How Breakfast Can Improve Your Morning Routine
When people hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” they often think only of the nutrition it provides. However, there is more to breakfast than calories and macronutrients. A well-planned breakfast can anchor your entire morning routine. The following are four suggestions for creating a beneficial morning routine and the role that breakfast plays in each.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
A good morning actually starts the night before. Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This helps your body learn when it is time to rest and time to work. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, try to make your room more conducive to sleep. Consider blackout curtains, a new mattress pad, or supportive pillows. Keep distractions, such as pets and electronics, away while you sleep. If you have trouble waking up, consider making breakfast a meal that you really look forward to eating. It may be as simple as drinking a small glass of your favorite juice with a healthy breakfast or preparing a hot meal like oatmeal or eggs in the colder months.
2. Eat a good breakfast
A good meal can anchor your morning routine. It should nourish and energize you for the day ahead. It may take several tries before you find something that is both healthy and tasty enough to lure you out of bed. A good meal replacement shake is an ideal starting point if you’re having trouble finding the right breakfast. They are available in a variety of flavors and consistencies, so the chances are high that you will find one you like. Additionally, they are often fortified with vitamins and protein, so you know you are starting the day off well. Not everyone likes traditional breakfast foods, and that’s okay. There is no rule saying that you have to eat breakfast food for breakfast. Leftovers from dinner are generally a convenient, if unorthodox, morning meal option. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you feel good about eating. Many people find that starting the day with a nutritional “win” encourages them to make good decisions throughout the day.
In addition to good nutrition, exercise is also key to a positive morning. Although many people like to run or hit the gym before work, a gentler routine is ideal for those just getting started or those who prefer to save their intense workouts for a stress-relieving session after work. Yoga, Pilates, or a brisk walk are all possible low-impact options. If you do choose an intense morning workout, eating a nutritionally complimentary breakfast can maximize the effect. A high protein meal helps build muscle when combined with strength-training, while good carbs provide you with energy for the long run.
4. Practice mindfulness
Whatever you do in the mornings, mindfulness can improve it. Some people are wary of “hippy-sounding” words like mindfulness, but the practice itself does not require any particularly new-age activities. Simply make sure you have enough time to complete your morning routine and do not multitask. Focus on what you are doing. For example, when making breakfast, consider how the nutrients are good for your body. While you eat, pay attention to the flavors and textures. Enjoy the meal, and then move on to the next task.
Food plays a major role in human life. There is nearly constant research into the “best” diet and a barrage of new food products available every time we go to the grocery store. All of this can make deciding what to have for breakfast overwhelming, but the reality is actually quite simple. Find something reasonably healthy, i.e, with minimal or no added sugar and some vitamins on the nutrition panel, that you enjoy eating. Focus on the food while you eat it, and use the energy provided to get your body moving and ready for the day.
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