Science Tells Us the Best Possible Morning Routine

Our morning routines can be pretty set in stone if we are lucky enough to have a morning routine at all. Whether you’re a morning person or not, the way you start your day can have long-lasting impacts on your productivity and overall health. Here are some of the ways you can help improve your morning routine according to science!

1. Skip the morning shower

Young woman washing body in a shower in the morning light

The hot soapy water might actually be harming your body’s natural ecosystem. | iStock.com/Avesun

For many people, the first thing they do in the morning is hop right in the shower. I know it’s the only thing I can do before I feel like a human again. As it turns out, that might not be the best thing. Your skin and hair have a microbiome of different bacteria and germs and most of that bacteria is very beneficial to your health.

Over-showering can lead to the destruction of that delicate microbiome, and actually cause you to smell worse than if you had showered less frequently. Sure you may smell a little funny for a few days, but your body will naturally put it back in balance.

Next: How often you should be showering

2. Shower once or twice a week

Woman with long hair taking shower

Just a quick rinse for dirt and bed head should suffice. | CentralITAlliance/Getty Images

Showering once or twice a week is a good litmus to go by, but everyone is different. They have different microbiome systems, they have different hair types, and have less or more dry and oily skin than others. The point is that you have to kind of troubleshoot through what your body naturally needs. There isn’t a study that has been published, at least to our knowledge, that gives a comprehensive guide to how often one should shower. If you’re like me and get extremely bad bed head, just run some water through your hair and comb it out.

Next: It’s actually not the best part of waking up, Folgers.

3. Have your coffee, but wait a bit

White coffee cup in male hands

Keurig machines are a very modern convenience, but that could be a drawback on your bodies natural cycle. | iStock.com/Stevanovicigor

Coffee is pretty healthy for you overall, but the time of day you drink it can be counterproductive. As your body naturally wakes up, it starts to produce a natural hormone called cortisol. The peak hours your body has cortisol in it is between 8 and 9 am. This is your body’s natural caffeine.

Next: Here’s why drinking coffee is counterproductive — and it’s not what you think.

4. Drinking coffee is basically pointless early in the morning

A sad looking Coffee Cup

It’s a waste of time. | iStock.com/a_crotty

Cortisol is crucial to your bodies circadian rhythm. When cortisol is peaking, your body is at the highest level of alertness according to Stephen Miller who is a Ph.D. candidate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. So drinking the coffee actually doesn’t benefit you in any way and may actually be counteracting the cortisol in your system.

Next: It might be better to hit the ground running. … Literally.

5. Get a morning run in before you do anything

woman running on a wooden platform next to the sea.

You should still be focused on implementing a healthy lifestyle. | Lzf/iStock/Getty Images

That’s right, hit the alarm and put on your running shoes. Skip breakfast, skip the coffee, and skip the shower. It turns out that running in the morning on an empty stomach is great for the health of your body for the rest of the day. Running in the morning can drastically help you lose weight because the body is quicker to tap into the fat reserves. It also sets up a better metabolic rate throughout the day that helps with weight loss as well.

Getting out the door that early also helps your circadian rhythm by allowing you to bask in more sunlight. It has been shown that people who get more sunlight exposure throughout the day, are thinner, healthier, and happier. 

Next: BPMs matter.

6. The heart wants what the heart wants

Serious muscular bearded man in shorts and gray tee shirt

You just need to get that heartbeat up! | iStock.com/UberImages

So maybe running ain’t your thing. Exercise in any form first thing in the morning is still really helpful throughout your day. But the key one for longevity is aerobics. Anything that get’s the heart going helps your body with a myriad of issues that may be affecting you. Doctors suggest a minimum of 45 minutes a day of a good aerobic exercise can help with your mood and also prevent a decline in cognitive function over time.  By adding this to the first part of your day, that coffee might not be necessary to help you get into a good mood.

Next: You’ve been eating dessert for breakfast and that’s not helpful.

7. Avoid the typical American breakfast

Pastries on a plate with a cup of coffee next to it.

None of this is healthy, even though they are oh so good! | Robynmac/iStock/Getty Images

Americans are constantly on the move and often eat a “grab-and-go” style of breakfast: Muffins, pastries, donuts, cereal, etc. What you really want to be able to sustain you through to lunch is a breakfast that is full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Most other breakfasts are just laden with sugars and empty carbs that don’t help you at all.

Next: Maybe it’s not the most important meal of the day after all.

8. Skipping breakfast may actually help you lose weight

Young traveler businessman wearing white shirt and necktie making call

It’s actually a pretty effective means of dieting. | iStock.com/fizkes

It seems pretty counterintuitive to skip breakfast all together and be able to be more alert through the day. Studies suggest that there is some benefit to what’s called “intermittent fasting.” Some people will only eat in an eight-hour window during the day and eat whatever they want.

Outside of that window they just fast and only drink water. Studies have shown that it can be just as effective as any diet out there and may help reduce the risk of cancer and add to the longevity of your life. Just as a fair warning, however, it’s best to consult your doctor before starting a diet like this.

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