Benefits of Waking Up Early

 

For many of us, getting up early in the morning is not exactly the easiest thing to do, especially if you are a night owl like me. When your alarm goes off, you feel like that additional hour of sleep will go a long way. But when you consider some of the benefits of waking up early, you might just decide that the extra time in the morning is worth it.

The positive benefits seen from starting your day earlier can stretch across your health, productivity, and mindset. In fact, it can be a life changer. Let’s take a look at some of the ways getting up early is a great idea.

 

A Fantastic Start to Your Day

There’s no arguing the fact that it feels much better to start your day calm and well rested. By waking up early, you give yourself the time to get all your morning activities done with no rush. The extra time in the morning will allow you to shake off the AM grogginess and ease into the start of your day.

You can mediate, pray, write in a gratitude journal, make breakfast, get yourself ready for work, get the kids ready for school, and follow your morning routine without feeling as if you are in a hurry. Which means less yelling, scrambling, forgetting, and stumbling to get it all done.

Imagine turning into work grumpy and scruffy because of how many tasks you had to fit into such little time. But if you wake up early, you’ll be calm and ready to take on the day with no stress.

 

Better Mood

Starting your day off in a more leisurely pace will definitely lift your mood. But did you know early risers are happier than night owls? It’s true! A University of Toronto study showed morning people actually report higher levels of happiness. Wouldn’t you rather start the day in a good mood? I’d say that’s something worth waking up early for. Plus, there is something really special about watching the sun come up.

Being on Time

You know those days when you barely make it by the skin of your teeth to work, daycare, school or the gym? Or even worse, those days when you’re flat out late? Waking up early each day gives you more time to ease into your day. When you start at a calmer pace and when you’re not rushing, you’re less likely to forget something. And you’ll have enough time to get to where you need to be when you’re supposed to be there.

This is actually better for your health because less stress = healthier adrenals. If your body is constantly in fight-or-flight mode because you’re  rushing around like a headless chicken, you are setting yourself up for adrenal stress. Take a breath. Take your time!

 

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

We’ve heard it many times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As an early bird, you have all the time to put together a healthy breakfast meal, unlike the late risers who grab whatever is most convenient, healthy or not, gobble it up as quickly as possible or on the run, or skip the meal altogether (gasp!)

Skipping breakfast can be the gateway to unhealthy eating habits, UNLESS you are doing it on purpose for intermittent fasting which CAN be a health option if done correctly. We aren’t talking about that here though, and you can’t just skip breakfast and call it intermittent fasting. It doesn’t work that way. 🙂  When you don’t fuel your body well, by 10am, you start to feel hungry, and suddenly those chips and doughnuts in the break room stop feeling like a bad idea. If this is your norm, over time, it could lead to serious health issues.

 

Time to Exercise

One of the most common excuses people give for skipping out on exercising is, “I don’t have time.” Consider this: you will never have time if you don’t consciously create it. By waking up early, you have the time to squeeze in a morning workout session.

For many, mornings are the best time to work out because it leaves you energized, more focused, and in a much better mood for the day ahead. According to the Harvard Medical School’s journal, exercise triggers your brain to release a chemical which boosts brain function. Hence, you feel more motivated and productive after a morning workout.

Here are some of our favorite exercises, and stay tuned for some easy morning stretching routines later this week.

 

Increased Productivity

If you struggle to get things done during the day, waking up early not only gives you more time to get things done, but it also makes you more productive. In the early hours, your mental capacity is higher, and you’re more focused.  So, it’s the ideal time to get things done. While the rest of the world is still in bed, you are already getting a head start on the day.

In the morning, you can focus on essential tasks without distractions – no noise from neighbors, loud office mates, or crying kids. Besides, the brain is usually more active in the mornings. You can make decisions more clearly and complete tasks much quicker.

 

Early Riser or Night Owl?

As Tim Ferriss of the best-selling book 4-Hour Work Week  says, “Win the morning, win the day.” Now that you know the benefits of waking up early, maybe it’s time to consider becoming an early riser.

I might have even convinced myself! 😉

 

Do you like to get up early or sleep in? Share in the comments.

 

BONUS RECIPE

Maca Morning Motivator Smoothie

Maca, which is found in the high Andes mountains of central Peru, has been touted as a superfood for its multiple health benefits. It’s been eaten as a medicinal plant for over 3,000 years to boost libido, strength, and stress. Today I’m sharing with you my Maca Morning Motivator Smoothie recipe which takes advantage of one other benefit maca provides – increased energy.

 

What is Maca?

The maca plant is a cruciferous vegetable known scientifically as Lepidium Meyenii. It contains 133% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C as well as other nutrients such as vitamin B6, manganese, copper, potassium, and iron.

One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder contains 4 grams of protein and only 20 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat. It also contains bioactive plant compounds like polyphenols.

The powder form can provide stable energy without the jitters you get with caffeine. It has a slightly sweet, nutty, and earthy taste, which makes it ideal for smoothies or blended drinks.

Aside from this smoothie recipe, I like to enjoy it in iced coffee and lattes, but it also works well in baked goods, energy bars, and oatmeal.

 

Where can you get it?

You can find maca powder in your local health food store in the supplements section and through online retailers. If you’re new to maca, consult your doctor to see if it’s right for you, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have thyroid problems. Also, start with a small amount, such as half a teaspoon to see how your body reacts to it.

 

Blending Tip

If you find your blender doesn’t give you that smooth consistency you want, make sure you add the liquid to the blender first. Doing this allows the blender to pull down the ice and other ingredients into a “vortex” for a better, smoother blend.

For easy cleanup, fill your blender with about a cup of water and a few drops of dish detergent. Cover and blend. The action will easily scrub bits off the inside of the carafe. Empty the contents, give it a good rinse, and enjoy the time you saved with this quick cleanup tip.

Personally, I love my BlendTec blender.

 

Easy Swaps

If you have nut allergies or dislike the taste of almond milk, you can substitute with coconut milk.

Want to skip the vanilla protein powder but still want some sweetness? Try substituting a banana, two pitted Medjool dates or a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

Storage

I highly doubt you’ll have any leftover, but if you want to whip up a big batch in advance, it will keep well in the fridge for a day or two. Store it in the blender carafe so you can easily remix it just before serving.

Alternatively, pour individual servings into mason jars and shake well before drinking. Mason jars also make it super easy to travel with or take to work.

 

Maca Morning Motivator Smoothie

This maca smoothie is rich and chocolatey but packed with superfoods to give you a boost of energy to kickstart your day.

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 1 minute

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup plain unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
  • 1-2 scoops SP Complete Vanilla or Veg-E Pro Complete Vanilla protein powder (Standard Process)
  • 1 tablespoon Maca powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Mix until desired consistency.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon or cacao powder on top.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

If you’ve tried one of my recipes, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Shared it on social media? I would love to see it! Tag your post with #RealLifeOutlawBlog, so I can find it.

 

Be Well & Thrive!

With Love & In Health,

Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN

  • For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We offer Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you!

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/main/newsitems/morning-people-happierhttps://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/regular-exercise-releases-brain-chemicals-key-for-memory-concentration-and-mental-sharpness
  2. https://www.inc.com/laura-garnett/the-best-place-to-work-for-reduced-stress-increased-productivity-hint-its-available-to-everyone.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184420/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322511.php
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-maca-root
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612000436

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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