Have you ever had an “aha moment” during training? Maybe the first time your mind muscle connection clicked to achieve an awesome lat spread? Or that time you caught the rhythm of a fast-paced footwork drill? I recently had one of these moments while working on my sprint starts during track & field training.
Turns out there’s a paradox to that explosive start sprinters are known for. When executed correctly, the first few steps in a 60m, 100m or 200m sprint don’t feel fast. They actually feel slow. But it’s those initial, deliberate strides that create the momentum needed for acceleration and speed through the rest of the race. That was an eye opener for me.
Likewise, I’ve learned that my optimal daily performance off the track is achieved with a methodical start to the day. Instead of waking up and speeding through the morning in a frenzy, I now focus on a few vital steps to set up my day: quiet time, nourishment and light movement.
I love the calm of the early morning before the sounds of family, phones and construction set in. This is my private time to express gratitude and reflect on the intentions of the day. Personally, I achieve this through prayer, but for others it may take the form of meditation, journalling, or another type of mindfulness practice.
Oh, how I look forward to my morning coffee! But before making that first hot cup of heaven, I take in a glass of water and a dose of liquid vitamin D. Hydrating and supplementing early in the day has quickly and easily become a habit that I know my body is better off for. Others may swear by apple cider vinegar, herbal tea or vitamin-rich smoothies for healthy morning consumption.
Once hydrated, supplemented and caffeinated, my body is ready to move. Walking my daughter to school provides a welcome half hour of light movement and fresh air, not to mention the quality time together. On weekends I may opt for a solo run by the lake. For some, an early morning yoga flow or sweat session may be what the body craves.
After consciously setting up my day in a healthy way, I’m ready to focus on productivity. Whether my to-do list consists of meetings, writing or training, I find I approach them with a clearer head, greater energy and more positive attitude having started slow and purposefully. Then between meals, Nutraphase Plant-based Protein and Clean Greens ‘n’ Berries are two of my favourite options to maintain energy and keep me on track throughout the day.
Are you a slow riser or do you get up and go? What healthy morning habits work best for you?