Healthiness starts with the buzz of your alarm clock in the morning. It’s a lesson that’s hard to learn – but something we all should work on. Including me. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to avoid the snooze button. While the urge to sleep an extra nine minutes may be strong, that sleep isn’t the healthy restorative sleep you need to stay energized during the day. It’s just a time waster. In fact, if you usually find yourself playing snooze-tag for 20 or more minutes, you would benefit more from going to bed 20 minutes earlier.
To avoid the snooze button, I place my alarm clock on the dresser across the room, so Lisa or I would have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm clock every morning. I also set the alarm clock 15 minutes fast in the morning, so when I wake up, I think it’s later than it actually is; I’m usually too groggy to remember the actual time.
For years, I’ve made a habit of working in a daily morning workout routine to get my muscles moving and blood pumping the moment I get out of bed. Working out in the morning not only burns calories, it also wakes me up faster than a cold shower. (I like hot showers better, anyway.)
I’ve posted my morning workout on DoctorOz.com. Joel Harper, my trainer, helped me develop this workout years ago. However, I sometimes mix up my morning workouts to make it a more yoga-focused session, especially on long work days that I know will be stressful and busy – and there are many of them. This yoga routine helps me center myself and puts my mind at ease in preparation for a hard day.
To keep your healthy morning routine going, I recommend never skipping breakfast. Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism, boosts your energy, increases concentration, and lifts your mood. It’s also linked to a more healthy diet throughout the day. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, results in low metabolic rate and triggers your body to store fat. Plus, breakfast-skippers tend to snack more on unhealthy, high-calorie foods and overeat. Overall, eating breakfast reduces the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Sometimes, I don’t have time to eat breakfast at home and have to save it for my commute or my desk at the office. However, I always try to bring my breakfast from home. One of my favorite breakfast bases is yogurt. This superfood contains live and active cultures to help maintain and improve the health of your colon, and may even lower your risk of colon cancer. It also boosts your immune system, provides an excellent source of protein, and aids in the absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B12.
So if you want to get healthier, start with the first few hours of the day!