The way your morning goes sets the tone for your whole day. As much as we’d all like to stay under the covers for an extra 20 minutes, it’s much better to take advantage of the early hours and kickstart a productive and energetic afternoon. Developing and sticking to a morning routine is one of the best steps you can take towards better mental health and physical fitness.

Good morning habits could look different for everyone, but here are a few things that have worked for others that might work for you as well.

1) Move Your Alarm Clock
When your alarm clock is right by your bed, it’s too easy to reach for the snooze button. Some of us even set our alarms early so we can hit snooze a few times. This isn’t a great idea. When the alarm goes off, it jars you out of your deep, restful sleep. Falling half asleep in short increments sets you up to feel groggy all day. If your snoozing habit is too ingrained, try moving your alarm clock so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up, you might as well start your day in earnest.

2) Start With Stretching
Your morning routine is all about getting your body and mind ready to face the day. Taking a few minutes to stretch as soon as you get out of bed, or even while you’re still in bed, gets your blood flowing and helps you wake up.

3) Keep Your Shower Cool
Warm showers are a great way to relieve the tension of a long day, but they aren’t so good at helping you wake up. Try setting your shower a little cooler, or if you’re feeling brave, go full cold. It’s a shock to the system, but you’ll find that it leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to face your day.

4) Drink Lemon Water
There’s nothing wrong with a cup of morning coffee, but caffeinated beverages aren’t great for hydration. By the time you wake up, you’ve probably gone about eight hours without drinking, so rehydrating should be a priority. A glass of lemon water is a better morning beverage.

5) Skip the Protein for Breakfast
The classic American breakfast is a high-protein plate of eggs and bacon, but digesting protein takes up a lot of bodily energy, drawing it away from other things you need to focus on in the morning. Try a breakfast with plenty of complex carbohydrates instead. They’ll help you feel full and give you more fuel to power your day. Save your high-protein meals for, when your body can use the protein to rebuild and repair your body.

The ideal morning routine will be different for each person, so try out a few of these suggestions and see what works for you.

McKay Taylor
Author: McKay Taylor

McKay has a love and passion for health and physical aesthetics. He went to Utah State on a full-ride academic scholarship, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. McKay is currently the CMO of Belle Medical, a competitive bodybuilder, and a Certified Personal Trainer and Dietitian. When he’s not reading up on the latest breakthroughs in health and fitness research, he’s working hard to set trends of his own. Most importantly, McKay truly believes that with proper eating habits, training, and the right medical interventions (a la Belle Medical), no physique or personal body goal is out of reach for ANYONE.