Starting your day the healthy way

How you start your day can influence your performance for the entire day, adopting a healthier morning routine can ensure that you operate efficiently.

By: Gregor Areseb
Main photo: @norcela_photography

A morning routine sets the tone for the entire day, and if you do each day right, you’ll do life right. Not only does a routine mean getting more done, but it also means you have the opportunity to make “free time” a priority.

Gregor is a personal trainer and running coach

Having a schedule means having control over your day from the moment you get up until the moment you go to bed. It means doing exactly what you want, focusing on yourself, and accomplishing all those goals.

Breakfast:
A healthy breakfast includes fibre, protein and healthy fat that gives you energy and makes you feel full.

Eggs – Studies have shown eating eggs at breakfast increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels.

Greek Yoghurt – A bowl of plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt topped with berries to increase the meal’s vitamin, mineral and fibre content is a great example of a healthy breakfast. Greek yogurt is high in protein, helps reduce appetite and may aid with weight loss. Certain types also contain beneficial probiotics.

Oats – Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucan fibre, which lowers cholesterol and increases feelings of fullness. It also contains antioxidants. To boost the protein content of an oatmeal breakfast, prepare it with milk instead of water or serve it with a side of eggs or a piece of cheese.

Protein shake – A protein shake or smoothie is a great high-protein breakfast choice that promotes fullness and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Several types of protein powder can be used, including whey, egg, soy, and pea protein – make it as interesting as you can by adding fruits or even spinach or nuts.

The Don’ts:
Year on year, research and development on the dos and don’ts of breakfast become increasingly more, but here are just a few:

Breakfast Cereals – Growing up eating tons of cereals, I have had many research findings and they all point to the notion that these cereals are highly processed and contain only a small amount of whole grains. Most breakfast cereals contain mostly refined (not whole) grains and sugar, and a high sugar intake may raise the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions

Fruit Juices – Drinking fruit juice early in the morning causes your blood sugar to rise very quickly because there’s no fat or fibre to slow down absorption. The resulting spike in insulin and drop in blood sugar can make you feel tired, shaky and hungry – even 100% fruit juice contains a lot of sugar. Consuming large amounts of fruit juice can have the same effects on your weight and health as drinking sweetened beverages.

Processed, Gluten-Free Breakfast Foods – Gluten-free packaged foods are made with flours that raise blood sugar, which may lead to elevated insulin, increased appetite and weight gain. They also lack protein and fibre, which contribute to fullness.

Toast with Margarine – The flour in most bread is refined, it provides you with few nutrients and little fibre. Most margarines contain Trans fats, which are the unhealthiest type of fat you can eat, therefore a combination of these possibly causes rebound hunger and increases your risk of weight gain and heart disease.

Gregor exercising

How to make the morning routine less tiresome: Do whatever you can the night before (make lunch, prepare breakfast ingredients, write the day’s agenda, choose clothes, unload the dishwasher, etc.) The more you do the night before, the more relaxing your morning can be – and the more time you’ll have for the stuff that really matter, “YOU”.

Simple exercises to try in the morning:
The basics have never failed anyone before, therefore I would suggest you do exercises that stimulate muscle activation, such as Jumping jacks, power squats, good mornings, planks, and stationery running. Do it to the rhythm of a song that you like to maximise those feel good hormones.

Add a playful twist to the exercises. Rough house with the kids, play with your dog, or stop by the park on your morning run and hit the swings. Also Include other people, like friends and family for motivation. I have people across the world who wake up at the same time as me and we share our daily routines with each other.

Remember to keep it simple and don’t try to be too fancy about it. Your goal is to wake up and start the day in the best condition and shape as possible, to endure whatever the day has in store for you.

kick-start meal recipe:
I normally take my breakfast at KAUAI, they offer a good variety of energy packed meals that boost my energy levels for a sustainable period. Alternatively,I would opt for Oatmeal with some honey or peanut butter, some banana pieces, or even my whey protein as a liquid base, with a large glass of water.

Gregor runs “Fit to Run” – a running club that helps promote running and good health. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance, as well as a level 1 personal trainer certification and is currently busy doing his exercise science certification through Trifocus Fitness Academy. Gregor is also a Boot camp instructor and owner of the brand called RUN, which he started about a year ago. He lives in Windhoek, Namibia.

You can follow Gregor on instagram: Gregorareseb

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