Here's a wake-up call: What you do in the hour after you get up can help you look and feel your best for the rest of the day. The right moves and foods will give you the focus, stamina, and positive outlook. Plus, you'll kick-start your metabolism, helping you torch extra calories and melt more fat. Our get-up-and-go routine outlines tips guaranteed to make your morning a true power hour.

Even early birds can find it difficult to slip out from under their warm, cosy covers on dark winter mornings. Here's how to make it easy. Because of hormonal shifts that occur while we're asleep, the majority of us wake up feeling a bit down. So, put a sticky note on your alarm clock reminding you of something exciting that's happening the next day, to give you a quick lift.

A toasty room temperature makes it easier to nod off, but you may wake up groggy. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Seeing a vibrant hue when you open your eyes gets your adrenaline going. Put a red, orange, yellow, or fuchsia throw pillow, blanket, or piece of art in the area you first see in the morning. You can even make breakfast visually stimulating — and get a nutritional boost — by pouring yourself a glass of antioxidant-rich pomegranate or cranberry juice with a sweet slice of orange.

There's truth in the adage “You snooze, you lose.” When you hit snooze, your brain knows it will go off again in a few minutes — so you won't go into the deeper, more restful stages of slumber. That means you'll be more tired than if you'd gotten up when it first sounded. A better strategy is to set your alarm for when you really need to get up. Once you're awake, close your eyes and picture yourself alert and energetic. Imagining an activity fires up the same parts of your brain that are used when you actually experience it,” says Dana Lightman, a behavioural psychologist. Drinking a big glass of water is a good way to replenish the fluid your body loses overnight, and it provides instant energy. Everything that happens in the body requires water, and without enough of it, your systems have to work harder in every respect; it can cause fatigue.

Let the light in

A splash of sunlight makes you feel more awake, so read the paper by a sunny window or step outside for a few minutes while having your coffee.

Daylight also increases the brain's level of serotonin, a chemical that boosts mood.

Massaging your face boosts circulation, making it a sure-fire way to wake up. Starting at your forehead and working down to your chin, lightly flutter-tap or drum your fingertips, varying the velocity, intensity, and location until you've touched your entire face. Bonus: These moves give you a quick healthy glow.

Nothing gives you a natural energy boost such as exercise, which pumps fatigue-fighting oxygen to your cells and releases mood-boosting endorphins. Even a short session does the trick — workouts as brief as 10 minutes sparks energy levels for up to two hours.

Eat right

You'll reap benefits all day from eating breakfast: A morning meal shifts your body from an energy-conserving state into calorie-burning gear without effort. And studies show that breakfast eaters concentrate better and are more productive — as well as less likely to be obese — than breakfast skippers. -- NYT News Service