The 5-Step Morning Routine for Aging Well

A great morning routine can not only start your day off on the right track but help slow the visible signs of aging and keep you healthier.
Morning routine for aging well; woman walking on the beach at sunrise

In the past, I wrote an article titled 3 Secrets to Aging Well. And while I still stand by the three-step original morning routine, there are two more that I have come to believe are equally important for aging well. The 3 Secrets article was based on a book given to me by my good friend and partner in Prime Women, Jan. The book was Alternative Ageing by Suzy Grant. The book is loaded with lots of great advice, and I would highly recommend reading it if you’re serious about aging naturally and healthfully. I found three of her recommendations easy to follow, saw the results, and have stuck with them for years, as has Jan (who looks fabulous, by the way!).

There have been two more “secrets” I’ve stumbled onto that have significantly impacted my general overall health. I’ve now incorporated them into my morning routine for aging well.

5 Steps for Aging Well

1. First thing every morning, drink a glass of warm water with half a squeezed lemon.

Cup Of Hot Water And Lemon Slice

Yes, I know, most of us would prefer to start with a cup of coffee, and you can have your coffee, just not until you wake up your system with a cup of warm lemon water. The idea of drinking warm lemon water in the morning has been around for at least a couple of centuries. The benefits are many. It aids digestion because it encourages the liver to produce bile, and the lemon juice helps relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching, and bloating. It is a natural diuretic, and the vitamin C boosts the immune system. Lemons are also one of the most alkalizing foods for the body, which may be why they can lessen urinary tract infections. It is also a very easy step to incorporate into your morning routine.

2. Warm up your body with the Five Tibetan Rites.

The Tibetan lamas were so convinced of their ability to maintain a youthful body they named these exercises “rites.” They believed the only difference between youth and old age is the spin rate of the chakras – the body’s seven major energy vortexes – and the quickest way to regain health and vitality is to start these energy centers spinning normally again. There are five simple exercises that supposedly accomplish this, but whether any of that is true about the chakras or not, I do not know. However, there are lots of benefits to adding these to your morning routine. A few of them are:

  • Increase physical strength.
  • Enhance bone mass.
  • Improve digestion.
  • Eliminate fat around the midsection.
  • Strengthen core muscles.
  • Heal back pain and strengthen the spine.

You should gradually increase the number of movements over a ten-week period until you are doing twenty-one repetitions of each. You need to do them daily (they take less than 10 minutes), and Suzy recommends you do them before or right after you drink your warm lemon water. I would add that the older you get, and certainly past 65, the longer you should wait to do these exercises. Your body needs to warm up a bit, or you may do more harm than good.

The best way to learn the five Tibetan rites is by watching a video.

3. Eat flaxseed.

Smoothie with flax seeds, kiwi and green apple in the drinking glass

Once you’ve had your warm lemon water and done your five Tibetan rites, add a serving of flaxseed (1 tablespoon of whole seeds soaked overnight or 2 tablespoons ground) to your morning routine. You can either mix the soaked flaxseeds with a little orange juice and down them all at once, mix ground flaxseed in your yogurt or protein shake, or sprinkle them on cereal with fruit. If you want regular bowel movements with what Suzy refers to as “the perfect poo,” then this remedy is for you.

Like drinking warm lemon water and the five Tibetan Rites, consuming flaxseed has been around for a while. Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. Now, thirteen centuries later, there seems to be good evidence that Charlemagne was right. In addition to the perfect poo, there’s some evidence that daily consumption of flaxseed may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

4. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D.

Open capsule with vitamin D

If you happen not to drink milk or you don’t take calcium with vitamin D, chances are you are deficient in this important vitamin. I learned this past summer after having blood work done in conjunction with my bone density testing that I was deficient in vitamin D. Because of a study released on the hazards of women taking calcium to protect their bones (turned out not to be a very reliable study), I stopped taking calcium and drank two glasses of almond milk a day instead. While I was getting sufficient calcium, I wasn’t getting any vitamin D, which does help some in the absorption of calcium.

When I mentioned to my doctor that I was having a major flare in my autoimmune arthritis that had been going on for over six months (highly unusual), he suggested that my deficiency in vitamin D may have been a contributing factor. I started taking a supplement immediately, and within six weeks, the inflammation was gone, and I’ve not had a flare since.

Vitamin D, or lack thereof, may not have been the cause of my inflammation, but there are certainly doctors who believe a vitamin D deficiency can cause inflammation. There is also much disagreement on whether vitamin D aids that much in the absorption of calcium. Two studies had different results. One study found that vitamin D provided no benefit, while the other study found that older women should take more vitamin D than previously thought. As always, the best advice is to speak with your doctor and have them check your blood for vitamin D levels before taking a supplement. If you are deficient in vitamin D, taking a supplement may be the best morning routine for aging well.

5. Exercise vigorously after breakfast.

Best Exercises to Stave Off Alzheimer’s and Dementia |

A while back, a study caught my eye. Its findings were so astounding that I had to research them further. Researchers in Belgium set up a six-week study to determine if the order of men’s morning routines would affect how they metabolized fat. The group that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight from all that overeating and showed no signs of insulin resistance. They also burned the extra fat they consumed more efficiently.

Before I decided to change my exercise habit or write an article for Prime Women, I thought I should research if there were any studies done on women regarding when it was the best time to exercise to burn fat; it turns out there were. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported a study done by Dr. Adam Collins of the University of Surrey. Dr. Collins discovered that women burned more fat than men, and those taking carbohydrates before working out burned up to 22 percent more fat.

The experiment confirmed the Belgium study findings – that men should eat before exercising to maximize fat-burning. But women need to eat after exercising, and we need to wait for at least 90 minutes after a workout before eating again. You can read the entire story in The Antidote to Overeating.

I now try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each morning after breakfast, keeping my heart rate up to 70% of my maximum heartbeat. While 30 minutes is not long enough to lose weight unless you have quite a bit to lose, it is enough to burn off the extra calories I find myself eating on a pretty regular basis. The results of adding this to my morning routine became visible very quickly, with less fat around my middle and much firmer thighs.


There are many recommendations on how to maintain optimum health and vitality, but the first three have stood the test of time. The last two are more anecdotal but certainly worth investigating to see if they improve overall health. We are all going to age, but a morning routine like this one can help you age well.

This article is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, taking any supplements, or embarking on a new exercise program. 

Read Next:

6 Ways Strength Training Reverses Aging and Beats Cardio

Why A Regular Workout Routine May Help Your Hair Grow

How to Get Started With a Fitness Routine after 50


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