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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Six simple ways to optimize your mornings
Ideas for starting the day off on a high note
 
Published Monday, January 6, 2014
by Family Features

Even the most chipper of morning people can sometimes wake up groggy and tired. And if their children wake up feeling the exact same way, mornings can definitely drag. There are, however, little things you can do - from scheduling exercise at optimal times, to packing protein into breakfast, to planning daily goals - that will make a big difference. 

The following tips will help put that zing in your family's step.  

Wake up and work out: Do you start your morning with a healthy dose of exercise? The time you begin your workout matters more than you may think. A study shows that those who work out before eating in the morning burned approximately 20 percent more than those who wait until after breakfast. 

Rev up your metabolism: Allow a little extra time in your morning to rev up your metabolism. A short, 20 minute weight lifting session can get your blood pumping and help you burn calories throughout the day. Of course, if you're busy managing the kids in the morning, you can still increase your metabolism just by adding more protein to your morning meal while making sure it's low in calories and carbs. 

Make time for breakfast: Never skip breakfast - not only will that deplete your energy, but it can also negatively impact your health. In fact, recent studies show that those who opt out of breakfast time are at a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack. The same study also finds that those who eat breakfast are likely to be healthier eaters overall. This is especially important for children as they develop habits over time. So, help them establish a healthy breakfast habit early. If time is an issue, make breakfast a priority (and a convenience) by filling your pantry with quick, healthy and low-fat options. 

Create a checklist: Think of your entire day as a series of small goals and write them down in the morning or the night before. Then cross out tasks as you complete them. Not only will you reduce stress from having a better visual of your family's day, you will feel more productive as you progress through your list. 

Shake up the morning: Get out that blender and toss in healthy foods. Breakfast smoothies and shakes are a fast way to get the essential nutrients to jumpstart your day. Plus, they're easy to pour, and they're mobile - throw in a straw and sip while you walk. Recruit your children to help, and let them have fun mixing up their own tasty creation with fresh fruit like pineapple, banana and blueberries. Amp up your shake with nutritious additions, such as chia seeds, granola or natural peanut butter.

Pause: Before you leave the house, take one minute to breathe and give thanks. Feel good you ate breakfast and warmed up your body with exercise. And don't forget to take your to-do list with you. You never know what opportunities the day will inspire.  

 

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