Love it or hate it, morning time is inevitable, and taking advantage of the early bird hours before you head to work can hold the key to a healthy, happy and successful lifestyle. This common trait is found in some of the most influential early risers around the globe such as CEOs, government officials and world leaders who were known to get up before the crack of dawn. While most individuals think that they are at their best in the evening, a recent study concluded that people were more productive and energetic in the morning. The health benefits for morning revelers were also significant. The following are five productive activities successful individuals find to do before 8 a.m.
1. Exercise and Fitness
Exercising and keeping fit in the morning can pave the way for a successful and energized day ahead. Whether you work out at the gym, schedule a yoga session, bike ride, walk or run, a morning fitness routine can bring you a sense of accomplishment that carries over throughout your busy day. Tackling a mountain of paperwork is easier to do after starting your day with a couple of sets of push-ups. If the thought of a 5 a.m. wake-up call shocks your senses, try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and stretch or do a couple of reps of sit-ups. This can still prep you for your day ahead.
2. Implement a Plan
You can maximize your day’s potential by implementing a plan ahead of time. The morning is the ideal time to put things in motion and map out a schedule of your day’s events. In addition to it being peaceful and quiet, you’ll be more alert to schedule and prioritize the tasks that need to be dealt with. Make time for mental health breaks, especially after a grueling set of meetings. A walk around the block or brief meditation can be beneficial to managing your stress and relaxation. You should also set time aside to pack nutritious snacks for the following day.
3. Make Time for Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and rushing out the door with a cup of coffee and an empty stomach won’t keep you satisfied all morning. Instead of relying on the vending machines or food trucks, you need to fuel your body with healthy food, especially if you’ve just worked out. Breakfast can keep you satisfied and in top physical shape to take on the challenges at work. Sitting down to an early morning meal with the family can promote bonding and lift your spirits before you start your day.
4. Meditation and Visualization
So much importance is placed on a person’s physical health now-a-days. However, mental health is equally important and can alleviate stress and mental exhaustion. Positive visualization and meditation can be beneficial in the early morning hours, when it’s most quiet. Focusing on your goals and accomplishments can improve your outlook for the day ahead.
5. Schedule Your Least Favorite Task for Early in the Day
Everyone has at least one dreaded task on their schedule that looms over them throughout their day or week. After much procrastination and nagging, you may finally set your mind to accomplishing it. To save yourself stress and aggravation, you should schedule a time to deal with the unpleasantness early on. In addition to getting it out of the way in the begining part of the day, you’ll find that you have more energy and a sharper mind to contend with the annoyance in the early morning hours. This can then leave you in a more jovial mood to enjoy the rest of your work day.
Individuals over the age of 55 were the subjects of a new study and found that those who consumed an average glass of wine per day were found to be less clinically depressed than people who either drank more alcohol or those who didn’t drink any. This poses a direct contrast to earlier findings that concluded a correlation between alcohol and an increased risk of depression. Before you head to your favorite local restaurant for happy hour, you need to understand the risks involved and reasons behind the latest study.
Approximately 5,000 men and women of Spanish decent were followed, between the ages of 55 and 80 for approximately seven years. They were asked a series of questions periodically about their habits and lifestyle by way of questionnaire and physician visits. At the very start of the study, there were no reports of any of the individuals suffering from depression. By the culmination of the seven year period, it was found that over 443 people had shown signs of depression.
As it turned out, alcohol consumed in low to moderate levels were found to have a reduced risk of depression. For those who consumed between two and seven glasses of wine during the course of the week, they experienced the greatest benefit with only a third of the risk of depression. While it wasn’t dramatically reduced as the low to moderate groupings, moderate drinkers were proven to have a lower risk of depression. Lifestyle factors such as marital status, smoking, diet, exercise and age can influence the risk of depression, but the results held true.
If there is a connection, the effects of antioxidants in wine such as resveratrol could have a lot to do with it and provide protection similar to the way it does for those with heart disease. Many believe that heart disease and depression share similar mechanisms related to inflammation. The antioxidants in wine could prove helpful in repairing brain damage where the depression has occurred.
Previous studies concluded that hippocampal complex can play a key role in major bouts of depression. When the neuroprotection is applied, it can prevent individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis from showing signs of depression.
Social factors have nothing to with the content of wine, but they have been shown to affect depression. Individuals who indulge in a glass or two of wine may be doing so with friends or family members. People who enjoy a social setting surrounded by friends and loved ones can significantly reduce their risks of depression, and the studies could be influenced by this.
Another factor to keep in mind is the effects of alcohol and depression on each other. Hereditary, genes and environment are predisposed issues to both and could play a significant role in this equation. This could increase the chances of an individual experiencing the use of alcohol and depression.
Because of the above reasons, the findings should be taken with a grain of salt. The people involved in the study were taken from a restricted populace in the Spanish Mediterranean where nobody over the age of 55 had been showing signs of depression.
Looking for a single answer in this study is naïve and other variables need to be taken into consideration when looking for conclusions. Other factors come into play when determining the correlation of alcohol and depression such as the person’s health, mental wellness, type of alcohol and quantity. Moderation holds the key to happiness and enjoying an occasional glass of red wine for individuals who find it pleasing to the palate might benefit brain and heart health. However, for those who don’t have a fondness for the taste, you probably don’t want to pick up the habit because it carries a significant amount of risks.