7 Healthy Habits To Add To Your Morning Routine, From A Dietitian
There's not much you can do about waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but what you do have control over is how you structure your morning to support a good day. Taking some time before work to prioritize your body and mind sets a positive tone and may even improve your mood and well-being over time.
If you already have a morning routine that you swear by, more power to you, but if you're looking for a little more guidance on how to start your day on the right foot, dietitian and gut health expert Kylie Ivanir, M.S., R.D., shares some of her favorite helpful tips on Instagram to nourish both the body and soul.
7 healthy habits to add to your morning checklist:
Water with sea salt.
We all know that hydration is the key to keeping you feeling your best, and when you wake up in the morning it's more than likely you're feeling a little parched. "The body uses a lot of water overnight, so we often wake up [inadequately] hydrated without knowing it," explains Ivanir. Some subtle signs you need to hydrate include dizziness, a dry mouth, and even feeling tired.
"By drinking water first thing, you infuse your cells with necessary hydration to prevent mental and physical fatigue. Adding a pinch of sea salt adds minerals to help your body better absorb the hydration. And if you're feeling extra fancy, then add a slice of lemon," she suggests.
Take a probiotic.
Taking care of your gut health is one of the best ways to enhance your day-to-day well-being, and there's no better way to do that than by taking a probiotic each morning. A supportive addition to your routine, mbg's probiotic+ not only helps ease bloating, but it's also formulated with four targeted strains to support both regularity and abdominal comfort.* If you're anything like me, bloating makes you grumpy, which is why this probiotic has quickly become a staple in my morning.
Get some sunlight.
While it's easiest to get in the summertime, making sunlight a priority first thing in the morning year-round can transform your mood. "Getting just 15 minutes of morning light can trigger your brain to release chemicals that regulate your hormonal cycles," explains Ivanir. "This will lead to better gut health, metabolism, and energy throughout the day. If you can't get out of the house, then just enjoy your coffee near a window."
Take a moment to relax.
Sure, you're already coming off a night of sleep, but it can still be useful to take a moment to relax and meditate in the morning to get yourself into a positive headspace for the day.
"Relaxation practices like meditation help calm your nervous system and switch from the sympathetic to parasympathetic system," notes Ivanir. "This is important for keeping stress at bay during the day. I love using the Headspace app, which has short guided meditations. Or if you don't like meditations, just take some deep breaths before you rush into your day."
Do a 15-minute workout.
Maybe it's not your idea of a good time to squeeze in a workout right when you wake up, but this is a simple way to boost your mood and allow those endorphins to carry you through the rest of the day. "Working out in the morning helps get your blood flowing and lymphatic system working. You'll have better focus, more clarity, and energy throughout the day," says Ivanir. This would be a great time to go for your hot girl walk!
Care for your gut with a smoothie.
Circling back to the importance of gut health, a nutrient-dense smoothie first thing in the morning is another easy way to fill you up and nourish your body. "Blend up a clean protein powder, chia seeds, berries, spinach, and walnuts," suggests Ivanir. "This will feed your good gut microbes, prevent cravings, and ensure high energy levels throughout the day."
Show some gratitude.
It's always a good idea to try to look at the bright side of life (did you know that optimism was recently linked to longevity?). That's why writing down what you're grateful for can put you in a better mood and start your day off on the right foot.
"When you are grateful, you can't feel any other negative emotions at the same time," says Ivanir. "Gratefulness will trump any feelings of sadness, anger, anxiousness. It's that powerful. Write them down as you drink your smoothie." Here's a list of our favorite gratitude journals, if you need some guidance.
How you start your day is a major indicator of how you're going to feel in the coming hours. That's why taking a few minutes in the morning to feel grounded and take care of your mental and physical needs is such a vital habit. That said, don't stress if you can't check every single box: "I definitely don't do all of these every morning," says Ivanir, "but even if I do one or two I feel so much better."
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.