Brighten Your Day

February 05, 2021
Person laying in bed, snoozing their alarm clock on the nightstand

Written By: Diamond Perez Andino, MUSC Exercise Science Intern, Spring 2021 

It’s 2021! A new year with new beginnings for all of us! At least that is what we wish we could say. Even after 2020 has ended, it still brings its shortcomings into the new year. With all the negativity surrounding our everyday lives, it’s easy to lose track of yourself. Stuck in the mundane cycle of life, keeping the motivation to exercise regularly and eat healthily is last on the to-do list. Especially if the task doesn’t take 15 minutes or less to do or make. It’s time to change that! Too much convenience can cause sedentarism, leading to depression, anxiety, obesity, and heart disease. Each cause leads to another, and no one wants to be trapped in a loop of sickness. Because isolation is the key to better health in these challenging times. Changing your daily routine can help improve your overall well-being.

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Do you grab your phone and search social media until you fall asleep again? How long do you sleep? 11am? Noon? Or do you have a family and have to tend to their needs before your own? In this case, the early bird gets the worm. 

  • EXERCISE! If you beat the sun or wake up with it, start your day off with a good workout. I have found it best to prep for the beginning of your day like you have to go the work or school. Some people aren’t morning people. The idea of getting up ready to exercise is excellent, but the task isn’t. In the evening prior, lay out your workout gear and exercise routine. Decide what you will do and for how long, and make sure to hydrate the day before. Staying hydrated helps to prevent muscle fatigue and increase aerobic and anaerobic performance. Switch up your workout routine every morning to challenge your body and ease your mind. Weather permitting, go for a run outside, and alternate between exercises if you are up for a challenge. Do high knees for one block and jump squats with resistance bands for another. Use light weights to add resistance and bring your dog with you dog if you have one. Being outside reduces stress, and sunlight boosts serotonin in the brain which gives you plenty of energy and positivity. Mix that with a good workout, and you will start your day feeling great! If you are not an outdoors person, open the blinds, let in some sunshine, and do your own workouts. Try one of the MUSC Wellness Center virtual classes or class recordings. There are a variety of classes that will keep you motivated and hold you accountable! (email condonwm@musc.edu to request classes).
  • EAT BREAKFAST! Now let us talk about breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most people miss this meal because of their busy schedules. After a good morning workout, you need to replenish all the sugars, carbs, and diminished proteins to recover the muscles correctly. Eggs are a good source of protein, and sweet potatoes are an excellent source for a naturally sweet carbohydrate. My personal favorite is baked sweet potato stuffed with scrambled eggs, black beans, spinach, and onions. It’s both tasty and filling; pair it with freshly juiced fruit and veggies of your choosing. Suppose you are a coffee lover like myself. In that case, there are different ways to enjoy your cup without the addition of too much sugar. If black is your preferred cup, try mixing it with freshly juiced grapefruit, pineapple, or blueberry. For sweeteners, add honey or agave. If you prefer creamer, go for almond milk or whatever your preferred milk is. Try to avoid store-bought sugary creamer. If you must have French vanilla or pumpkin spice flavors, just buy the extract, and mix them into your milk or coffee. You will get the same taste without the extra artificial ingredients.

These are just a few tips on how to change your morning routine. Proper nutrition and exercise are the best things you can do for yourself. Cultivate your surroundings by staying focused, motivated, and positive. Start off the day on the right foot and keep that energy throughout your days. And remember that the Wellness Center opens early in the morning - come over and get your exercise!