Sometimes healthy living can be a challenge. Making it a part of your everyday routine can help, and making sure that you start each day the right way can help you stay on track with your healthy life.
Following are the 5 things that I do every morning to start my day off right and make sure that I make the most of each day (with the exception of #1 which is weekdays only).
1. Fed cardio
OK, so technically this one is how I start off my weekday mornings, but even on weekends it never hurts to start your day with a bit of healthy movement.
We’ve all heard that fasted cardio burns more fat than doing cardio after a meal, but that’s not really the whole story. While yes you will burn more fat during your workout, for the rest of the day you’ll be burning carbs not fat. According to Bodybuilding.com, if your body burns mostly fat during a workout, it will burn more carbs after, and the converse is true as well… the more carbs you burn during a workout, the more fat you burn after a workout. I know… mind bending stuff here, but it’s true!
We should be more concerned about how much fat we’re burning throughout the rest of our 24 hour day versus during the one hour we spend working out. So, make sure you get a bit of food into your stomach prior to working out. Bodybuilding.com recommends the following formula for fed cardio:
“1/4 gram of carbohydrate and 1/8 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight (which may differ from your actual weight).”
So, for me that would mean I could have a smoothie with one apple, one orange, and 2Tbsps of gelatin pre-workout to make sure that I had enough carbs to fuel the workout and make sure my body burns fat post workout.
2. Ice cold lemon water
Right after my fed cardio, I make sure to get in a nice big glass of ice cold lemon water. Why ice cold lemon water? Well, first, after a sweaty workout, nothing beats an ice cold drink. Second, lemon water has so many benefits, from the vitamins in lemons, to the inflammation fighting acidity (the acidity in lemons reduce the overall acidity in your body), it’s hard to argue against it.
To get the most out of your post-workout drink, squeeze one half to one full lemon into your water. I like to use a citrus press like this one.
Besides being just plain delicious, coffee can actually help increase your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories throughout the day. Plus, it has beneficial antioxidants. To get the most from your cup of Joe be sure to buy organic coffee (I’m guilty of going the instant route but try to buy organic when I can) and stick to one or two cups per day max. Any more than that and you risk sleep disruption and other un-beneficial side effects to your health.
4. Oatmeal with blueberries
What could be more perfect than the filling power of oats and the antioxidant properties of blueberries? Not much. I find that when I have oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast I stay full all the way to lunch… no matter how early I wake up. My favorite breakfast is 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of blueberries with a bit of honey or maple syrup.
If I wanted to use my blueberry oatmeal for my pre-workout meal I could just add the 2Tbsps of gelatin to my oats, or even to a glass of plain water since Great Lakes gelatin dissolves in plain water.
5. Pack your lunch
This is not just a healthy tip, but a money and time saving tip too! Every single day I pack my lunch, whether it’s leftovers from the night before or something new I throw together, I make sure that I bring my lunch to work every day. This keeps me from impulsively eating foods I shouldn’t, and it saves me money since I don’t have to eat out.
Packing a lunch is easier than you think. First, you need to have the right tools. Here is what I use to make it easy to pack a lunch:
- Storage containers – if you’re going to be using a microwave to reheat your food, make sure to get glass ones like these
- Lunch bag – this one is my favorite! It’s neoprene and comes with a shoulder removable strap. Combined with the ice pack below it can keep your food cold for hours.
- An ice pack – this one lasts 8 hours which is very important if you don’t have a fridge to keep your lunch in. This particular ice pack is the one I use on my back when it is acting up. I discovered it’s longevity when I woke up in the morning and the pack was still cold on my back.
Tell me, what healthy habits do you start your day with?
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