Four Healthy Habits for Your Morning Routine

There is a common saying that goes “morning intentions are the best intentions” which means the purpose of your morning is the best and most important purpose or goal of your day.  How you start your morning has a huge influence on how the rest of your day will play out. I’m not just talking about the classic “eat a good, healthy breakfast” or “make sure you get plenty of sleep” although those do serve a good purpose.  I’m talking about how purposefully you wake up every morning and start your day. What habits do you have? What actions do you take? How do you feel in the morning? All things that have an impact on our mind, body, and attitude.  

In this weeks blog, I will be sharing four helpful habits for your morning routine to hopefully improve your physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual health.

Healthy Habit #1: A glass of hot water or green tea with lemon

First thing you should do when you wake up in the morning is to get a mug of hot water or tea with a wedge of lemon in it.  Doing this right away in the morning kicks off your day being hydrated which is very important all throughout the day. It also is a great source of vitamins, specifically vitamin C, and nutrients if you add green tea.  The hot water and lemon also kick starts your metabolism which is good for digestion and calorie burn all day.

Healthy Habit #2: Meditation/Prayer/Yoga

Many people underestimate the power of reflection, mindfulness and gratitude.  Whether you choose to lead a spiritual life or not, creating time for yourself at the beginning of the day to focus on your thoughts and awareness of your body is very important.  Some suggestions to do this would be listening to motivational, inspirational, spiritual podcasts in the morning as you’re getting ready for your day. Another may be putting on some instrumental music and taking 15 minutes to meditate.  One other may be coming to 6:30am group fitness yoga on Wednesdays during the week. You don’t have to try all of them, or do it every single day but slowly integrating something into your morning to be intentional about your body and mind is very influential. 

Healthy Habit #3: Positive self-affirmations

You might be reading this and thinking, really, Ashley?  This is so not for me. And sure, it might not be, but don’t knock it till you try it!  In a world where so many things suck the life out of you like work, school, family, friends, media, etc. it’s important to feed positive energy back into your brain and body.  Writing or saying allowed positive self affirmations is one great way to do that. Being appreciative of yourself, your body, your mind, and feeding yourself “good vibes” is food for your soul. Check out the link at the end for some affirmation ideas!

Healthy Habit #4: Not being on your phone when you wake up in the morning

When you wake up in the morning, what is your immediate, unconscious reaction?  It’s to check your phone, right? You pick up your phone and check your unread messages, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  to see what you missed in the last 5-8 hours of sleep. To better start your morning, instead of waking up each day worrying what the world is bringing you rather think about what you want to bring to the world.   

I hope you enjoyed these four healthy habits for your morning routine!  If you ever try out any of these remedies make sure to tag @warhawkfitness!

As always, stay fit, stay healthy, stay beautiful, Warhawks!

Talk soon, 

Ashley Borowski

Check out more information here:

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-of-lemon-water#hydration

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-you-shouldnt-check-your-phone-first-thing-in-the-morning-2016-5

https://theblissfulmind.com/2018/10/07/positive-affirmations-list/

Pedal Power

“4…3…2…1, LETS GO”, “There’s a reason you came through those doors”, “This is a challenge by choice”, “Let’s go, push yourself. You can do this!” and many more are just some of the inspirational and motivating quotes you will hear when attending a group fitness cycling class in the University Fitness studio. The group fitness instructors (in general too) that teach cycling are amazing! They motivate you to do YOUR best and help you achieve your mile goal, calorie goal, and anything else that you set for yourself. This class is deigned to push yourself to your limit for your cardiovascular fitness. Each class you attend can be with different instructors as well as different fitness/workout plans that are already set up and created for you. This is a high intensity class that was everyone to walk out those doors feeling better than before.

            For myself, I started going to cycling for the first time this year when the indoor ironman started in order for me to get a good chunk of my miles in. When I first started going, I would get around 12 miles to then an average of 15 miles. My most recent class, I earned 21.6 miles. I really enjoy going to cycling because of the motivation the instructors send out, the upbeat and motivating music, and the fact that each cycling class I have been too has different techniques, styles, and lessons to get miles in. Each class and instructor make the class so different and so much fun that I will continue to go to cycling even after the indoor ironman is over.

            Group indoor cycling is located in the University Fitness Center in the basement of Wells hall. A water bottle is required to come to class, and it is recommended to bring a sweat towel to wipe away all the hard work. You can call and guarantee yourself a bike at (262)-472-1260. If coming to cycling, it is recommended to get there around 5-10 minutes prior to the class starting to check in and get ready for the class. There are three one-hour cycling classes a week along with two forty-five-minute cycling classes a week. Cycling is offered every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 5:30pm as well as Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30pm for forty-five minutes. If you want an awesome, challenging and motivating workout, this is the class for you! Below is the group fitness schedule link and the group fitness cycling class description with a mini video, so check those out! Group fitness is challenge by choice, so make the choice and come to group indoor cycling!

Emma O’Connor

Start Strong, Finish Stronger

https://www.uww.edu/groupfitness#Classes

https://www.uww.edu/groupfitness#Classes#cycling

You Are What You Eat!

