Spring is just around the corner, March 21st, 2019 to be exact, hence "March Forward". And if all goes well, we'll be transitioning from the dreary cold temperatures and winter tires to cherry blossoms alongside above zero celsius sooner than later!
The shift in seasons from winter to spring makes working out or getting outside much more appealing. There's just something about that extra sunshine that gives you an added boost. But sometimes good weather isn't enough to energize you for the day, So what gives? I believe it all starts with how you wake up each morning.
It's up to you to set the tone for the day as soon as you open your eyes. However, it can be hard to get in a groove or know where to start. I want to share a few things you can do each day that will give you some extra energy before you head out the door to conquer the world. These three things may seem obvious to do but they're highly neglected and extremely beneficial.
With the world buzzing nonstop and the pressures of life endlessly calling your name, it's easy to forget the simple things we should be doing that give us an advantage each day. Let's face it, life can become exhausting at times, which leads to a loss of excitement for life, and eventually we lose control over simple things that give us power.
Good news: you can regain power in your life and it starts with your morning routine. If you've been struggling to wake up with energy and focus I have some tips that will change that if you adopt them.. Below are three VERY simple but not so easy steps to take each morning that will set a positive and energized tone for the rest of your day:
STEP ONE: GET UP A BIT EARLIER
Try this: get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than you normally do, and even earlier once you're used to it. This will give you room to wake up the right way without rushing, It also provides a window of opportunity to reflect and get the body and mind in gear before the events ahead.
Besides the obvious productive benefits that getting up early each day has, other benefits take place for the early riser as well. A recent study demonstrates that being an early riser reduces the risk of terminal diseases and paves the way for a longer life. This was concluded after following a group of over 400,000 people ages 38 to 73 or a 6.5 year span of time.
With all this in mind, let's just say that you're a classic night owl. You're probably thinking that you go to bed too late to make this happen? Solution: try going to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier so you can get up earlier. I'm sure most of us can reduce our evening screen time before bed and find other ways to save time throughout the day so we can sleep sooner.
STEP TWO: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
Once you're up early, hydrate right away! Drinking water wards off brain fog, it increases your attention, coordination, complex problem solving, reaction time, and enhances your motor skills and muscular endurance.
Conversely, all of these attributes begin to decline with as little as 1% loss of body mass from dehydration. Furthermore, a loss of 2% body mass due to dehydration leads to more severe affects relating to cognitive function. These findings were found during another recent study seen here.
Now, wouldn't your busy day ahead be much easier to deal with if you were thinking clearly and moving more freely? This edge can manifest from a simple glass of water or two.
STEP THREE: GET SOME FRESH AIR AND MOVE!
So, you're up a bit earlier than normal, you've hydrated, and you have time to spare. What next? It's time to get some fresh air, preferably on a forest trail or via walking through a park laced with leafy greenery. The benefits to taking a stroll in such areas full of trees and other plant life seems to be endless.
Several of these benefits, taken from this online article, are listed just below:
Exposure to forests and trees:
boosts the immune system
lowers blood pressure
increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
increases energy level
Not impressed? Here's another article titled 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods You Probably Don’t Know that discusses further benefits of getting fresh air.
If that's not enough evidence or motivation for you to get up earlier and get outside than I don't know what else to say . . .
Perhaps you're not an outdoors kind of person. If that's case, at the very least, step outside your front door for a few minutes and breath the fresh air. Then go back inside and do a light body weight routine to get the body moving. If you can't think of any exercises to do just message me.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
I don't know about you but I'm getting excited for some nicer weather just around the corner, especially after reading all the benefits to be had by taking three simple steps.
Again, I'll mention that these steps are VERY simple but not so easy to come by. Changing your routine may be easy to think about and easy try at first but over time it proves more difficult. However, if you press on day by day it gets easier as you go along, just like anything in life.
If you apply these three steps consistently each morning you'll soon start to feel more and more excited about the day ahead. Especially when you begin seeing the benefits manifest in your day to day life!
If you've been struggling with your morning routine and low energy throughout the day it's time to do whatever it takes to change this. Start by rising 15 to 30 minutes ahead of your normal wake up time. Reinforce this habit by going to bed earlier, limiting late night screen time to make this more doable, letting others know what your doing so they're on board with your goal, and staying consistent.
SO, I ENCOURAGE YOU AND CHALLENGE YOU to follow these three steps when spring hits or better yet, tomorrow morning!
Get up earlier, hydrate right away, then get some fresh air and move!
Have a great day!
Stephen C. Langhjelm
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Health & Wellness Advocate