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3 ways to improve your health as soon as you wake up

Senior Wellness | Jul 09, 2015

As a retired individual, you may not have to spring out of bed to catch the morning train or skip breakfast in order to get to work on time. Why not use your free mornings to create activities and routines that can improve your overall health and happiness?

"Older adults should engage in regular physical activity."

Exercise in the Morning
After a long night's sleep, you can prevent stiffness by beginning your day with a low impact workout. When you wake up, start by sitting up in your bed and doing a few neck rotations. You should check for stiff joints by slowly rolling your shoulders, wrists and ankles. Fitness instructor Joan Pagano posted an online video demonstrating limber exercises seniors can do as soon as they rise in the morning.

After light stretches, you can continue with a full exercise routine. Older adults should engage in regular physical activity. A morning workout will reinforce consistency and provide you energy and flexibility for the rest of the day. Healthline listed a variety of short exercise plans for seniors; you may select the one that best suits your needs and schedule.

A morning walk is another wonderful part of a morning routine. Walking is great exercise and it will allow you to experience the beautiful new day. You can take a stroll at the end of your morning activities or do it before breakfast to work up an appetite.

A healthy breakfast
You've probably heard the saying, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." The United States Department of Agriculture advises adults 65 and older to enjoy a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, dairy and plenty of proteins and grains. Breakfast is a meal offering all of these options and it can be a substantial part of your daily nutrition.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein. If you are watching your cholesterol, you can opt for an egg white omelet made with vegetables and low fat cheeses. Oatmeal and cereals provide grains and they may be flavored with fresh fruits. Compliment your main course with a healthy beverage like orange juice or nonfat milk.

The SF Gate healthy eating blog recommended trying smoothies to combine food groups into a convenient breakfast option. Smoothies are often made with dairy products and fruits, but you can add some vegetables like spinach and kale to get the greens you need.

Top your oatmeal with fresh fruit.Top your oatmeal with fresh fruit.

Mental engagement
Why not enjoy a crossword or Sudoku puzzle while eating your breakfast? Brain exercises should be another part of your daily routine and research suggests morning is the best time to engage in mental stimulation.

Baycrest Health Sciences sponsored a study showing older adults are at their mental best earlier in the day. Seniors are less distracted in the morning and able to give greater focus to mental tasks. If you have a mentally demanding chore such as doing your taxes or balancing your checkbook, save the heavy calculations for the morning.

On days when you don't have specific tasks, try a brain puzzle or memory games online to get your mind going. Success at early morning tasks will improve your self-confidence and encourage you to continue participating in mentally stimulating activities throughout the day.