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5 Health Mistakes You're Making Before 9 a.m.

Simple changes to your routine can improve weight, energy and stress levels

The Five Health Mistakes You Are Making Before 9 a.m.

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Checking your cellphone can add to your stress levels in the morning.

Getting the right start to your day is about much more than being extra productive at work; it could also benefit your health. Here are five mistakes you might be making every morning.

Before Getting Out of Bed

Mistake 1: Rushing to rise 

While some of us want to jump up and attack the day full throttle, a more leisurely approach may be better for your body. By getting out of bed immediately you could strain your back muscles, which have been resting in one place all night, Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, told the Huffington Post. Before rising, he suggests, bring your knees (one at a time) to your chest to warm up the muscles and get your blood flowing. 

Mistake 2: Grabbing your cellphone

When you roll over and grab your cellphone first thing in the morning, you may be adding to your stress levels by reminding yourself of deadlines and unanswered emails before you have even stepped out of bed. "When we wake up in the morning and turn our phone over to see a list of notifications — it frames the experience of 'waking up in the morning' around a menu of 'all the things I’ve missed since yesterday,'" Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist for Google, wrote for the online platform Medium. Additionally, a Future Work Centre survey of nearly 2,000 people in the U.K. found that email notifications are linked to higher feelings of anxiety.

During Your Morning Routine

Mistake 3: Staying in the dark 

It can be tempting to leave the blinds drawn and keep your cozy nighttime cocoon for as long as possible. But researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine found in a 2014 study that early morning natural light exposure is associated with lower body fat. This is possibly due to a reset of our body's circadian rhythm, which could boost metabolism. A quick walk outdoors is ideal, but if you're pressed for time, at least open your shades to stream in the morning sun. 

Mistake 4: Skipping a glass of water

You’ve been sleeping all night and your body may have become dehydrated, so it is important to refuel with a serving of water first thing. Staying hydrated also helps to aid digestion and metabolism, Angela Lemond, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told USA Today recently. "It also helps with moving the lower bowels for regularity in the mornings," she says.

Before Leaving the House

Mistake 5: Skipping breakfast

Consuming more calories earlier in the day may reduce the odds of a heart attack, stroke or other circulatory system problems, according to the American Heart Association. And don’t forget to include proteins with every meal, including breakfast, as they are linked to having less body fat and other health benefits. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs are all good sources of breakfast protein.

Bonus tip

Try to avoid hitting that snooze alarm. While we slumber, our brain runs through five stages of sleep that last 90 minutes each. When you fall asleep after hitting the snooze button, "you're setting yourself up for another sleep cycle that you have no chance of finishing," Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of Arizona's Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, told Business Insider. Instead, set your alarm for the actual time you need to get up so that you are not disrupting your sleep rhythms.