Do you jump straight out of bed and rush to get to school or work on time or do you have a morning routine you follow every day? A morning routine is a practice highly successful people seem to implement to start their days. We are all creatures of habit, and routines offer a way to promote health and wellness through structure and organization. Having a routine can greatly improve your health and overall well-being.
The road map of your journey is unique to you. It is a conscious choice; it does not happen accidentally. Cultivating, growing, and maintaining wellness habits that work specifically for you and your daily routine is key.
I won’t lie. The thought of getting out of a nice, comfy, warm bed and actually doing something productive like go to work (which consists in getting in a speedo and jumping on a pool for me) isn't what dreams are made of. Despite that I usually like to have a set routine, especially with having to balance my work and my life as a professional swimmer, with training and everything. Being consistent with good habits helps me feel more in control — and feeling more in control makes me happier and more successful on my craft overall.
Sticking to a consistent morning routine is a journey that evolves over time. It takes time to learn about yourself and what works and what doesn’t work. A lot of the books and articles out there usually suggest the same routine executed at the wee hours of the am each day.
But here’s the truth: morning routines can be fun and don’t need to be boring. Their health benefits will make you wonder why you didn’t start one earlier.
How to Develop a Consistent Morning Routine:
BEDTIME: Go to bed around the same time every night and schedule your bedtime to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep needed for your body to function properly. You can’t expect to get up at the same time every day if you don’t go to bed around the same time every night.
ALARM: Set your alarm to wake you at the same time every day, including weekends. Once your body gets used to waking up at a certain time, you’ll feel more energized and ready to start your day as soon as you wake up, provided you’re going to bed at a decent time.
”ME-TIME”: Begin your morning with a few minutes of silence (This is my best excuse for being so grumpy while walking around the pool deck every morning). Doing so will help you clear your head and organize your thoughts before you start your day, which will increase productivity. Avoid grabbing your phone and looking at news or instagram as soon as you wake up too.
HEALTHY EATING: Eat a good breakfast. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to help you get through the day without feeling exhausted. Choose something healthy for breakfast that will help jumpstart your metabolism, increase energy and keep you alert throughout the day. But what are the benefits of a healthier diet? Well, for this one I am assuming I don't have to extend myself too much. A healthier balanced diet can only bring us benefits in the short and long run in terms of having a better well-being.
Cultivating and growing your overall wellness builds resilience, reduces the risk of illness, and ensures positive interactions on a daily basis. Your well-being not only affects your life, it also influences others you are closely connected to.
Investing in your health and wellness can start at any age and is a lifelong process. The goal should always be to make tweaks to make the action become a realistic lifestyle for you. We must make time for things that are “necessary” but also allow this new behavior and new lifestyle to enter the conversation of longevity, well-being and necessity.
PROPER PLANNING: Over breakfast, spend a few minutes going over your priorities for the day. This will help you get things in perspective and plan out your day so you can make better use of your time. Leave around the same time every morning and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Rushing around the house and to your destination creates stress and aggravation, which is exactly what you don’t want when trying to start your day.
I always say that in order to make any new habit easier to do, we should always start with an incredibly small new thing that isn’t reliant on motivation and willpower. Motivation comes and goes, and willpower is something that is easily exhausted as it is used throughout the day. A new habit needs to be so easy and simple that an individual can’t say “no” to doing the habit, it’s just naturally achieved. Everyone is unique. Not everyone requires a fully scheduled day to reap the health benefits of a routine, so make the choices that work for you, knowing they’ll only make you healthier and more efficient with your time.
Identifying barriers and challenges ahead of time can be an effective way to address them before they become overwhelming. I know it can be super easy to give up on goals and new habits when life gets challenging. That’s why it’s critical to remind yourself that a day or even a week of setbacks will not ruin your path to achieving your new goals.
Remembering to always look forward by envisioning what life might look like if you stick to your new habits and make the changes necessary to live more healthfully and in line with your values and aspirations. These are the things that will keep your hope, motivation and enthusiasm for achieving your goals at a high level throughout the process of change.
Luckily, there are already healthier options of foods and drinks on the market that can help people get their essential vitamins and minerals without the extra calories from added sugar intake. Products like whole grain rice or pasta, oats, fat-free or low-fat dairy, zero-sugar yogurt are already available on any market and can drastically help with the switch to a low-sugar diet. If you ever feel like you don't have enough knowledge or time to adjust into a better nutrition schedule, I'd suggest finding a professional of that area to better help you achieve your specific goals.
People are always asking me “Where do I start?” This may sound silly – but the place you want to start is with proper hydration. If you are not getting enough water and healthy fluids than every other system in your body is affected. Your body systems will literally become sluggish if you are neglecting this simple foundation.
As I always mention, keeping your body hydrated is the bare minimum you can do to optimize mental and physical well-being. As a professional swimmer, I always have to make sure my body is at its maximum level of hydration, so I can perform at my best during everyday workouts and swim meets. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. When I go to that morning run or workout I always make sure I have a bottle of Hydra-Guard with me. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority this year, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful long career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.