on your health.