It’s not by having a “breakfast for champions”. The best way to start your day is a method with which you will achieve fantastic overall health, fitness, physical and psychological wellbeing.
The famous saying, the Early Bird gets the Worm, was coined for a reason. For centuries people who practice early rising have reaped the benefits. If we looked back to our primal ancestors some 2000 years ago, they had to rise very early, every day, just to hunt and gather, to survive. There wasn’t room for relaxing and sleeping back in those days!
In today’s modern technology-driven society, one can argue that the time of day doesn’t matter, as long as the work gets done. That’s one way to look at it, but there are indisputable health benefits to rising early, which I’ll explore here.
The focus of this article isn’t about success or money, but instead, about our physical and psychological wellbeing and overall health, and how best to improve these areas.
Getting up early to maximize the hours you have in a day is always a good idea. If I’m up at 6 am and go to bed at 10 pm, I’ve enjoyed 16 hours of the day time, where I’m active, getting things done, or just enjoying life.
If I get up at 9 am and go to bed at 11 pm, I’ve had 14 hours of awake time while missing sunrise and the significant positive effects early hours have on your body and mind.
Doing the math, 16 hours a day, gives me 5840 hours of awake time, while 14 hours gives me 5110 hours awake time per year. The two extra hours per day allow for 730 more hours of awake time. That equates to about 30 days more time awake per year! I think I’ll aim for the 16 hours rather than the 14, you?
This simple exercise demonstrates the amount of extra quality time you can have awake every year if you rise earlier. Okay, some may say, “I’m awake 16 or even 18 hours a day, as I stay up later, and I can handle that”.
The Health Effect.
You certainly can manage that sort of rhythm for a while, but after some time, you will likely end up feeling overly tired and stressed out. Also, you may not be doing your immune system and general health much good if you are only sleeping four to six hours every night.
Science proves that adequate quality sleep is essential to a robust immune system, good overall health, and even improved longevity, to name only a few core benefits. Let’s take a look:
Getting enough sleep can improve your overall health, which may help boost your longevity.www.verywellhealth.com By Mark Stibich, PhD Medically reviewed by
Research suggests that regularly sleeping for less than seven hours a night can have negative effects on the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Side effects of sleep deprivation can include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, stroke, and increased risk of developing some types of cancer.www.verywellhealth.com By Mark Stibich, PhD Medically reviewed by Caitilin Kelly, MD
As we can see, adequate quality sleep is vital and provides an array of additional benefits to our health and wellbeing, all of which are essential, both physically and mentally.
- Better productivity and concentration
- Increased positivity and motivation
- Lower risk of weight gain
- Better athletic performance
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Can prevent depression
- Lowers internal inflammation
- Improves mood
- Lowers stress levels
- Reduces anxiety
The best way to start your day, every day.
We’ve discussed the obvious, so if you want to get up early, you have first to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, in the form of time and quality. Otherwise, you’ll wake up feeling cranky, sluggish, and upset, which kind of defeats the whole purpose.
Therefore, the above is the key to everything. Without adequate and quality sleep, your day will never be as good as it could be. You can and will get through every day, sure, some days better than others. But if you can adjust to the best way to start your day, you will begin to notice a substantial difference in the way you feel and perform every day.
Hydrate a lot before doing anything. I down about four glasses of room temperature water with freshly squeezed lemon juice as soon as I’m up. Lemon water is packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants; both are vital for a healthy immune system. Lemon water also gets your insides moving, supporting bowel movement, which is very important for the next step to happen without incident.
Get outside for sunrise and go for a long, fast-paced walk. I recommend at least 45 to 60 minutes, covering a good 3 miles (4.5km). There isn’t anything better than going straight outside for a brisk walk, first thing in the morning.
*Good News Flash
Science supports that light or moderate exercise in the morning (not vigorous) is the healthiest and safest way to exercise. Walking in the fresh air wakes you up, is an excellent exercise for your heart health, and burns fat at the same time.
What’s even better is that walking doesn’t require a significant effort, which, in my book, qualifies walking as the best morning wake up call and exercise routine ever! I invite you to read more about the benefits of walking in this article.
If you have the opportunity to walk and observe the sunrise, please make sure you do as often as possible. Enjoying a brisk early morning walk, while watching the sunrise is a powerful sensation, and it never gets old. It’s stimulating, inspiring, and motivating, plus, it’s a beautiful and profound moment every time.
After an hour or so of walking (preferably from 6 am), you are now back at your place around 7 or 7:30 am. It’s time to shower and enjoy a fantastic coffee or tea, or two (whichever you prefer).
Now it’s only around 8 am, you have exercised, inspired, and motivated yourself. You’ll feel so fresh and excited to hit your work and go for a successful and productive day.
And that is the best way to start your day!
I used to be a late riser, which I inherited from someone in my family. I got away with it for a long time, until I did burn out, really badly by the way. After that happened, I found this to be the best way to start my day, so I made it a significant part of my health coaching routine.
By no means am I perfect with this. I still slack from time to time in the getting up early and moving myself department. It’s been particularly challenging during these COVID days, as going outside for a long and decent walk has been a problem in itself. Let’s hope things get better on that front soon too.
However, the more effort you put into this method, the more likely it will become a habit. Once that happens, you’ll love it and won’t want to miss it. If one day you then don’t get up and get out for that early walk, you will feel something isn’t right throughout the day. That’s when you know you’re hooked, congrats!
I motivate myself by reminding myself every other day of those 30 extra days a year I have if I get up early and get moving.
Please tell me; whats the best way to start your day?
That’s all from me. Thanks for reading, and please send me any comments you may have.
“It is my mission to help people regain control of their health, by building a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”