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Did you reflect on the question from yesterday, “Do you believe that how you spend your morning tells you what kind of day you are going to have?”

Most people never stop to consider this fully.  What were your thoughts on this, is it true for you or not true for you?

The answer lies in your reflection.  It is both true and false simultaneously and wholly based on what you agree to believe. 

There is a belief that high levels of cortisol are bad and because it is often called the “stress hormone” it means, by our interpretation that it is bad for us.
However, cortisol is in reality good for us, necessary and serves us well. 
Here are a few examples of how cortisol serves us and is beneficial when it is in balance:

-Cortisol is part of our internal alarm system and when we are under threat or pressure cortisol is released to allow our fight or flight response to be at the ready to keep us safe.

-Normal levels of cortisol are responsible for giving us focus and energy throughout the day.

-Cortisol helps other hormones function at their optimum like, estrogen and testosterone.
Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Reset Diet, calls cortisol the “control system” for hormones. “It’s getting your blood pressure up only when it needs to be up,” she explains. “It raises your blood sugar only when you most need it. It modulates your immune system.”

-Cortisol allows your cells to repair and heal when it is in its low level state during sleep.

-Cortisol is part of the dynamic duo along with its partner Melatonin that work in tandem to regulate your Sleep-Wake Cycle.

Cortisol operates at its optimum efficiency and is in balance when it follows what is called the “cortisol curve.”  This curve, when performing properly, is highest in the morning and tapers off throughout the day until melatonin takes over in the evening. 

This allows focus and higher energy in the morning.
Many articles boast that cortisol levels are highest in the morning and therefore it is a bad thing because of the negative wrap cortisol is given as being the “stress hormone.” 

But when you look at why cortisol is highest in the morning and the benefits it gives, then how you start your morning and how you feel becomes clear.
Exercise first thing in the morning is beneficial and can help turn around a sluggish feeling start to your day. 

By choosing an exercise that is restorative and energizing which helps release serotonin and all those feel good endorphins that work with your higher cortisol levels allows you to harness the gift of cortisol’s focus factor. 
Exercises that boost endorphins like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and also boosts BDNF, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, that don’t over stress the body and create a higher level of cortisol but rather aid the cortisol in the morning can include:
-Static weight stretching
-brisk walk
-exercise ball or resistance band exercises

You can even start these gentle stretches in bed and boost your brain power for the entire day!
Try these in bed exercises above to get you started.

The “Brain Breaks” study, led by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and The University of Western Australia, found that exercising in the morning elevated the serum levels of BDNF, the protein that is a key component in the survival and growth of brain cells. 
Even if the participants only did a short 10 minutes of exercise each morning and then sat the remainder of the day, their BDNF levels remained higher than those who did not exercise at all. 
And if keeping your brain cells at their healthiest isn’t giving you pause to consider beginning a morning exercise routine and boosting endorphins to make you feel happier isn’t enough either…..

The “Brain Breaks” study revealed that even short morning exercise sessions had profound results. Everyone who moved in the morning performed better in tests of executive function—which includes things like decision making, paying attention, and organizing, planning, and prioritizing—than their completely sedentary peers.

For those of us who are Autistic and ADHD this is a BIG reason for exercising first thing in the morning, boosting our Executive Function.

If you re-read that question from earlier now, “Do you believe that how you spend your morning tells you what kind of day you are going to have?”  You may now have some additional information to add to that perspective and agreement you are making with yourself when it comes to how you view your mornings.

Having a morning that starts off with you doing what you can to help your body and brain perform at its best won’t prevent things from going wrong in your day, but it will give you better tools, skills and resources to handle anything that comes your way.

You may even avoid a car wreck because your morning exercise allowed your body and brain to be at its most focused and reactive. 
AND that pile of laundry is easier to tackle and a whole lot less stressful and daunting when you have harnessed your body and brain and boosted all the resources you have available through a short exercise routine in the morning.

A few minutes in the morning for a whole day of benefits, that works for me, what about you?


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