It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
Every single person I know wants to be able to exercise more. The reason they don’t: too busy at work. Well that excuse just doesn’t cut it. Here are 10 hacks to help you exercise before work everyday.
1. Get to sleep at the same time each night
Many people think they need eight hours and if they don’t get that eight hours they are screwed. Well, this isn’t really the case. Science has shown that it is better to get up and go to bed at the same time each night. The consistency is important. In fact, thinking that you NEED eight hours can be more of an obstacle than a help. I know that when I used to get less than eight hours I was angry and frustrated. It was causing an obstacle.
Going to sleep at the same time each night will allow you to develop a new sense of regularity – this is how exercise habits are developed.
2. Wake up at the same time each morning
The second part of this plan is the getting up. You need to set your alarm for the same time each day. When the alarm goes off you should get up and not snooze it. Do not adjust the wake up time if you went to bed a bit later. This is all part of the plan. If you continually change the alarm time for your changing bedtime habit you will never get up with enough time to exercise.
If you can get up at the same time each morning you will have time that you perceive as “spare” and you will then be able to exercise in that time.
3. Book in with a friend
One of the best things you can do for your exercise habits is book in with a friend. When I started training early morning martial arts with my mate down the road I found it so much easier to get up because I knew he would be waiting for me down at the park.
It is a good idea to use other people to help you as long as you don’t “depend” on them.
4. Find a new exercise class
If you have been trying to get up in the morning to go for a boring old jog you might find it a bit hard. If, however, you have something interesting to go to like martial arts, gymnastics, hiking, etc. you will be more likely to get going. Try and be creative, and invite your friends a long.
5. Start small
If you are pretty busy and you really can’t get up early enough to have a long session you should start by just doing 20 pushups before breakfast. My mother always used to do 100 squats when she got out of bed. She said it was a great way to start the day, wake you up and burn a few calories.
6. Walk, jog or ride to work
One of the best ways to fit in some exercise is to walk, run or ride a bike to work. This is good for the environment as you save the green house gas emissions and it is good for your fitness and your waistline. The thing that is really good about this hack is that it doesn’t feel like you are exercising – it just feels like you are going to work.
7. Take advantage of day-light savings time
If you live somewhere where you have to wind your clock backwards and forwards for day-light savings time then you should take advantage of that special time every year where you get an extra hour of sleep because you wound your clock backwards. Instead of sleeping in you should get up at your “non-daylight savings normal” waking time and get running. It will be a much easier way to get into the habit.
8. Do it every single day
Don’t just do it once. Do it everyday. If you do it only a few times you will not develop the habit and every time you try to do it you will feel crap during the exercise session. Make sure you get up and exercise at the same time – even on the weekends.
Exercising before work will make you a better worker. It will make you more alert, energetic and much happier. Exercising before work will change your life for the better in ways you could not imagine.
Originally posted on March 10, 2008 @ 8:18 am