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Everyone wakes up in their own way. Maybe you’re the “chug some lemon water, pull on your sports bra, and bolt to the gym” type. Or perhaps you begin your day by rolling out of bed and trudging over to the coffee pot. Whatever your habits may be, there’s probably a trick or two you can steal from these health experts.

April 27, 2015

Everyone wakes up in their own way. Maybe you’re the “chug some lemon water, pull on your sports bra, and bolt to the gym” type. Or perhaps you begin your day by rolling out of bed and trudging over to the coffee pot. Whatever your wake-up needs may be, there’s probably a trick or two you can steal from these health experts—or you may just enjoy the voyeurism that is peeking into what some of our favorite wellness gurus do each morning.

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Bob Harper

“I get up around 7:30 a.m. and take my dog, Karl, out for his morning 'constitution.' Once I'm back, I make a big cup of coffee: No sugar. No milk. I wake up watching a bit of The Today Show. Then I meditate at around 8:30 a.m. for just over 20 minutes. After that, I get ready for my workout, which is at 10 a.m. I don’t have anything to eat until after my workout. But I do [have a Bulletproof Coffee] to get me ready to work out hard. [It's] a cup of coffee with MCT oil and ghee blended in. I jump into my car, get to my CrossFit gym, and get my butt kicked for over an hour. Then I go home, shower, and have a big meal that has a good amount of protein, carbs, and fat to get the rest of my day started.”

—Bob Harper is the longtime trainer of The Biggest Loser and author of the new book Skinny Habits: The Six Secrets of Thin People ($17, amazon.com)

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Kristin McGee

“Before my son Timothy was born I used to wake up between 5:45 and 6:30 a.m. to meditate. Now I still wake up around that time (he is my alarm clock) and my meditation is snuggling with him. As soon as I open my eyes I chug a glass of H2O to wake me up, and then I make coffee around 7 a.m. and usually have 2% fat Greek yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, a little Fiber One, walnuts, and a flax/chia/coconut blend (Barlean's makes it—it's amazing) with cinnamon on top.

I make Timothy breakfast and we sit together and play a bit, and I use that opportunity to stretch on the floor (or sometimes bang out a few push-ups or planks) while we play with his train set or blocks or read books until the sitter comes.

My make up routine is super minimal: tinted sunscreen, curled eyelashes. And I usually put out an outfit the night before and have my bag packed and gym shoes out so I can spend the most time with my son as possible. I try and wait to check my cell phone or emails until I'm out the door. If I do it first thing I am not present in the morning with Timothy and he will try to take my phone now anyway!”

—Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and Health contributing editor

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David L. Katz, MD

“I get up at 6:30 a.m. generally. I have coffee, and ideally, a few minutes to sit with my wife. Often, though, it's straight to the computer. I generally work for a couple of hours, and then work out; my gym is in my home. I do 40 minutes on my elliptical, preceded or followed by abdominal exercises, chin-ups, etc. I usually then work a bit more, then do five kilometers on my rower.

After that, I have my breakfast—a mix of berries, other fruits, whole grain cereals, walnuts or almonds, and plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, after which I typically go back to the computer. Then, time to shower and dress for whatever follows in the afternoon.”

—David L. Katz, MD, is the director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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Kate Geagan, RD

“I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and my kids get up at 7 a.m. I get up a little earlier so I can enjoy my cup of coffee in silence and reflect on the day, and find some space rather than simply hitting the ground running with kids, dogs, breakfast, etc.

Specifically, I have a large glass of water when I wake up (sometimes with a squeeze of fresh lemon), a cup of coffee with organic 2% milk, and 2 teaspoons dark brown organic sugar. I am a fan of actual sugar, rather than zero-calorie sweeteners.

My breakfast is around 8 a.m. (after kids are dropped at school), and I’ll have a ½ to 1 cup fruit (like frozen blueberries or fresh pear slices) and one to two eggs with avocado slices on sprouted 100% whole grain bread or sprouted bread with slather of all natural almond butter and ½ to 1 cup fresh fruit.

Then it's off for a 30-minute hike with my dog or a hot yoga class a couple of times a week—I find exercising first helps me arrive at my desk energized, creative, and ready to work rather than trying to muster the energy to hit the gym later in the day or early evening.”

—Kate Geagan, RD, is author of Go Green Get Lean ($10, amazon.com)

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Chris Freytag

“My morning start times definitely vary. Three days a week I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to teach a fitness class at 5:30 a.m. Two days a week I wake up at 6:00 am, and on weekends I sleep in until 7 a.m. I work out in the morning always—it just depends on the day and the timing of the classes I teach.

The first thing I do is drink a 12- to 16-ounce glass of lemon water before eating or drinking anything else. Before an early morning 5:30 a.m. workout I have water, 1 cup of coffee, and a banana. I eat a full breakfast after, which includes some sort of protein, fruit, and nuts.

Before an 8 a.m. workout, I’ll have water, coffee, and oatmeal with banana or a protein shake with fruit, protein powder, and almond milk. Finally, my mid-morning snack is 2 hard-boiled eggs—I eat one yolk and two whites.”

—Chris Freytag is a personal trainer in Minneapolis and founder of GetHealthyU.com

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