My friends know my morning ritual. No matter where I am or how busy things become, I get in the morning, do a couple sun salutations and drink warm lemon water, workout and have breakfast. I love lemons and always have tons of lemons in my fridge. I use them for cooking, warm lemon water, and even in DIY beauty recipes.
I’ve been drinking warm lemon water a few years and it’s one of the best habits I’ve incorporated. It is a great and healthy way to start the day, and it makes me feel good to do something for myself. Some people may be skeptical of its benefits, but several of my friends and clients have also started drinking warm lemon water and rave about its benefits. And when they do, I bite my tongue down to refrain from saying “I told you so!”
How to drink warm lemon water
Ideally, warm lemon water should be consumed in the morning, after brushing your teeth, on an empty stomach to maximize its benefits.
Water should be slightly warmer than room temperature, but not boiling hot. Hot water is not ideal because it can kill the enzymes in the lemons.
Juice at least 1/3 lemon in 16oz of warm water. If 16oz feels like too much, start with 8oz and work your way up.
Usually, I drink to drink plain warm lemon water, but you can also try to add a pinch of cayenne or fresh grated ginger.
When traveling you can pack a few lemons in your luggage or you can order warm lemon water at a restaurant when dining out.
Benefits of Warm Lemon Water
Hydrates – After sleeping for 7-8 hours, the body can become dehydrated from a lack of water. Warm lemon water hydrates and rejuvenates the body. In contrast, drinking coffee on an empty stomach further dehydrates because it has a diuretic effect. If you want to consume coffee, you can still do it by drinking water lemon water first, and then having coffee.
Warms – Warm lemon water instantly warms the body and has a calming effect.
Detoxes – Warm lemon water detoxes the liver, kidneys and other internal organs, improves digestion, and leads to a stronger immune system and clearer and brighter skin.
Alkalizes – Although lemon juice is acidic, once it enters the body, it has an alkalizing effect. An alkaline system may also be less susceptible to disease and illness than an acidic system.
So, the next time life hands you lemons, ask for more because you will need them for warm lemon water!
Workout motivation, or as I would call it: gym-tivation, is tough to come by if you are overwhelmed with responsibilities, sleep-deprived or are just bored out of your mind.
After skipping the gym for days, I had a great workout today. Here are some tips to motivate yourself to move (indoors or outdoors):
Sleep. When I lack sleep, I can’t exercise as well, and when I don’t exercise, I don’t sleep well (bad cycle). Break out of this pattern by ensuring you get a good night’s rest.
Look the part. Never underestimate the power of cute workout clothes and accessories. I am not saying that you must shell out a fortune, but wear something that is comfortable and makes you look good. When you look good, you will feel good and motivated. Set out your clothes, shoes and accessories the night before so that they are within your line of sight as soon as you are ready to workout. Even if you don’t feel like working out, put on your workout clothes anyway. As long as you’re dressed for the part, you are more likely to exercise.
Warm up. Have some green tea and relax before the workout. Breathe deeply. Listen to upbeat music and do some stretches.
Have fun. Find out what you enjoy to do physically (run, dance, jump, jog, yoga, pull, push). Take a new class that you had been curious about and try something new.
Do something (anything). If you are just not feeling it, give yourself some measure or goal to reach. For example, aim to stay on the treadmill for X minutes, run at least Y miles, or until you burn Z amount of calories. Even a short workout is better than none. Reaching an attainable goal will make you feel more productive and more likely to exercise again. For when you feel really exhausted, try something relaxing like yoga.
Music. I love listening to music when working out. It’s my chance to disconnect from the world, social media, all sorts of nagging thoughts about what I need to get done, and just enjoy my alone time. Depending on my mood, my workout repertoire can be either upbeat or relaxing.
Get support. A gym buddy can either help or detract. I tend to workout best alone, but I also keep promises I make to other people. So when I really need motivation to exercise, I ask a friend to join me to go for a walk or take a new class.
Schedule. Put it in your schedule / day planner. Not only will it be a good reminder, but when you schedule something, you can visualize what your day looks like and what type of workout fits in with the rest of the day’s activities. On a similar note, sometimes, scheduled classes offered at gyms or studios help me stay on track.
Make it a habit. It becomes easier to do something if you make it habit. You don’t need motivation to brush your teeth in the morning or take a shower, do you? It’s because those activities have been so ingrained that you don’t question whether you should do them. For tips on how to change or form new habits, see Changing Habits.
Rest. The frequency and intensity of your workout sessions will depend on your schedule, personality and body. However, everyone needs some rest. Allow yourself at least one or two rest days each week to give your body a chance to heal and become stronger.