Awake & Alive
How to Wake Up in the Morning

The 6 Healthiest Ways to Wake Up in 10 Minutes or Less

How you spend the first 10 minutes of your day sets the tone for the other 23 hours and 50 minutes. Use these six simple steps to wake up faster, get going, and put your mind and body in the right place. If you do, mornings no longer will be the bane of your existence, but instead the key to your success.

“EEHH! EEHH! EEHH! EEHH!” The alarm goes off, you roll over and begrudgingly hit snooze. You close your eyes for a futile five more minutes of non-sleep. Let’s face it, mornings suck! Well they used to for me until I started doing these six things to help wake me up, get me going, and put my mind and body in the right place to have a positive and productive day. Mornings will no longer be the bane of your existence but instead the key to your success.

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How to Effectively Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day

1. Don’t Hit Snooze!

How to Wake Up in the Morning

When you hit the snooze button it only prolongs the inevitable; that you have to get up. Don’t put this off. If you typically set your alarm so that you can catch 10-20 minutes of extra wink after the first alarm, just get up then and use those next 10-20 minutes to get the most out of your day.

When you hit snooze over and over you just keep falling back into a drowsy state and will be groggy and fuzzy the rest of the day. The healthiest thing to do is set the alarm (or ideally wake with the sunrise I keep my curtains drawn back and am up with the twilight normally) and when it goes off put your feet on the floor.

2. Make Your Bed!

I actually stole this one from my wife. She said she read a study that said you’re 90% more productive throughout your day if you make your bed in the morning. Now she could have just said that shit to get me to make the bed and it act a placebo effect with me getting more done.

However, I tell you the truth when I say it absolutely jump starts my morning when I make the bed. I get so much more done in the mornings on days that I make it than days I don’t, which is pretty much all of them at this point that I make the bed. Getting off to a productive start is extremely healthy.

3. Brush Your Teeth!

How to Wake Up in the Morning

A clean fresh mouth is the ultimate signal for a brand new day. Also there is something about brushing your teeth that wakes you up. Did you know that competitors in the Iditarod (the longest sled dog race in the world) brush their teeth when they feel tired? Why, because it wakes them up. Also it doesn’t get much healthier than dental hygiene. Several studies have linked good dental hygiene with a reduced risk of heart disease. Lastly, morning breath aka dragon mouth is gross and you sure as hell aren’t going to feel like the best version of yourself with a stank mouth.

4. MOVE!

Just as a dog or cat wakes from a nap and stretches about for a bit you need to move your body first thing in the morning. One guy I really look up to in the fitness industry is Max Shank; Max has this daily challenge of drinking a big ass glass of water and then doing five minutes of moving every morning.

Guess what? It works. Just a little stretching, a bit of wiggling and a touch of mobility work every day adds up quickly and makes a huge impact on your day. I can’t think of anything healthier for you to do in the first 10 minutes of your day then intentionally moving for a little bit. Shake off the gunk, loosen up the junk and just MOVE! (Also slam a glass of water).

5. Get Some Coffee or Tea (if that’s your thing)!

I think it is almost ritualistic for most to have a cup of coffee in the morning. By all means don’t take that out of your routine if that is the one thing I have mentioned that you already do. Personally I only drink coffee a few times a week and enjoy tea more in the winter, but if you need a hit of caffeine or you just enjoy your coffee in the morning then go right ahead.

A little stimulus is good for the brain. There is more positive research in favor of coffee and tea than negative press. I think that the process of brewing a warm beverage in the early morning and sipping it quietly is very therapeutic and helps me gather my thoughts. It give me a moment of stillness amongst the chaos of being a father or two boys and a business owner. Each sip, is just about the sip; nothing more. If you do drink coffee or tea spend the little bit extra for the good stuff. Be healthy. Be happy. Enjoy a morning beverage.

6. Go Outside!

How to Wake Up in the Morning

I am extremely fortunate to have and en suite porch off the master bedroom. However I have been going outside first thing in the morning since I was a teenager and perhaps even before then. I am not talking about going for a walk or putting in yard work, or even some cosmic connection with nature. I am talking about taking a minute or two to step out your front door, your side door, or your back door to take a few breaths of fresh air. Use this time to sip your coffee from step four.

Take a survey of the weather, what clothes do you need for today. Listen for a minute…what do you hear? Again this is a deliberate moment for mental clarity. The healthiest days are those that begin with a clear mind and an able body. Each morning I step outside for a few minutes, usually I have my coffee in hand (if I have coffee that day) and I do some simple movement and mobility sequences to shake off the night. The fresh air charges me up and makes me feel awesome.

It doesn’t take much to take your morning routine from boring and arduous to healthy and productive. Follow these simple steps for a healthier start to the first 10 minutes of your day and set yourself up for success and positivity throughout your day.

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the owner of Asylum Fitness in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a Movement and Strength Coach that uses unconventional tools and methods to make his students a little better with each practice. His main focus is movement, he believes, “We were born to move. Reclaim your birthright.” He encourages his students and all those he meets to just play, similarly to when you were a kid, believing that play is the foundation of movement and movement is life. “By learning to move better and improving our mobility, everything falls into place.” he says. Mark is an Outdoor Fitness Enthusiast, is well versed in corrective exercises, and currently holds a level 1 FMS (Functional Movement Screen), and is a MovNat level 2 certified trainer and is always seeking to learn from the best. He also has a background in track and field, martial arts, ballroom dance, and currently is practicing parkour.

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