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5 Morning Habits to Help You Feel Better All Over

Adding these habits into your A.M. routine can help you feel better all day.

1

When you think “morning routine” you probably think “Drag self to shower. Drag self to toothbrush. Drag self to coffee.” You also probably wake up at the last possible minute to get everything done. But adding a few other tasks to your morning to-do list can help you loosen up stiff joints, boost your mood, and get energized. Here are five to try:

1. Stretch for five minutes:

Stretching not only helps improve range of motion, but it also takes care of muscle stiffness and tension. Don’t worry about getting too complicated with your stretches. Even something simple like reaching your arms overhead can be helpful.

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2. Breathe deeply.

Deep breathing may improve mood and reduces stress levels, according to one study—and who doesn’t want to start the day feeling happier? To try it, breathe in slowly through your nose, letting your stomach expand as much as it can. Then exhale slowly through your nose or mouth.

3. Meditate:

Not only can meditation help you be more mindful and reduce anxiety, but it can also reduce sensitivity to pain, according to research from University of North Carolina. One of the most basic ways to meditate is to sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus your mind on your inhales and exhales. As your mind wanders (and it will!), just gently bring it back to your breathing.

4. Drink a glass of water:

Being dehydrated post-exercise can impact your mood and make it tough to concentrate, according to research from University of Connecticut. Since you haven’t had anything to drink since the previous evening, start the day off with a full glass of water.

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5. Get some food in your belly.

When you wake up, your blood sugar levels are low—and blood sugar is crucial for powering your body and brain. Make sure you have something to eat within two hours of waking up. Some good options for a balanced meal: fiber-filled carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, or whole grains), lean protein (eggs or yogurt) and healthy fat (almond butter, nuts, avocado, salmon).