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What I Do Every Day: Morning Routine

A regimented morning routine can make or break your entire day. This is how I structure mine.

I wake up at 5:30 each morning. This generally means I get about seven and a half hours of sleep. You should structure your bedtime and wake up to allow for seven to eight hours of sleep. I go to bed around 9:30 so this works out.

The first thing I do when I wake up is head out the door with my tiny friend so he can take care of business.

Joey loves to sleep, eat and receive pets.

Then it’s up to the kitchen where I fire down some Athletic Greens. For a long time I wasn’t a fan of these sorts of green drinks because I never really felt any difference and if anything they tended to irritate my stomach. After reading enough positive reviews on this stuff I decided to give it a try. I’ve never had any stomach issues with it and it actually seems to be improving some ongoing minor issues I had. I do also feel like it helps to jump start my day.

Next up it’s time for the Wim Hof Method. This is a series of breathing exercises, stretches and cold water exposure. That’s right, I finish it up by jumping into a cold shower. The whole process takes me about thirty minutes. Keep in mind that this stuff is all an investment in your long term health and wellness. Context is important when it comes to carving thirty minutes out of my day, and this context keeps me on track with my WHM practice. I’ve been doing this since April and it has made a tremendous difference in my fitness and well being. If someone tried to stop me from doing it I would probably fight them. I would also want to know what they were doing in my house at 5:30 in the morning.

My morning Wim Hof routine with assistance from Joey.

It is worth noting that I don’t turn on any screens for the first hour that I’m up. Once I finish my WHM practice and start making breakfast I’ll take the phone out of airplane mode to process the sleep data from my Whoop Band. If you’re not familiar with it you can read my review here. Analyzing this data lets me know how I should structure my training day.

I then spray on a bunch of magnesium oil to help with recovery and let it dry while I’m cooking breakfast. There are a number of different types on the market by I like Mahler’s recovery oil. I notice when I don’t use it.

Next I’m cooking my breakfast and here’s the key point: Eating it in isolation. I’m not staring at a phone or watching tv. I’m being mindful about this practice of nourishing my body, taking the time to chew my food and reflect on what I have ahead of me. I want to have a higher parasympathetic tone when I’m eating so that I will have better digestion and nutrient absorption. If you’re watching the news or scrolling Facebook there is a good chance you’re already up-regulating your sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system.

Don’t be the stress eater.

Ideally your mealtimes should be contemplative breaks during the day, not opportunities to bombard yourself with more stress and potentially throw away a good chunk of the nutrients you’re trying to absorb. Ideally we should also be capable of being alone with our own thoughts, and not feel that we constantly need to be distracted.

I’d like to wrap this up by pointing out that this is what I do, but obviously it isn’t what you have to do. I just think it’s a good idea to have a morning routine that involves some movement or exercise and a self-care practice.

Next up we’ll look at how I structure my training and recovery.

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