LISA DUNBAR'S HEALTH HACKS

Five-morning routine tips to get your days off to a healthy start

Whether you're a morning person or not, Lisa has some helpful tips

Lisa Dunbar

Reporter:

Lisa Dunbar

Email:

Editor@DundalkDemocrat.ie

Five-morning routine tips to get your day off to a healthy start

A cup of flavoured warm water is a great way to ensure you drink enough water in a day

In today’s fast-paced, busy world, many of us tend to roll out of bed and stumble our way through a chaotic morning routine. Sound familiar?

Well, there are a few simple things you can do every morning to get your day off to a healthy start, whether you are a morning person or not! Here are my top five…

Get Up!

This might sound like an obvious thing to do in the morning, but what I mean is that you should get up when you intended to get up. I won’t lie, I’m a fan of the old snooze button on the alarm, and sometimes just can’t resist. But I have found that if I stay in bed longer than I had intended to, even if it is just 10 or 15 minutes longer, I feel like I’ve started the day with a failure. Waking up can be hard, but it’s not going to be any easier in 10 minutes time. So, try to resist the snooze!

Be Grateful


It can be hard to maintain a positive outlook in life. But research has shown that if we take a few minutes each day to think about, and especially write down, some of the things we are thankful for in our lives, then we can actually improve both our physical and mental health.
First thing in the morning is an excellent time to be grateful. I mean, for starters, you can be grateful you’re alive and you woke up! But seriously, if you wake up grumpy, having grumpy thoughts in the morning can affect how you think and feel for the rest of the day. So, start the day off on a positive note and spend those first few minutes thinking about all the things you are grateful for in your life in general, or positive things that you will be experiencing that day.

Ease Into Your Day


One of the worst things we can do first thing in the morning is pick up our phones and start reading messages or scrolling through social media. Give your brain a chance to wake up! Since giving up my smartphone I find I am much calmer in the mornings, without the constant urge to check it. Now I just listen to the radio while I wake up and get ready for the day.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate


And no, unfortunately I’m not referring to your morning coffee! Our bodies need water to work properly. Fact! We should aim to drink about 2 litres of water a day. But even if you’re really good at drinking water throughout the day, most of us still wake up dehydrated because our body has been working away all night.
So, it is really important to rehydrate first thing in the morning.
I like to start the day with a big glass of warm water with a little squeeze of lemon juice (by ‘warm’ I mean three quarters of a glass of cold water topped up with boiling water).
I’ll sip away on this while getting ready or while making my breakfast. I’ll finish it before I eat and have a second glass with my breakfast. This means I will have reached half my daily water target by the time I’ve finished breakfast! Result!

Eat Breakfast…A Good One!


It really is true what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It completely sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you start your day with a sugary cereal or sugary hot beverage, you’ll likely spend the rest of the day on a rollercoaster of sugar highs, followed by sugar lows that can only be satisfied by more sugar.
Equally, if you skip breakfast, you’ll end up with an energy slump mid-morning, which again will have you reaching for something sugary.


I often meet people who have no appetite in the morning, but you don’t have to eat straight away. Ideall,y we should eat something within an hour of waking up. It doesn’t have to be a huge breakfast, but it should be a nutritious one! My favourite breakfast is porridge topped with a big dollop of nut butter, milled seeds and lots of fruit. Other good breakfast options include eggs on wholemeal toast, natural or greek yoghurt with fruit, or if you’re a fan of cereal, weetabix and shredded wheat are the best ones.


So, there you go. Five things you can try to get your day off to a healthy start!

Lisa is a Nutrition and Health Coach based in Dundalk. Having used diet and lifestyle changes to help recover from physical and mental health challenges, Lisa is now on a mission to motivate others to live a healthier life.
www.lisadunbarhealth.com/