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Want a better morning wake up?

Good morn’n, good smorn’n…is this the way you’re feeling this fine morning? Do you have a bad case of the Monday’s? Do you have a case of the Monday’s every day of the week?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please read on. The following tips about how to get more spark and pep in your mornings are taken from one my favourite magazines – Real Simple. I know what you’re thinking – how can a science girl use a magazine for health tips? Because magazines (good magazines) can actually offer truthful, well-researched, and useful advice on basic fitness, health, and beauty.  

1. Let in the sun. Getting some brilliant rays in your peepers tells the brain to stop producing melatonin (your sleep hormone). In addition to amping up the sunlight, start stretching your limbs. This will help to raise your body temperature and increases blood flow to your groggy brain.

2. Look at something you love (a picture, a flower, etc.). Apparently, morning time = survival mode for us animals (yes, we are animals people). In the morning, we are driven to meet the basic needs of hunger and thirst and this indicates to the body that we are under threat. This can really sap our energy. Some say that having an object that elicits a positive emotion will help to combat the morning time fight- or flight-response (try it out and let me know if it works).

3. Get your running pants on.  A morning workout elicits endorphins which will help boost your energy levels and focus. If you haven’t already, pick up the book Spark. One of the chapters of this book talks about a school district in the US that has all (I believe) students engage in exercise prior to school. The district now ranks 6th and 7th in math and science on an international scale. All in all, exercise is good brain food and will help you get out of your morning stupor.

4. Scent your shower. Apparently, using products with eucalyptus, citrus or mint will get your neurons firing. While I am not 100% certain about the validity of this claim (further research is required), I do know that you’ll sure smell nice.

5. Eat a colourful breakfast. You should be piling your plate with 80% colourful, unprocessed foods. Real Simple provides some suggestions for both the sweet- and savory-tooth. For sweet, have whole-grain French toast with strawberries and maple syrup (um, yum) OR a smoothie with blue-berries, orange juice, and a scoop of protein powder. For savory, have a whole-grain tortilla  with scrambled eggs or black beans, sliced avocado, sliced tomato, salsa or fresh cilantro (um, yum).

Here’s to better mornings (clink of glasses – no, I am not drinking a mimosa alone, but how I wish I was).   

M

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