5 healthy ways to start your day

Two women power walk in the park.

Starting your day right can impact how the rest of your day goes. Follow these 5 simple tips to get your day moving in a positive direction.

1. Go for a walk or jog

Nothing helps to jump-start your day like a morning jog or a brisk walk. Research shows that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to be active throughout the day and in general.1

Being physically active also helps prevent heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.2

Inviting friends or starting a walk/jog club may help keep you motivated and make the exercise more fun.

Depending on where you live, use nearby parks, gyms or shopping malls to mix up your scenery.

2. Make time for breakfast

Instead of breakfast on the go, have a more delicious and nutritious meal. Eggs, toast, oatmeal and fruits are options that can give you the morning fuel you need.

Studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, better memory and concentration.3

If having enough time in the morning is a concern, try prepping your breakfast the night before. Many egg or oatmeal dishes can be refrigerated, and multi-grain waffles and smoothie ingredients can be frozen.

3. Meditate or pray

Meditation can help you be calmer throughout your day.4 Use meditation or prayer to help mentally prepare yourself for a busy day.

Prayer helps keep your mind in a state of gratitude, and meditation helps to relax your mind and body, which helps to lower your stress and anxiety levels.

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. Get in a calm sitting position and begin to breathe deeply and relax your muscles. Let your mind focus on nothing except reaching a complete state of calmness, and begin affirming to yourself the great day you're going to have by having gratitude for it.

Reduce stress with 5 simple relaxation techniques

4. Listen to empowering music

Try listening to music that is inspiring or motivational to you, depending on how you feel.

Studies have shown that music may help reduce anxiety and improve mood.5

Consider both the music and its message when you’re deciding what to listen to in the morning.

5. Add inspiration with a book or podcast

Wake up and read or listen to something that will encourage and empower you throughout your day. Choose something inspirational based on your deeper values that will compel you to live your best.

Another option is to read self-help literature first thing in the morning. By spending those first moments of your day on personal development, your mind will be filled with powerful ideas to help keep you positive and productive all day.

When choosing material, consider the following:6

  • Make sure the author’s background and training match the expertise claimed.
  • The material covered should be understandable and not bore you.
  • Remember it’s okay to disagree with written material. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are wrong.

Sources

  1. “8 Health Benefits of Morning Workouts,” Shape Magazine, last accessed September 13, 2017, http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/8-health-benefits-morning-workouts , opens new window.
  2. “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults,” American Heart Association, last accessed September 13, 2017, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WcKpq02WyM- , opens new window.
  3. “Breakfast: Is It the Most Important Meal?” WebMD, last accessed September 13, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/most-important-meal#1 , opens new window.
  4. “Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 13, 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858 , opens new window.
  5. “Does Music Affect Your Mood?” Healthline News, last accessed September 13, 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health-news/mental-listening-to-music-lifts-or-reinforces-mood-051713#1 , opens new window.
  6. “Five Things You Need to Know About Self-Help Books,” Psychology Today, last accessed September 13, 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201205/five-things-you-need-know-about-self-help-books , opens new window.