What can help me have more energy is a question that I see asked quite often as a Body Positive Nutrition Coach? It makes sense as we spend so much time at work, at school, or engaging in other activities that we barely have time to rest.
This might even make you conjure times in your life when you felt most energized.
You might be surprised to hear that a time in my life where I felt MOST energize was during the three months spent in Marine Corps Boot Camp.
Now don’t get me wrong; those three months was no cakewalk:
So, it came as no surprise to me that I graduated from boot camp with confidence, resilience, and a 20 lb lighter body. However, what did come as a complete surprise to me is that the habits that I developed during boot camp would become the catalyst for the healthier lifestyle that I have today.
While I certainly don’t maintain the strict regiment I had during boot camp of waking up at “zero dark thirty” to exercise or going to bed EVERY night at 9 pm, there are a few habits that I have maintained that have been critical in helping me have more energy in the morning.
That’s why, in this blog post, I’m sharing five simple habits that will help you have more energy in the morning without relying on caffeine (or a drill instructor) to get you moving!
Habit #1: Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Years before I would read about the fantastic health benefits of developing better sleep habits in Shawn Steven’s book, Sleep Smarter, boot camp helped me gain a severe appreciation for a consistent bedtime routine. Whether we realize it or not, we are continually draining our tank during the day. Having a bedtime routine that helps you power down at night, is vital for refilling the tank while you sleep.
Energy Tip: Implement a nightly routine that helps you wind down before you head to bed. Whether that’s reading a book or catching up with your spouse, having that time to power down is going to help you wake up with a full charge.
Habit #2: Get Some Headspace
While I certainly wasn’t meditating when I was in boot camp, I did discover how relaxing silence can be. Since my brain is continuously turned on, I look to guided meditation as a way to quiet my mind. I know from firsthand experience that finding headspace during the day is an essential self-care strategy that has helped me overcome burnout. So, if you find yourself always thinking about the next project, the next promotion, or the next vacation, it might be time that you got some headspace so you can start living in the present.
Energy Tip: Implementing a morning routine that begins with at least 5-minutes of meditation (I highly recommend the Headspace App), journaling (I love the Five Minute Journal), or scripture reading (I prefer the NIV Study Bible). This will help you start the day feeling refreshed. Trust me - you’ll thank me later!
Habit #3: Stay Hydrated
I was never the one to walk around with water before the Marine Corps. Now it's rare to find me without a water bottle somewhere in my near vicinity. Staying hydrated is not only crucial for your health, but it’s my secret weapon for quick energy. So, that’s why when I wake up the first thing I grab in the morning (after my glasses) is a glass of water. In my opinion, water is the most essential macronutrient, and we all could stand to have some more 'water dates' during the day.
Energy Tip: Start every morning and finish every evening with a glass of water. To stay continually hydrated during the day I regularly recommend that you drink at least ½ your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water per day.
Habit #4: Get Morning Movement
Even though I certainly don’t exercise the way I did when I was in my 20’s I do make sure that I make time for morning movement. Notice that the key word here was “movement” and not just exercise. Although I firmly believe in the critical need for strength training, I hate that the narrative around fitness often ignores the importance of all forms of movement. Whether you're doing a 35-minute HIIT workout or a 30-minute power walk with your dog, the key is to get your body moving in the morning.
Energy Tip: If your time and energy are limited in the morning, I recommend performing low impact movement. One of my favorite low impact movements is the Energizing Morning Flow from the Daily Yoga. The app has both free and paid exercises. Whether you're a non-yogi, like me a seasoned Pro, you should be easily able to find a workout that fits your level.
Habit #5: Eat a Balanced Breakfast
I will say right now that I don’t think breakfast is the “most important” meal of the day. However, I do believe that what you choose to “break your fast” with, can impact the meals that you choose to eat during the day. That said, creating a perfectly balanced meal requires focusing on getting the right macronutrients, in the right portions onto your plate. What that might look like for me is about a palm of scrambled eggs, a fist of sauteed spinach, a cupped hand of roasted sweet potatoes, and a thumb of avocado. I might even add some tea and a glass of water to the side. Plus, to add some flavor to my dish, I might mix in some sauteed onions and garlic along with some fresh herbs. Not only do I have a flavorful dish, but I have one full of vitamins and minerals that are going to give me the much needed morning energy boost to get me through the day.
Energy Tip: If you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, one of the things I highly recommend is prep ahead meals. Check out this excellent blog from Sweet Pea and Saffron for 21 Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes!
There you have it, five simple habits that will transform your energy! Even if you apply just ONE of these habits today, yes I said TODAY, you’re going to wake up tomorrow feeling like a completely different human being.
Affiliate Disclosure: A Fitness Mindset is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Download this FREE recipe guide for quick, energy boosting snacks that you can easily prepare and take anywhere!