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10 Morning Rituals That’ll Energize And Keep You Productive All Day Long

10 Morning Rituals That’ll Energize And Keep You Productive All Day Long

Early morning hours have a special quality to them. They are quiet, peaceful and scenic—the perfect time to spell out your intentions for the day and set the stage for a truly fruitful day ahead.

Establishing thoughtful morning rituals can ensure you start each day on the right footing, feeling centered, purposeful and productive.

If you are ready to jazz up your mornings, we’ve got some refreshing rituals you can incorporate into your morning routine to energize and keep you productive all day long. Enjoy.

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1. Read an inspirational quote or passage of the day

Keep a stash of your favorite inspirational quotes, literary passages, bible verses or life truths on hand, and read a few of them first thing in the morning. Positive writings have a powerful effect. They’ll remind you of the values you want to live by and get you started on a bright note. You’ll feel lighter, happier and more inspired just by reflecting on an inspirational word early in the morning.

2. Meditate for 5 minutes, at least

Meditation is about keeping focus on one thing such as the rhythm of your breathing or sound of the ocean and blocking out any other distractions. It has been proven to bring so many benefits, including reducing stress, increasing focus, boosting memory, enhancing creativity, and strengthening a sense of inner peace. So meditate for five short minutes, at least. It can have a big impact on your life.

3. Take deep breaths, smile and thank the sun for rising

This ritual is about being aware and acknowledging the many blessings that we so often take for granted, such as the rising of the sun. It’s about taking a moment to remind yourself of the gift of life and the beauty of the natural physical world, including plants, animals and landscapes. If you are a religious person, this is also a great opportunity to count the blessing in your own life and thank God for them.

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4. Write a gratitude journal

Don’t just say you are grateful for the blessing in your life. Write it down in a gratitude journal. Writing has a soothing, calming effect on the mind. It reassures your brain that you have recorded the blessings in a permanent place, and it can now safely move on to other things. Simply write out three things you are grateful for. Be specific and use details. For example, rather than simply writing, “I love my kids,” list something special and quirky the kids did recently that you love. It doesn’t have to take long.

5. Review your goals

Once your mind is free to focus on other things, sit down and review your goals. We all have specific things we want to accomplish in life, whether big or small. The morning hours are a great time to review them and see how far along you are in accomplishing what you set out for. This ritual can help you stay on track on your goals and allow you to make necessary adjustments to fulfill your deepest desires in life.

6. Drink a glass of lemon water

Pour water into a glass. Add a few drops of lemon juice, stir and drink. A glass of lemon water in the morning will freshen your breath, help you shake off any residual sluggishness from the night before, inject a healthy dose of vitamins into your body, reduce the feeling of hunger and aid your digestive system. It’s a refreshing and energizing way to start your day.

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7. Do 7 minutes of simple yoga exercises

Just seven minutes, not 10, of yoga exercises in the morning can bring many benefits. Seven minutes is short enough that it won’t discourage you before you even start or disrupt the rest of your morning routine. The benefits you’ll get include keeping fit, increasing your lung capacity, lowering your risk of heart disease, easing anxiety and getting you out of your head for a while. A superb routine!

8. Drink an antioxidant smoothie

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’re not disputing that. But, why not try a delicious smoothie at day break and see how you like it? A healthy juicing requires little time to prepare. Just blend your fruity ingredients together (for about a minute) and you are ready. Make it as thick or smooth as you want by adding or subtracting water, and then enjoy your smoothie. It tastes great and will provide essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs in a simple and tasty form.

9. Chew some mint gum

Chewing mint-flavored gum can do more than just freshen your breath. It can also increase your mental alertness and help with cognitive function. Moreover, mint is a natural stimulant that can temporarily quicken some vital processes in your body. It can arouse you into action and have you roaring and ready to go.

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10. Rock out to your favorite song

Music has a big influence on our moods and how we interpret the world. Everyone knows what it feels like to find that perfect song that gets you in the right mood. That’s exactly what you’ll want to aim for when picking and playing your favorite song(s) in the morning. Mind everyone in the vicinity, but don’t be afraid to let loose and have a good time. You’ll lift your spirits and be happy you did it throughout the day.

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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