I don’t think I should have to sell you on exercise. Study after study has confirmed the physical and mental benefits regular exercise provides. The human body is not, as I once read of a belief that Donald Trump holds, similar to a battery in that the more you use, the less you have left.
Unfortunately for Donald, studies say he’s got this one backwards. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have. This is no secret and has, in recent history, been realized by employers. Exercising before (and during) work has a positive effect on productivity, employee mood, and even absenteeism rates.
If we, as a society, need a stimulant to get us through the mornings, the healthier choice would be exercise.
It’s too bad that all employers haven’t yet embraced the exercise philosophy. We all know we should exercise, but time is scarce and exercise doesn’t often top the list of priorities. I’m sure the day will come when exercise is an encouraged activity across all industry’s, but until that day, we have the responsibility of motivating ourselves to exercise instead of our boss doing it for us.
So why exercise before work?
1. Train your body instead of your coffee maker
Considering the amount of coffee shops on each street corner, we can be reasonably sure that caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea are here to stay. If we, as a society, need a stimulant to get us through the mornings, the healthier choice would be exercise.
Research has shown that exercise gives energy. Starting out the day with 30 minutes of cardiovascular or strength training will wake you up better than a cup of coffee will.
If you agree with me, let’s break the caffeine addiction. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than normal, and right when it rings roll out of bed, walk to the bathroom, and wash your face. Wake up. Then, start doing exercises for 30 minutes. Do it for 30 days, and let me know your results in the comments section below. I guarantee you’ll feel great.
If you’ve always wanted to eat breakfast but never managed to find the time, exercising beforehand may be the best way to learn the breakfast habit.
2. Unlock the benefits of breakfast
I’ve never been one to skip breakfast, but statistics show that many people routinely do.
Regularly eating breakfast can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few of the benefits.
It’s easy to rush out of the house without eating breakfast if you’ve just rolled out of bed. After a workout, however, it’s almost impossible to skip breakfast. If you’ve always wanted to eat breakfast but never managed to find the time, exercising beforehand may be the best way to learn the breakfast habit.
3. Exercising improves mood and lowers stress
Studies have shown that people that exercise on workdays are happier, suffer less stress, and are more productive than their sedentary counterparts.
Stress in the workplace today is a chronic problem. Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body and is a strong precursor to depression, heart disease and infectious diseases. Eliminating, or simply reducing, stress is one of the healthiest actions a person can take.
4. Improve job performance
Workers who exercise regularly experience an improved ability to concentrate, make complex decisions, and to even reduce workplace related injuries.
It’s the day in, day out high performance that leads to promotions and better job opportunities. It’s tough to stand out at the workplace when fatigue rears its head every afternoon. With fatigue being a multi billion-dollar yearly loss in productivity cost for employers, the impact is real.
Exercising after work is difficult as there are always distractions, obligations, and an increasing amount of work one must commit to.
5. Create a healthy habit for life
Daily exercise is one of the best long-term habits a person can make. Even 30 minutes of exercise before work will leave you energized, clear headed, stronger, and more able to take on the stress of the day.
Creating this habit requires only one simple step – you must do it every day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes each morning to start, consistency will provide the best improvements and lay the groundwork for a lifelong habit.
Exercise is important. Do it
Exercise is one of those activities that everybody tells us we should do, yet many people find it difficult to find the time. Exercising after work is difficult as there are always distractions, obligations, and an increasing amount of work one must commit to.
In the mornings, however, there are no excuses. The only decision is whether to get up and exercise, or press the snooze button for an extra 30 minutes. Sleep is important. But the benefits of daily exercise are so numerous that I think it’s a no-brainer tradeoff to make.
Give it a try for 30 days. If you don’t feel noticeably less fatigued and stressed, snooze away guilt free.