Coffee is good. Coffee is great. More than half of adults in the U.S. think so, drinking a cup of the stuff every day. The habit has been shown to lower the risk for diabetes, depression and some cancers.
While many of us count on a cup to wake us up in the morning, drinking coffee isn’t the only way to energize yourself for the day ahead. Whether you’re trying to cut back on your coffee consumption or have never been able to warm up to the beverage’s bitter taste, check out the 10 other things that can invigorate your sleepy mornings.
Try Some Uplifting Stretches
- “Fish pose” — lie flat on your back and bring your hands underneath your hips. Then, lift your chest above your shoulders and stretch your head back slowly. Fish pose is just one yogic move that stimulates the body
Chomp On An Apple
- Taking a bite of this energizing fruit is a delicious way to jolt your body into gear. Apples contain natural sugars and other carbohydrates that can help stabilize your blood sugar. Other fruits, like bananas and oranges, will do the same. Pair a fruit with a protein, like a serving of Greek yogurt, for sustained satiety.
Roll Out Of Bed And Work Out
- Heading outside for a morning run may be the last thing you want to do while comfy under warm covers, but lacing up your sneaks in the a.m. has been shown to boost your mood and energy levels. Exercise releases endorphins that’ll make you feel good and more prepared for the day. You don’t have to go on a five-mile run to reap these benefits. Try something like the seven-minute workout (which takes about the same amount of time it’d take to brew and drink a cup of coffee) and earn yourself a jolt.
Get Some Fresh Air And Sunlight
- If you’re really not down for a morning workout, consider going for a gentle stroll for your boost. The proverbial “breath of fresh air” has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and fatigue. Getting a dose of morning sun is linked with better mood and lower BMI — a double-win.
Take A Cold Shower
- Yes, it’s miserable (but you will get used to it if you turn it into a habit), but the instant change in temperature can actually relieve stress and make you feel more alert.
- If the idea is too much (or too cold) for you, start simple by splashing your face with some cool water. It’ll have similar stress-relieving powers.
Pour Yourself A Very Cold Glass Of Water
- Still feeling temperature shy? Compromise by drinking a cup of ice water first thing in the morning. Like the shower, it’ll trigger your adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain.
- If you enjoy the ritual of sipping something warm in the morning, swap your cup of coffee for tea. The drink still contains caffeine (though considerably less) for a little buzz, as well as many other benefits, including strengthening the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
- Chatting up anyone with whom you feel a close personal connection can help charge you up.
- But Mom may be best at it. She may have been the one to holler your name during the days you slept on a bunk bed, and she still might be the one to pull you from your groggy state. Research suggests merely phoning your dear mother could help decrease feelings of stress.
Give Yourself A Massage
- One study found that performing a little acupressure could assist in providing a bit of energy. As HuffPost reported in 2013:
- The study had volunteers stimulate five pressure points on the body for three minutes each: the top of the head, the point between your thumb and index finger, right below the center of the knee cap, below the ball of the foot and the base of your neck.
Make Morning Its Own Soundtrack
- Craft yourself an a.m. playlist packed with your favorite energizing tunes and listen to it while you’re getting ready in the morning. It’ll help jazz you up.