7 Impactful Morning Habits
The life of a business owner and personal trainer is a rigorous one. We’re up before the sun for our early bird members, we wear several hats throughout the day, close the doors after our night owls, recap the day before bed, and we do this seven days a week. A lot of our members are also 24/7 workers so I’m often asked about ways to improve energy and mental sharpness to sustain such a demanding lifestyle.
One of the most important and controllable ways to ensure a successful day is to set yourself up for it by developing a positive morning routine. There’s no set of actions that will work for everyone; the most important thing to remember when developing your routine is to make sure it’s sustainable. If the routine itself is something you can’t consistently engage in, it won’t be successful.
I start my day at 4:30am with a liter of water. Drinking water first thing in the morning is important for two main reasons. When we sleep, our bodies are detoxifying from everything they’ve encountered during the day so when we wake, we’re actually in our most toxic state. The best way to flush out all the toxins our bodies have been processing, is to drink water. Secondly, we’re dehydrated when we wake up. Air conditioning, heat and the sleep process all dehydrate the body. If you’re dehydrated by as little as 2% of your body weight, your strength and endurance will go down by as much as 10%.
Although I drink a liter of water each morning, two glasses is ideal for most people. Most filtered water doesn’t include the natural minerals that help balance the body’s pH levels and make water more absorbable, so I add them to mine with 40,000 Volts! Electrolyte Concentrate from Trace Minerals Research. Additionally, adding lemon to your water will aid in flushing out the toxins. What you want to avoid is jolting your system with caffeine or juice. Although liquids, they actually make the body more toxic when immediately introduced first thing in the morning.
Once I’m hydrated, I prepare my food for the day. I pack breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since I drive about an hour into the city, I also prepare and pack my coffee. As I mentioned, caffeine can be a jolt to the system, even if you’ve properly hydrated. To optimize as well as reduce my caffeine intake, I add fat to my coffee. The fat binds to caffeine and gives you a smoother, less jarring intake and allows the effects to last longer. I use 1 tbsp of MCT oil which is the fat found in coconut oil said to also help brain function.
The body is constantly working to create homeostasis in itself and there are things we do that disrupt our pH balance. I can feel when I’m out of balance when I feel lazy, tired, stuffy, or awake but not sharp. Hydration is a great way to help the body balance but I’ve found that there’s nothing like oxygenating your body to revitalize it. I spend the first twenty minutes of my drive deep breathing in 90 second intervals. Breathing deeply for an extended period of time balances and detoxifies the body. After these twenty minutes, I feel incredibly revived, alive and my entire state of being changes. Something so simple and inherent, when practiced in a purposeful way, is astonishingly impactful.
Now that my body and mind are balanced, detoxified and ready to absorb the day, I finish my drive by listening to an audio book. Not only is this a great way to get information quickly and easily, it’s also a way to optimize the time I spend in the car. I usually complete about two books per month and the topics range from Brain Rules, which is about how the brain works, what affects its optimal performance and why, to The Obesity Code.
After I arrive at the studio I eat breakfast between 5:30am and 6:30am, being sure to track when I start feeding with my Time-Restrictive Feeding app, Zero. A typical breakfast includes eggs, quinoa or acorn squash, greens and the perusal of The New York TImes, The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.
These seven planned actions are habits I’ve found to be highly powerful and impactful for setting up a successful day not only for myself, but for my team and members as well. If I’m not performing at 100%, then my team and my members won’t get the elevated support and experience they’ve come to know.
Remember, there’s no set of habits that will work perfectly for everyone. We all have different needs when we wake and throughout the day so it’s important to develop positive habits that are best for you and your daily demands. It’s best to test actions, noting how they impact you physically, mentally and emotionally, practicing those habits that are most powerful for you.