I guarantee almost any one of you who reads this blog post already has their own morning routine. You just might not know it. But is your current morning routine helping to optimize your weight loss efforts?
What if a short 10 minutes every morning could help you reach your weight loss goals? It can. That’s because how you begin your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. My routine used to be to get out of bed, get dressed, shower, grab my work bag, grab my lunch bag, and then eat breakfast on my hourlong ride into work. Then I began waking up 10 minutes earlier to take a little time for myself, which changed how I approached the rest of my day.
In this post, I am going to share with you how to create your very own morning routine to help you reach your own health and fitness goals. This can be applied to areas of your life other than weight loss, including personal development, or in my case, sleeping better at night. Why I tailored this post to weight loss is because when I started and continued with the morning routine I share with you, I noticed how toned and tightened I became, even at four months pregnant!
Put a Goal Behind Your Morning Routine
Having a long-term goal of what starting each day the right way can bring into your life will help you stick with it even on those mornings when you’d rather sleep in. Start by thinking about an area of your life you want to improve upon and create a goal to do something about it. In this case, we’re focusing on weight loss.
Here is my simple five-step process to making the most out of your morning and your weight loss efforts.
My 10-Minute Morning Routine
1.) Reflect or Meditate ~ Minute One
You can do this while still in bed, or you can get out of bed. It’s completely flexible and a perfect way to start the day. You might be wondering why reflection is part of the process, but if you’re looking to change your life in any area, it’s important to begin each day with a positive attitude. This is why meditation or simple reflection is our task for the first 60 seconds, because you will not be able to reach your health and fitness goals (or any goal for that matter!) if you’re unhappy, negative or feeling depressed every morning. I personally like to think about five positive things that happened the day before during my first minute and feel grateful about each one for a brief moment. But you could simply meditate and clear your mind to get ready for the wonderful day that lies ahead.
2.) Drink Up ~ Minute Two
Drink 16oz warm water with fresh lemon squeezed into it. Lemon is a known diuretic, which is why it’s an excellent thing to have first thing in the morning. It helps clean out your system after a night of rest, delivering a gentle yet powerful detox to make you feel more energetic. Warm water also helps increase the diuretic effect and passes through your body more easily. It is less of a shock to the system than cold water.
3.) Do One Complete Sun Salutation ~ Minute Three
I love yoga. I loved yoga before pregnancy. I loved yoga throughout my entire pregnancy. And I still love yoga. It helps keep our bodies strong and flexible, while keeping our minds open and clear. Sun salutations are a great way to stretch out your body each morning to remove any stiffness or soreness from the previous day’s activities and helps warm your body up for the brief, yet effective exercise we will take part in next. I like to perform mine towards the rising sun. Not sure what a sun salutation is? Look here:
4.) Do Five Minutes of Moderate Activity ~ Minutes Four to Eight
I personally like to go for a short, leisurely jog with the dog and take in the beautiful wooded surroundings around our home, weather pending. It’s a great way to appreciate all the beauty around me that often goes unnoticed. It also is an opportunity to reflect even a little bit more. More importantly, it’s a great way to melt the fat away! Getting active is a crucial step in starting your morning off right by helping to get your metabolism going. Plus, it will also elevate your mood and keep you on track for staying healthy the rest of the day. You can do anything from going for a walk to dancing around your living room. As long as your heart gets beating faster, you are on the right track.
As you progress each week, try to add in an additional minute of physical activity if you don’t get any other type of exercise throughout the day until you work your way up to 1/2 hour of exercise. Otherwise, you can stick with the five minutes, perhaps even working up to exercising in the morning.
5.) Cooldown and Stretch ~ Minutes Nine to Ten
Lastly, please remember to cool down and stretch it out. You don’t need to do a five-minute cooldown for five minutes of exercise, but you do need to cool down. You could easily do another complete sun salutation here, or you could do some calf, thigh, hip flexors and glute stretches if you’ve just gone for a walk or run.
Keep Track of Your Morning Routine for 30 Days
I can’t tell you the last time I started off a morning in another fashion than what I outlined above. Even with our new baby, I still manage to get my 10 minute routine in each and every day. Now, I have an extra companion to bring with me. What I can tell you is that I’ve tried numerous routines over the years and none ever worked for me quite like this one.
The good news is that there are many morning routine apps you can use. I always prefer the good old pen and paper, but use whatever means helps you achieve your morning routine more easily. Here is a link to my morning routine checklist for the month. You can Save As to create your own copy.
At some point, you routine will become a habit, and you probably will not need to even keep track of it any longer!
Resources for Creating Your Perfect Morning Routine
My morning routine is something I pieced together from learning and reading about what other people have done. Then after trial and error, I incorporated those things that worked best for me and gave me the best, most satisfying results. The two books that were the most highly influential to my own morning routine were The Miracle Morning and Sleep Smarter.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod was the first book I read that taught me the importance of having a morning routine, since previously, my morning routine worked against, not for me. The author, Hal Elrod, breaks the morning routine down into what he calls the life S.A.V.E.R.S formula. Start your day with Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing (journaling). It’s a little long for me but others love this routine.
The second book, and the book that inspired me to create and stick with a morning routine, was Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. At about four months pregnant, I found myself never being able to get a full night’s sleep. Shawn stresses the importance of how a good morning routine can make for a better night’s sleep. After about one month of following a very similar routine to what I outlined above, not only did I start sleeping better at night, I also found myself less stressed, less forgetful, and physically just better all around…as well as having more defined legs and bottom.
I hope this post inspires you to create your own morning ritual. I hope it’s something that will help you reach your own goal of improving your life in one way or another.
Always remember the most important part of a morning routine is doing things you enjoy and will stick with. For instance, meditation is often recommend to be included your daily ritual. For me, I just can’t meditate in the morning. It doesn’t work for me. And since I have eliminated from trying to make myself meditate as part of my morning routine, I have now been able to keep with it and look forward to waking every morning for some “me” time.
One of the best ways to stay accountable and stick with your morning routine is to share it with others. If you are brave enough to post your routine publicly, please comment in the comments section below!