"Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it." Richard Whately
The morning is often a time in which we spend chasing tasks that seemingly need urgent attention before disappearing into our normal working day.
What am I going to have for lunch - will I even have time for lunch?
Who is picking the kids up after school?
What do I need to remember for that after work function?
These are the questions we ask ourselves before we plunge head first into our day. We often leave the house to face our days in a state of confusion, angst, frustration and forgetfulness. Our day starts in an unstable frame of mind and it places at a disposition to repeat the same feelings we had in the morning for the rest of the day as well.
A morning ritual gives us the opportunity to make the most of our time alone before we face all of the people, obstacles, difficulties and trials that we can't control.
There are significant physiological and psychological benefits to a morning routine, it requires time but this is a worthwhile investment for your time spent.
Using the following routine each morning I've had clients lose almost 2% in body fat in 4 weeks. The best part is that it takes only requires an extra 20 minutes in your morning schedule and you will feel incredible for the rest of the day.
If you struggle getting up in the first place put your alarm in a place that requires you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
Once you're up hit the ground with 30 air squats and 30 press ups. If you can't complete all of the reps do as many as you can while maintaining proper technique.
These exercises release endogenous opioids known as endorphins in particular beta-endorphin and beta-lipotrophin. This is what makes up feel good post exercise and a short burst of moderate intensity exercise will give you that extra kick start straight out of bed.
2. COLD SHOWERING
Have a cold shower for five-ten minutes. The longer the better but aim for five minutes at the very least. This is where you will see the effects of the fat burning come into play.
While your body adjusts to the regular exercise routine exposing your body to cold frequently requires it to warm up to it's normal operating temperature and cold has been theorised to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) which is the opposite to white adipose tissue (WAT) or what we commonly call "fat".
BAT contains a much larger amount of mitchondria which are power house for burning our normal fat stores (WAT). The second feel good part comes from the rush of nor-adrenaline when you're surrounded by freezing cold water.
This will amplify the previous feel-good feeling from your physical activity. Trust me this is hard to start but certainly worth the feeling you get once you step out.
3. DRINK SOME TEA
Finally drink a cup of tea. The tea mixture I would suggest is green tea without anything in it. Make sure you only steep the tea for 120 seconds maximum, otherwise you'll get that furry tongue taste feeling. This comes from tannins when you've been steeping your tea for too long.
The science behind this is that the green tea stops the degradation of the nor-adrenaline from the exercise and cold shower by inhibiting an enzyme catechol-O-methyl-transferase. This will extend the benefits of the fat-burning effects from the last two exercises.
You'll have to spend sometime waiting as the tea cools down. Savour this time as it will give you an opportunity to plan for the day ahead.
Your routine doesn't have to look like this but it's a good starting point.
If you want your days to be different from everyone else make sure you start them differently.