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Doing these 8 things in the morning can transform your health

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Rise, shine and transform

Is your morning rushed and crazy? It's time to say enough is enough to unhealthy morning routines. Instead, transform your mornings and your health with these eight easy doctor-approved habits.

Dr. Molly Maloof is the Senior Staff Physician for wellness company GeneSolve, a body chemistry company focused on health optimization and quality of life. She suggests these eight morning habits for a complete wellness overhaul. They're easier to implement than you might imagine.

1. Don't hit snooze

The snooze button calls with a siren song every morning, but do your best to ignore it. "When your alarm goes off, just get up," says Maloof. "If you're having trouble waking up, try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier or switch to a light-based alarm clock." Getting started on time can set the whole mood for your morning.

2. Start with a drink of water

Nothing says morning quite like cotton mouth, right? "You likely wake up slightly dehydrated," explains Maloof, "and even just half a glass of water will quickly hydrate you for a sense of well-being." If water isn't your thing, try adding a squirt of fruit juice for a refreshing beverage that cuts through dry mouth.

3. Optimize your caffeine intake

Use caffeine to your advantage by drinking it between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. According to Maloof, these are the hours when caffeine is the most effective for an energy boost. "Avoid adding sugar," she suggests. "Not only will this reduce your overall sugar intake, it can also reduce the amount of coffee or tea you drink. When you pour the third cup, you may be craving sugar more than caffeine."

4. Make the most of morning exercise

Good for you for waking up early to exercise. Now, make the most of it. "Maintain a consistent routine and use your time on the best, most efficient exercises." Consistency is the key for achieving results from your workout routine. Dr. Maloof's favorite exercise recommendations for time-strapped clients include high-intensity interval training for cardio, kettle bells for resistance and Ashtanga Yoga for flexibility.

5. Eat breakfast

You're not doing your figure any favors by forgoing the most important meal of the day. "Skipping breakfast can seriously hamper your metabolism and make you eat more in the late morning when you're absolutely starving for lunch," said Maloof. Instead, start with a high-protein, low-sugar breakfast for steady morning energy.

6. Brush effectively

It's absolutely essential to brush for a full two minutes every morning. As Maloof explains, healthy oral hygiene is linked to overall health, so 10 seconds of brushing just isn't going to cut it. If you hate brushing, you might consider buying an electric toothbrush. She suggests two minutes of brushing with high-quality products, like ARM & HAMMER™ Truly Radiant™ toothpaste and ARM & HAMMER™ Spinbrush™ Truly Radiant™ Deep Clean toothbrush.

7. Plan your day wisely

I know how much better I feel when I create a to-do list at the beginning of the day. Turns out, the act of careful planning in the morning is a great stress killer for everyone. "Look at your calendar and mentally prepare for whatever the day holds for you, including setting three small goals," says Maloof. "This can support your body's production of serotonin, which is your brain's source of order, calm and hope."

8. Snack smart

Snacking isn't bad for you, you just have to know how to do it wisely. Maloof suggests a mid-morning snack of fruit and nuts for sustainable energy that will prevent sugar crashes, binging and eventual weight gain. "Nuts contain the healthy fats that can sustain satiety throughout the day," she concludes.

This post is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™.

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