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3 steps for better, happier, productive mornings

by Gabrielle Frank / / Source: TODAY

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It's so easy to hit snooze and start your morning, and ultimately your day, on a bad note. After snoozing, you're running late, rushing and probably not in a great mental state by the time you officially start your day.

Here's an idea: How about making a few small changes to your morning to increase your productivity? An effective morning will lead to a happier, more productive day. Here are a few tips to help you start a new morning journey.

1. Wait to drink your coffee.

Recent research has found most of us don't need that caffeine jolt right when we wake up. Instead, it's better if you wait one hour after waking up to drink it. That's because the hormones that make you alert are at high levels first thing in the morning. So take advantage of those and delay that first cup of Joe — that way, when the caffeine kicks in an hour or two later, you'll really need it.

RELATED: Study finds more evidence that coffee can be a life saver

2. Change up your shower routine.

This tip comes from a popular Entrepreneur story. A hot shower is great for you — if you're heading back to sleep soon. If you're trying to wake up, you should do this:

  • Go through your regular cleaning routine.
  • Then, crank the cold water up all the way and stand under the it for 30 seconds.
  • Next, crank up the hot water as far as you can stand it for 30 seconds.
  • Finally go back to cold water for 30 seconds.

It's referred to as hot-and-cold hydrotherapy, and it reportedly can have health benefits like improved blood circulation, greater ability to burn fat and more.

RELATED: Morning or night? The best time to shower is...

3. Work out before you go to work.

If you're not a morning person, trying to fit in fitness at 6 or 7 a.m. might seem like a nightmare — but it can actually make your day a lot more productive. Several studies have found resistance training can increase your energy expenditure (or how many calories you burn) and assist in maintaining your overall energy balance.

RELATED: 7 morning rituals for a healthier day

Some data and research suggest physical activity can lead to reduced anxiety, depression and improved concentration and self-esteem.

There's no denying you just feel better after a workout. It's so much easier to make time for it in the morning, before your day gets crazier than you had anticipated. Schedule it like you'd schedule a morning meeting and stick with it!

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