What if a minor change to your mundane morning routine could improve your mood, productivity and focus, and give long-term health benefits?
Here is some advice from doctors and athletes that could take your morning to a whole new level.
6:00 am: Wake up at the right time during your sleep cycle
While most experts agree that we need about eight hours for a good night’s sleep, it’s actually very individual. Some of us need ten hours of sleep, whereas others will make do with six.
The important thing is to wake up at the right time.
When you sleep, your body cycles through different sleep stages. Light sleep starts when you begin to drift in and out of sleep and your body only needs a nudge to wake up. The deepest part of sleep is the hardest to wake up from.
You can use a common fitness tracker or an app like Sleep Cycle or SleepScore to monitor your sleep stages. Let’s say you need to wake up before 6:30 am, so you set the alarm between 6:00 am and 6:30 am and the alarm goes off when you are in light sleep mode during this time span.
This can make all the difference between waking up to a blaring siren or a gentle morning.
6:30 am: Work out before breakfast
Let’s be honest, if you’re not really a morning person, working out in the morning might be a hard habit to adopt. But setting aside 30 minutes before breakfast can help you get pumped for a new day.
Working out on an empty stomach helps your body burn excess fat, instead of just using energy gained during breakfast.
Early morning workouts also boost your energy levels for the day, improve blood circulation and help you get rid of unwanted kilos.
“It’s best to start with a 30-minute cardio session. Don’t try to reach high intensities at the beginning. You need to get used to this sort of training, so it’s very important to listen to your body carefully,” says Max Walter, CrossFit coach from Vienna.
“I wouldn’t recommend strength training, because your muscles need energy to refill the muscle cells as fast as possible. In case you prefer strength training, or you do not feel well during this form of training, it’s better to eat a banana (or at least something) before your training session. The results will be the same or even better.”
7:30 am: Apply this tooth-brushing trick
Responsible oral hygiene is not only essential for healthy teeth but also protects your heart and immune system. The minimum we should all be doing is brushing our teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush.
However, the real trick to great dental health is the interdental toothbrush. 80% of cavities and almost all inflammations in the mouth originate in the space between your teeth.
“In the 21st century, proper oral hygiene has to include interdental brushes,” says Ana Stevanović, Head of Education at Curaden.
“Proper daily practice includes taking the time to brush with a normal toothbrush, but also using interdental brushes, which are measured to fit our interdental spaces, once a day.”
The soft bristles of interdental brushes remove dental plaque much more effectively than waxed dental floss.
Flossing can also cut and damage your gums, and pave the way for infections and harmful bacteria to enter you bloodstream.
“Some would probably argue that flossing is better than nothing, but if our goal is to define ‘proper’ oral hygiene, interdental brushes have to become a standard in everyday practice,” adds Ana.
Have a good morning!
Illustrations by Barbora Idesová