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Mission Accomplished: The Best Way to Start Your Day

By Martha Michael

Father and Daughter Morning Routine and Breakfast

“Good morning, Mr. Phelps” is probably not the first thing you hear each day, and it’s unlikely that you’ve ever had a tape self-destruct in your hands. You may, however, feel that changing your morning routine for the better is a mission impossible to complete.

If you could be a fly on the wall in other households, you’d see a variety of habits, and some would show higher levels of productivity on a consistent basis. What kinds of morning routines are most successful?

I Spy Food & Drinks

Marie Claire looked into the lives of famous individuals -- both modern and past -- to see what worked for them.

Queen Elizabeth II begins, of course, with English breakfast tea (milk, no sugar) and Marie biscuits. She then bathes, followed by a breakfast of cereal with Prince Phillip. She also reads the racing news (she likes the horses).

Author Jane Austen helped her family with breakfast, but not before rising early enough to play piano ahead of her sisters. At 10 a.m., she routinely began writing, but as a dutiful 18th century woman, she would hide her papers and start sewing if visitors stopped by her house.

Actress Jennifer Aniston wakes at 4:30 a.m., on workdays. She drinks hot water with lemon, washes her face with soap and water and spends 20 minutes in meditation. After a protein shake, she goes to her personal trainer and spends the next hour spinning and doing yoga. Then she goes to the gym; apparently, she’s serious friends with the exercise bug.

Ludwig van Beethoven couldn’t get through his morning without his java. Who among us can’t relate to that? Before spending hours writing some of the world’s most influential music at his desk, he counted out 60 beans of coffee to make it just right.

Whether you take your coffee black, blonde, or shaken -- not stirred -- your morning cup o’ joe may be a habit worth investigating further.

According to Time Magazine, it’s best to avoid drinking coffee first thing. Taking information from YouTube science channel “ASAP Science,” the writer says your body has a high level of cortisol when you get out of bed, and caffeine inhibits production of this naturally produced hormone. Cortisol’s role is to raise your blood sugar and affect moods such as stress. But when we sip our Venti Café Americano Double-Shot Au Lait, cortisol passes its duties on to caffeine, making you more reliant on the pick-me-up you get with coffee. In general, interfering with Mother Nature is often a bad idea.

“For health’s sake you need to hydrate with water, not just coffee,” says Mark Noar, MD., a Maryland endoscopic microsurgeon. Dr. Noar was one of six physicians who shared their opinions in Men’s Health about healthy morning routines.

I Spy Habits

The Men’s Health article includes examples of what the doctors themselves practice each morning, particularly the routines they think can maximize energy and set a positive tone. They suggest the following:

  • Do push-ups and sit-ups
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Stretch for 5-10 minutes
  • Take personal time
  • Have a good breakfast

It’s virtually unanimous that healthy habits on a daily basis are your best bet for long-term wellness. But your calendar should also include regularly scheduled visits to a healthcare professional to gain some feedback. A weekly visit to your chiropractor is one way to measure the effectiveness of your routine. Is it maintaining my health? Would changes improve my quality of life?

A preventive maintenance program enables your practitioner to get a baseline of your overall health, which means you can track your progress. It’s the best way to gain the lifetime benefits of proper spinal function often resulting in a healthier, more active lifestyle. Morning or otherwise, chiropractic care is worth working into your routine.

The one thing we’ve learned about mornings for the most successful individuals is they have deliberate, beneficial habits scheduled into their everyday lives. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find some semblance of structure that’s appropriate for your body and temperament, then make it a part of your lifestyle.

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