Practicing Two Healthy Habits by 8AM: What Are Yours?
If you sleep past 8AM feel free to adjust the title to your circadian rhythm. Most days by 8AM I have practiced a number of habits to preserve my health now in my late 50s before arriving at my preventive cardiology clinic. These habits usually include expressing a few moments of gratitude and prayer while still in bed before touching my phone, a pratice of a yoga flow and cardio/weight routine, a big glass of warm water (followed by my only cup of black coffee of the day) and often skipping breakfast on purpose to extend my hours of fasting. I also use personal products such as toothpaste free of added endocrine disruptors like triclosan and take a handful of vitamins to support my vegan diet (D3, B12, EPA/DHA, K2).
I posted the question on Facebook recently asking what my friends had done that day by 8AM that they considered health habits and the response was robust and interesting. The one that made me chuckle was “took Excedrin for a hangover and smoked a cigar”. Knowing who posted it, it was likely true. The rest were genuine attempts to be healthy in a world overloaded with opportunities to err. Here are some of the responses to ponder.
1) Prayers, yoga, vegan breakfast (yes, that is 3. An exuberant first responder)
2) 16 oz. of water and climbed 4 flights of stairs
3) Climbed a mountain and expressed gratitude (a friend in Korea)
4) Flossed, had fruit for breakfast
5) Dry brushed (if you do both legs that may count as 2)
6) 16 oz. water and a banana
7) Fasted (OK, again 1)
8) Garlic clove in raw honey
8) Walked and ate oats with lentils and vegetables
9) Slept in!
10) Walked 250 steps so far
11) Plank and pushups then oatmeal
12) Big glass of water with apple cider vinegar and meditated
13) Drank lemon water and flossed
14) Yoga and ate an apple
15) Fasted and no alcohol
16) Cardio workout and 30 oz. water
17) Ate an avocado and hug a dog
18) Green juice and breath work
19) Green smoothie and a walk
20) Yoga and a green smoothie
21) Took vitamins and used an infrared sauna
22) Tai Chi and meditated
23) Meditated and walked in nature
24) Yoga and a cup of tea
25) Meditated and laughed
26) Walked in the rain and ate greens
I guess by 8AM attending a Pilates class, a Barre class, boxing and a massage are unlikely and this list is practical for most. Although skipping breakfast has been in the news lately raising questions over whether it is healthy, dissecting the study indicates it was largely unhealthy Spaniards eating dinner late at night that skipped breakfast, not those pursuing an overall holistic life plan. Furthermore, an even more recent scientific study supports just 2 meals a day as a plan for most. Do you get in 2 health habits by 8AM on most days? Or 3, 4 or even 5? Starting each day with this goal in mind might just set the intention for the rest of the day as one filled with health pursuits. What are your favorite morning rituals to focus on your future health? The seeds you plant now will bloom fully in the months and years ahead.