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How to create a better morning and evening routine

In the last year our world has changed beyond what we could have imagined and it can be tempting to allow our daily routines to become more relaxed, or even to do away with them all together.

But routines can help reduce stress, promote self-care, improve sleep, and help us build meaningful activities into our lives.

So if you need some morning motivation, want to be more productive in the day, or just want to get a better night’s sleep, read on.

Plan ahead

Make sure you have as few decisions to make as possible when you wake up.

Simply laying out your clothes and getting your lunch box ready the night before means your morning routine will be much less hectic.

Put your phone away!

Don’t sleep next to your alarm clock. Put it just out of reach so that you are forced to get up to turn it off. Also try and avoid spending time endlessly scrolling through emails, news and social media as soon as you wake up. Starting the day without this clutter leads to a focused, intentional and distraction-free mindset.

Skip the snooze

The allure of a few extra few minutes of sleep can be tempting – but resist the urge. You’re not going to feel any more rested from an extra five or ten minutes of sleep – in fact, it can make you feel even groggier as you’re continually disrupting your sleep cycle. Commit to waking up on the first alert and your body will thank you later.

Get dressed

Working from home means it’s easy to spend the whole day in your pyjamas or jogging bottoms, but the best way to get yourself into work mode and ready for the day ahead is to have a shower and get dressed – just as you would if you were heading to the office.

Exercise early

Starting your day off with exercise isn’t only a good way to make sure that we don’t put it off, it’s also a great way of boosting our energy levels.

Whether it’s a simple home yoga routine, walking the dog, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, or going for a jog around the block, find something that is right for you and stick to it. Regular activity like this will energise the body and the mind.

WW has a personalised, flexible plan to help you fit wellness into your daily routine (https://www.weightwatchers.com/uk/move-more ). FitPoints 2.0 has gone beyond counting steps, distance and workout time – it’s smarter and more personalised, taking into account your age, gender, height and weight. Choose activities you like to do and earn more FitPoints for strength training or higher-intensity activities like running or HIIT training. Perfect for those who are short on time!

Eat right

Give yourself the energy you need to take on the day with a hearty breakfast.

If you drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, you will also replenish the fluid your body lost in the night and feel refreshed. It’s a super easy way to wake your body.

You could also consider introducing a sleep-inducing drink into your bedtime routine. Drinks that help you sleep include warm milk with honey and herbal teas like chamomile.

WW have partnered with Headspace, a global leader in meditation and mindfulness, to provide content that has been curated specifically for their members (https://www.weightwatchers.com/uk/headspace). They’re designed to be short and simple to fit into a busy schedule.

Optimise your sleep schedule

Taking control of your daily sleep schedule is a powerful step toward getting better sleep.

WW’s sleep tracker (https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/blog/sleep/sync-sleep-tracking-device) helps monitor your sleep patterns so you can see what’s working – and what’s not – giving you the power to make healthy changes.

Pick a wake-up time and stick with it, even at the weekend when you could be tempted to sleep in.

Meditate

Incorporating a meditation practice into your morning doesn’t have to involve sitting cross-legged on the floor with candles burning and whale sounds. Try taking a few deep breaths and being completely focused while you wait for the kettle to boil, or try mindfully brushing your teeth. It’s amazing how much of a difference spending just three to four minutes unplugged from the outside world makes.

Try a breathing exercise

Using this breathing technique at bedtime will help calm the mind and reset the nervous system.

1. Lie in a comfortable position.

2. Breathe into your belly through your nose for a count of five seconds.

3. Hold your breath for a count of five.

4. Exhale for a count of five.

5. Hold your breath for a count of five.

6. Repeat this pattern for at least five minutes or until you feel fully calm.

Get all the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss and wellness goals for the year with WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) Their award-winning programme and app offers a holistic and personalised approach, putting everything you need for success in the palm of your hand. Learn more here >>

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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm ITV