Setting the right mindset: From waking up to sleeping

First of all, congratulations to those of youI who bounce out of bed each morning with joy and rapture in your heart – you’re a morning person! Starting your day with a positive attitude can influence how the rest of your day goes; while some people find this easier than others, but with consistency & practice, everyone too can achieve a common liking to the mornings! The Fit Loco offers advice on setting the right mindset!

Undoubtedly, there are some of you, who are puzzled about adopting a positive morning routine. But fret not, The Fit Loco has some interesting tips and fun facts to share with all of you on how to set the right mindset, from the moment you open your eyes till the day your day ends. So, let’s start with a few useful tips to go about in your daily lives…

1. Start each day with a positive thought

Think of something good that has happened to you, anything small counts too! Most noteworthy things to take as examples such as how a stranger was polite to you at the coffee shop; the time when your neighbour who held the lift for you; how someone offered you a seat in the commute, etc. Be grateful for every little good that has happened to you and focus on manifesting positive thoughts when you wake up. In this way, more good will follow through out your day as the Law of Attraction (Click to read up more on this concept) explains: ‘What you think starts a vibration that influences how you feel, impacts what you attract, and creates your reality’. Therefore choose your thoughts wisely.

2. Light stretching exercises in bed

Light stretching exercises first thing when you wake up can improve blood circulation & improve your mood. So if you’re struggling to get out of bed, try these 5 simple stretches to get your blood & heart rate flowing:

Overhead Stretch

Extend your arms over your head, feeling your body stretch from your toes to your fingertips. Take 3 to 4 deep, relaxing breaths.

Knee to chest stretch

Bring 1 knee to your chest, keeping the other leg bent. Do not raise your head or tense your neck. Take 3 to 4 deep, relaxing breaths, feeling the stretch in your buttocks and lower back. Repeat with the opposite knee.

Hamstring Stretch

Grasp 1 leg and pull it towards you, then straighten it as far as comfortable. Keep the other leg flat or bent on the bed. Take 3 to 4 deep, relaxing breaths, feeling your hamstring lengthen. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Knees to chest

Bring both knees to your chest and gently grasp your legs. Do not raise your head or tense your neck. Take 3 to 4 deep, relaxing breaths, feeling the stretch in your buttocks and lower back.

Knee rolls

Slowly roll your knees to 1 side, keeping them together and ensuring both shoulders remain in contact with the bed at all times. Take 3 to 4 deep, relaxing breaths, feeling the stretch in your lower back. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Take a cold shower in the morning

More often than not, we enjoy a warm shower as cold showers can be a little shocking & discomforting to the body. However, on the contrary, cold showers have proven to have 12 main scientifically-proven benefits:
1) It promotes fat loss
2) Improving immune system
3) Gives better blood circulation
4) Drains lymphatic system
5) Promotes emotional resilience
6) Lowers stress
7) Lowers chances of depression
8) Increases testosterone levels
9) Improves fertility
10) Promotes faster muscle recovery
11) Enhances skin & hair
12) Ensures better sleep at night
Read more on the health benefits of cold showers here.

4. Have a glass of Orange Juice

The first thing you consume in your belly can affect your mood too! When you wake up, your gastric juices are accumulated in your body from your night’s sleep. We recommend a glass of Orange Juice to jolt the system!

If you can feel your optimism flagging, run to the fridge and pour yourself some OJ for a boost of energy! Orange juice is known to be high in natural sugars. They are also high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, both of which have been found lacking in patients who suffer from depression. Fun fact: Colour psychologists have also said that the colour orange is associated with optimism, which promotes focus, concentration & increase of energy.

5. Practice breathing exercises

Pausing for a moment from your daily life by closing your eyes & focusing on your breathing allows you to create a space of awareness for yourself & the things around you. It helps to open your mind & boundaries and creating positive vibrations. Whether we realise it or not, most of us take short, shallow breaths into their chest. This can make you feel anxious and zap your energy.

With this technique, you’ll learn how to take bigger breaths, all the way into your belly:
– Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees. Or you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair. Close your eyes.
– Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
– Breathe out through your nose.
– Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
– As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that’s on your chest.
– Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.

Practicing ‘Deep Rhythmic Breathing’ relaxes your mind, reduces anxiety & decreases stress. It also increases your energy as you allow more oxygen to circulate in your body.

5. Skip the elevator or lift & climb the stairs

Stair climbing can be accumulated across the course of the day, making a significant contribution to the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity. A simple physical activity as such can help you build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.

It has been said to have a significantly lower risk of mortality when climbing more than 55 flights per week. Stair climbing requires about 8 – 11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other moderate level physical activities. Climbing 2 flights of stairs per day can lead to 2.8kg weight loss over the period of a year!

Make changes in your daily life now; whether its in a mall, going to work or walking to your doorstep… Choose the stairs!

6. Drinking 2 litres of water per day

By now, we all know that water is essential for human survival. 2 litres of water per day which is also equivalent to 8 full glasses of water a day can benefit our body & state of mind. Here are 10 benefits of drinking the adequate amount per day:

1. Water helps weight loss, staying hydrated helps break down fat cells.
2. Water is good for the skin as a natural wrinkle-buster. Dehydrated skin causes wrinkles to show more obviously.
3. Water stops heachaches & dizziness.
4. Water clears your skin – water flushes toxins.
5. Water can fight infections.
6. It keeps you regular bowel movements.
7. It improves concentration – Our brain is made up of 85% water; being dehydrated can affect your focus & short-term memory.
8. It boosts your energy – Muscles are 75% water, bones 22%, blood 83%. Having enough intake of water helps to boost your energy & get your body working the right way!
9. It supports your heart – When you are dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker & your heart has to work harder.
10. Water helps you exercise better by replenishing water loss through perspiration.