Food! Everyone loves food.  It not only tastes good but it’s also good for our body as it is the driver of your day.  Food provides you with carbohydrates, nutrients, and many more things so your body can turn it into fuel to help you successfully get through the day.  However, your biggest pleasure in food may also be your greatest weakness.  

The term “you are what you eat” has been a classic saying for years on end.  It’s something parents would tell their kids to indirectly convince them to eat better and/or choose healthier food choices.  And like most parents, still to this day, they are right.

Food and nutrition is so important for keeping your body young, active and healthy.  In today’s world where every food choice seems to be processed, deep fried, covered in sugar, or battered with bread or cheese (especially living in Wisconsin), it’s hard to differ good from bad and right from wrong.  It’s especially difficult to flip or change your eating habits after so many years of doing the same thing or even trying to choose healthy food options while on a budget (because it’s so fun being a broke college student).  

Many people are caught up in these dieting programs or are just completely lost on where to start when looking to begin a healthier lifestyle.  Well, here’s how to make it super simple: eat less calories than you burn on a daily basis. That simple. Less in, more out. I know what you’re probably thinking… okay Ashley, but how do I do that successfully?  Here’s how:

  1. Work out at best for an average of an hour/day or at least a few times a week.  Make half the workout high intensity or low intensity cardio to somehow break a sweat to burn calories faster and the other half strength based.  Like Shawn-T always says, “time to sweat, people!”
  2. When grocery shopping for food for the week, plan out your meals in advance so 1) You don’t waste food.  2) You don’t waste money and buy more than you need. And 3) This way you are already making healthy decisions for food so you’re not aimlessly wandering in the store, tempted by all the good looking snacks. 
  3. KEY point: Fill your grocery cart AND your meal plate with at least half fruits and vegetables.  Raw, perishable food is always going to be the freshest and best for you. The more packaged or long lasting it is, generally the worse it is for you.  It is also extremely important to check nutrition facts/labels to see what percentages of nutrients are in the food and what type of ingredients they are using.  
  4. Always start with fresh fruit and vegetables at the beginning of every meal so you fill up on the most natural and nutritious foods for you.  If you don’t like raw vegetables, cook them in a certain way so you do. If you only like salads with fruit and/or veggies, then make a salad before every meal.  Make options that work in your favor!
  5. Eat smaller portions by starting with smaller bowls and plates.  This prevents you from overeating and tricks your brain into thinking you’re getting a lot of food since the plate is full but in reality, it’s just a smaller portion size.  If you feel like you need more, you really don’t. It’s all about mind power and training your brain to be satisfied with what you already have.

Throughout the week, I will be sharing some other helpful tips and information about food and nutrition so stay tuned for more.

Suggested links to read:

As always, stay fit, stay healthy, stay beautiful Warhakws!

Talk soon, 

Ashley Borowski


No Nicotine November

            Looking for some motivation and reasons to help you quit smoking or vaping? This blog contains a variety of reasons why individuals like yourself should put the cigarettes out and throw the JUUL in the junk! Many individuals use vaping products such JUUL, dab-pen, pods, E-cigarettes and more because they believe it is safer and healthier than actual cigarettes. However, those products contain both nicotine or THC with chemicals which can do the exact same amount of harm or far worse to your body and lungs. Every November is national Lung cancer awareness month and this November, I am encouraging and helping students and individuals who need that little push to get all the nicotine products out of their life for good. Below, you will find some interesting facts from John Hopkins Medicine article about the ugly truth regarding vaping and smoking.

  1. Vaping is still bad for your health- its primary agent is nicotine that is used in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes. It is very addictive and can cause a huge withdrawal.
  2. Vaping has unknown chemicals in it- E-cigarettes heat the nicotine and the flavoring to create the vapor you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes have around 7,000 chemicals, which many of are highly toxic, so who knows how many are in e-cigarettes.
  3.  Electronic Cigarettes Are Just as Addictive as Traditional Ones. Both the e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which researchers are gathering and suggest that it  may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine usage. Many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product because you can buy extra-strength cartridges that have a higher concentration of nicotine. In addition, users can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater hit of the substance cause them to have a higher intake of nicotine.
  4. Smoking leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. If you are looking to quit cigarettes, don’t use any vaping products to stop the usage. It will only make things harder, more addictive and cause more health problems.
  5. A New Generation Is Getting Hooked on Nicotine at such a young age. Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. E-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900%, and 40% of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco. There are three possible reasons why e-cigarettes may be particularly enticing to young people. The first, many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes. And third, vape cartridges are often formulated with flavorings that appeal to younger users.

Everyone has some sort of addiction, this one just happens to be more serious. Vaping and smoking can cause serious health problems because the users don’t know exactly what they are putting into their body. It may look fun and cool to vape especially if you are around people who do it. This November, I encourage and challenge all of you to take a stance and reduce your smoking intake to help make an impactful decision of never lighting up or “takin a hit” again! Your lungs and health will thank you one day!

Emma O’Connor

Start Strong, Finish Stronger