Read any profile of a successful entrepreneur or executive, and eventually you’ll find some reference to the fact that they get up early. The folks who start multimillion-dollar businesses, write bestselling business books, and do TED Talks all seem to get up at the crack of dawn. So where do they get the get-up-and-go?
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Sadly, it appears to be from exercise. Carmine Gallo at Forbes says:
“I wrote my first book on public speaking in 2005. I had decided to interview dozens of successful leaders who were considered extraordinary communicators. I devoted an entire chapter to health and exercise because nearly everyone I interviewed made physical fitness a top priority.”
One of the executives he interviewed even had him speak to his personal trainer. That’s right: not his mentor, or his second-in-command, or even his spiritual guru: his trainer.
This is, of course, bad news for those of us who count the walk to the kitchen as physical activity. But on the upside, if you’re starting from zero, anything you add is gold. So what should you do to build the habit?
1. Start small.
The Mayo Clinic advises adults to get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. If you walk for 22 minutes a day, you’ll exceed that goal. Add in some strength training two days a week, and you’re doing everything you need to do to feel more energized and be fitter.
2. Work out in the morning.
In another article in Forbes, wellness and productivity coach Jennifer Cohen tells readers to schedule their workouts early in the day, if they want to exercise frequently.
“I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Most people that work out daily, work out in the morning,” she writes.
If that seems like a catch-22, remember what we said above: start small. Get up a few minutes earlier each day, and gradually add in exercise. As your energy increases, it’ll be easier to wake up and add more time to your routine.
3. Make it a priority.
If fitness is last on your to-do list, it’s likely to drop off your radar completely. Make exercise an opportunity to take care of yourself. You have the whole rest of the day to think about everyone else’s needs and wants. Start your day off by doing something for yourself.
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