The way we start our day in the morning significantly influences how we spend the rest of the day. Everything starts with a healthy morning routine to be totally energized for the rest of the day, get things done, and be satisfied. In this article, I describe my powerful 3-part WWW routine, its benefits, and how you can simply apply it yourself.
The benefits of a healthy morning routine
A good routine is like a habit. It takes the thinking out of the equation. This is something that is especially important in the mornings when most of us are on auto-pilot — me at least for sure. And as we all know, results only come from consistently sticking to something over time. I follow my morning routine (almost) every day, which is composed of the three Ws.
The first W: Water
First thing in the morning, drink a large glass of water to hydrate your body.
Overnight while we sleep we lose surprisingly a lot of water. The loss of water is due to perspiration and transpiration. And it makes sense since we spend six to eight hours sleeping. In order to have a great start in the day: the very first thing you should do is drink a large glass of water.
Most of the time I follow the advice of Aubrey Marcus, also known as the Total Human Optimization Master. In his book “Own the Day, Own Your Life” he describes the benefits of his morning mineral cocktail, which includes spring water with a dash of Himalayan salt and lemon. The salt delivers over 60 minerals and lemon a big chunk of vitamin C, all of which strengthens the immune system and supports the healthy bodily function to perform better throughout the day. If I am having inflammation or require an extra energy boost, I add some ginseng powder.
The second W: Walk (or Wim Hof)
The second W comes with two options: taking a walk outside in the sun or doing an “Iceman” Wim Hof style breathing exercise. Let’s look at both in turn.
Moving in the sun
This is my preferred option and I try to do it whenever possible. It has two main benefits:
- We get some first movement into our bones and the blood flowing.
- We get exposed to natural sunlight and apart from it making us just feel good, we can receive its so valuable vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is important because it helps absorb calcium better leading to better bone health. It reduces the likelihood of catching flu, it can support weight loss, and it can reduce depression, which is why it’s also called the happy mood vitamin.
Breathing like Wim Hof
If moving in the sun is not possible then I go through some Wim Hof-style breathing exercises. Here is an excellent video by Wim himself guiding through a ten-minute breathing routine. This intense breathing will blow oxygen into your lungs, blood, and brain and will get your body ready for the day.
Of course, if we don’t go out for our walk, we miss out on the valuable natural vitamin D3 from the sun. It is important to get a sufficient amount of D3. Deficiency for active people can decrease skeletal muscle function, force, power and testosterone production, and impacts recovery time from training. In this case, I recommend supplementing with vitamin D3 pills.
The third W: Water (again)
The third W is again about water. But this time we use water to enjoy the benefits of cold exposure in the form of cold water. Cold exposure is also part of Wim Hof’s model. The benefits include:
- Speeds up recovery from exercise
- Reduces stress
- Improves immune system
- Improves sleep quality
- Just makes you feel good and alert
Taking a shower under cold water can be a bit intimidating. My recommendation is to approach this slowly and get used to it. Start easy by adding just a couple of seconds of cold water at the end of your normal warm morning shower. Gradually increase this. Your body will adapt. Soon you’ll be able to comfortably take a couple of minutes of a cold shower.
How can I start a healthy morning routine?
Changing habits takes time and too many changes at once are too much disruption. Your body will not like it and you will not be able to consistently adopt the routine. I suggest adding one of my Ws at a time. The drinking water is very easy to adopt. Do it for some time until it feels comfortable and natural and then add the next W. Do this for some time — several weeks at least. You will definitely notice the positive consequences.
About Manfred and 4legsfitness.com
Manfred is the founder of the fitness startup 4legsfitness.com. He is a health and fitness enthusiast, certified instructor and sports nutritionist, multi-sport athlete, and overall happy person. He invented the 4 Legs of Fitness model which he published in the bestseller “From Healthy to Athletic: How to Master the 4 Ingredients to Superior Fitness.”