7. Sleeping on your right side

Did you know? Your sleeping position can affect your health & the quality of your sleep too. “Turkish researchers found that people who tend to sleep on their right side have mellower dreams, with themes of relief, joy, peace, and love,” said wellness expert Corrie Pikul on HuffingtonPost.com. “They also report feeling better rested and less dysfunctional during waking hours.” 

Interesting health benefits of Side sleeping: It increases the efficiency and activity of the glymphatic system. What does it mean? – During the day, your brain creates & builds up waste proteins that can clog the tiny interstitial spaces in the brain. While you sleep, the glymphatic system removes these toxic proteins. The cleansing process causes brain cells to shrink, which opens those tiny spaces so spinal fluid can flush through. This system works 24 hours a day, but it’s 90 percent more active while you’re asleep. Sleeping on your side can help this drastically, for a better well-rested sleep & waking up with a fresh mind!

Another fun fact & to be really accurate, sleeping on your right side has proven to also decrease the risk of acid reflux, snoring, and it’s best for the heart.

Why? Lying on the right side creates more space in the chest cavity and reduces pressure on the heart muscles. It has also been proven to benefit the sympathetic nervous system. That’s the part of your nervous system that controls your fight or flight response. That also means it influences your heart rate and blood pressure. The pressure relief of right-side sleeping regulates blood flow, which stabilizes the heart rate and blood pressure. Whether you’re suffering from a heart condition or not, a stable heart rate and blood pressure can help you sleep and improve overall health.

In other words, train your body to sleep on the right side for better sleep & long-term health benefits!

WEEKLY GUIDE

The above mentioned tips should be applied gradually and naturally. Now that you’ve learnt the important fundamentals of starting your day positively & having a better quality of health, The Fit Loco would like to share with you a guide on setting the right mindset, increasing the challenge week by week. Follow these steps for 1 month & see the changes! (Feel free to set more milestones if you find that our plan is too easy for you!)

Week 1

– Wake up 15 minutes earlier than the usual time you wake up.
– Practice 30 seconds of deep breathing.
– Do light stretches in bed for 1 minute.
– Have a glass of water & start with a warm shower & turn the water to moderately cold!
– Have a glass of orange juice.
– Choose to walk flights of stairs instead of using the lift or elevator at work, home, everywhere.
– Aim to sleep before 11.30pm, & reduce the use of your phones or laptop before bed.
– Play calming music & lie on your right side & fall to sleep!

Do this daily for 7 days!

Week 2

– Wake up 30 minutes earlier than the usual time you wake up.
– Practice 1 minute of deep breathing & manifest positive thoughts.
– Do light stretches in bed for 2 minutes.
– Get out of bed & practice 5 minutes of bodyweight exercises. (Click here to learn some simple home work out exercises.)
– Have a glass of water & head for a moderately cold shower!
– Have glass of orange juice & some nuts. (Click here to see the top 9 healthy nuts of choice)
– Increase your pace as you climb flights of stairs whenever available!
– Aim to sleep before 11pm & practice 2 minutes of deep breathing exercises before bed.
– Same as the previous week, lie on your right side to sleep.

Do this daily for 7 days!

Week 3

– Wake up 45 minutes earlier than the usual time you wake up.
– Practice 2 minutes of deep breathing & manifest positive thoughts.
– Do light stretches in bed for 3 minutes.
– Find a pen & paper & list down your short-term goals for the month. Be sure to keep track of your progress & always remind yourself to stay on the right track.
– Get out of bed & do bodyweight exercises for 10 minutes. Increase the intensity of your work outs by trying these new workouts.
– Have a glass of water & head for a cold shower!
– Learn to prepare a healthy breakfast with a glass of orange juice on the side. (Click here to learn some recipes)
– Aim to sleep before 10.30pm & practice 5 minutes of deep breathing exercises before bed.
– Same as the previous week, lie on your right side to sleep.

Do this daily for 7 days!

Week 4

– Wake up 1 hour earlier than the usual time.
– Practice 5 minutes of deep breathing, eyes closed & meditate, manifest positive thoughts.
– Do light stretches in bed for 5 minutes.
– Find a pen & paper & list down your long-term goals!
– Continue with bodyweight exercises but for 20 minutes this week! (Click here to see the workouts to apply.)
– Have a glass of water & head for a cold shower!
– Learn to prepare a healthy breakfast with a glass of orange juice on the side. (Click here to learn some recipes)
– Aim to sleep before 10pm & practice 5 minutes of deep breathing & 5 minutes of stretches before bed.
– Same as the previous week, lie on your right side to sleep.

Congrats! You’ve reached the optimum level of setting the right mindset daily! Repeat these steps daily and continue to challenge yourself by increasing the intensity of exercises!

There you go! – A simple 1-month plan on Setting the right mindset, from waking up to sleeping. Start hitting the gym too if you find that these exercises are no longer challenging enough for you. In order to maintain health & an active mind amidst our everyday busy lives, we must always remember to take some time off for self-care & self-awareness. Keeping a consistent lifestyle will inevitably benefit our body & mind in the long-run, so start now!

See more on Motivation…

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