There aren’t enough hours in the day. Ever heard that one? Chances are you’re intimately acquainted with this modern ailment. What gets cut during a time crunch? Likely, your exercise time. But pause to consider if you’ll ever feel like you have enough hours in your day to exercise. Maybe once you retire? Yes, we came up with the same answer.
But what if your morning exercise hour could be combined with other important aspects of your day.Two for the price of one? Here are some ways that you can multi-task during your exercise hour and get a headstart to your day.
- Exercise + meditation.
Meditation is all the rage. From Oprah to Kobe Bryant to Arianna Huffington, they’re all doing it. Meditation is said to boost levels of happiness, slow aging, and improve concentration. It’s a safe bet to say that we all want those benefits. As you warm up for your exercise session, why not incorporate a little meditation into it too? According to one study, exercise + meditation decreased depression in participants by as much as 40 percent.
There are many explanations as to how to find a meditative state. But the simplest one out there tells us to simply observe the breath. Keep thoughts focused on your breathing patterns. That seems simple enough to do when one is exercising, right? Start with just a minute at a time and you can increase your meditation as you go.
- Exercise + your headphones.
That stack of books you’ve been meaning to get through. Those podcasts related to your work. There’s probably no time better than as you exercise to make headway into your listening material. You could make your exercise time feel like a special treat that you give yourself if you pair it with that book you’ve been dying to read. No more dreading your exercise hour!
Or, if your desire is to multi-task, listen to work-related news and podcasts as you run or workout at the gym. You’ll be ahead of your peers on current events when you walk into your office at 5 minutes to 9 am.
- Exercise + time with your partner.
When was the last time you had a conversation about a topic outside of groceries and meals with your partner? Too long? Try this one out. Go for a gentle run with your partner in the morning. That little bit of togetherness at the start of your day can help smooth over any rough spots that might arise later on.
Worried that running will make you so winded you won’t be able to talk? Then you’re doing it wrong. A typical run should include a 5 to 10 minute warm up where you are walking briskly. And then don’t forget your post run routine. Stretch and massage! Massage is a vital element of aiding muscle recovery and preventing muscle imbalance. Use a runner’s massage tool on each other for a therapist-grade massage. Use those moments of less-intense activity to bond and reconnect with your partner.
- Exercise + plotting out your day.
Do you have a big work day ahead of you? Perhaps there’s some aspect of today’s work that requires out-of-the-box thinking? Don’t be surprised if some of your best ideas come as you’re out running or taking a shower. Using a walk, a run, or time away from your desk to mull over work-related issues is a tried and proven favorite among top leaders throughout time.
Exercise makes you think creatively. So the next time you need to solve a problem, or just want a fresh look at what needs to be done, put on your jogging shoes and record your thoughts on the go. Your mornings just got that much better because you did.
Choose any of the above for the ultimate in improving your health and benefiting your work life at the same time.