There is no better feeling than endolphins swimming around your blood stream first thing in the morning.
Your heart rate is up, your pores are sweaty and your body is vibrating with energy.
Your stomach feels flat and your head feels clear. All of the cobwebs have been well and truly blown away and you can’t even remember what groggyness feels like.
And better still, it’s not even 8am and you’ve already achieved something big.
Numerous studies have found exercise to be one of the most important habits you can develop to transform your life. Working out can make you healthier, happier, and better able to sleep; it can boost your memory, concentration, and mental sharpness; and you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it to reap the benefits.
So it’s no surprise that working out is another morning habit the successful and wealthy tend to have in common.
Nobody advocates this more than that billionaire that I was not so long taking baths with – Richard Branson.
Branson says he plays tennis every morning at 6, and then again in the evening. He also does 40 minutes of weight lifting and if he’s staying on Necker Island he might go kite surfing too.
“I love to look after the body. If I feel great, I can achieve anything.
And plenty of other well known business moguls and powerful leaders say the same.
Editor-in-Chief at Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, wakes up every morning at 5:45 a.m. to play tennis before her daily hair appointment at 6:45am. Oprah Winfrey’s trainer says her workouts include “45 minutes of cardio six mornings a week, four to five strength-training sessions a week, incline crunches, and stretching.
And finally, it turns out exercise is the reason Apple’s CEO Tim Cook gets out of bed at 3.45am every morning.The self-described ‘fitness nut‘ heads straight to the gym.
For me I know that exercise is a critical part of my morning routine and if I don’t get my endolphin high first thing, it can totally ruin the rest of my day.
When everything is going according to plan, I like to start with a quick fix core session; 100 sit-ups, 100 squats and 20 press-ups.
It takes less than five minutes and gets my adrenaline pumping before my mind has even had time to compute that I’m awake. Then I’m ready for anything.
For a cardio workout, 5km is the perfect morning run. It’s far enough to feel like an achievement and short enough to not to get bored or find an excuse not to have the time.
Just twenty-five to thirty minutes of meditative heel to toe action listening to upbeat beats and leaving a trail of thoughts scattered on the pavement behind me.
When I’m in my home city of Liverpool it’s up around the golf course and through my favourite park as Scouse seagulls fly overhead. It’s a familiar route along pavements I’ve walked a thousand times -it makes me feel home and grounded.
When I’m away,my morning run is an adrenaline filled adventure and there’s so much for my eyes to see. I could be coasting alongside crystal clear Adriatic waters, skipping up and over the hay-covered hills or dodging stray dogs in backstreet alleys that seem to never end.
Wherever I run, it’s fun for the feet and freedom for the soul.
On a really good day, when I’m in beast mode I’ll be back at it by lunch time for another quick fix, but this time in the form of a Les Mills workout; body pump, body combat, legs bums and tums or HIIT.
It doesn’t really matter what it is but variety is key. My muscles needs to ache and I need to feel the burn.
Then finally, the perfect end to any day is an exercise that doesn’t always have you breaking a sweat.
Yoga is a workout for the mind, body and soul and on the days I manage to get a practice in I can feel completely and utterly unstoppable.
And no matter how resistant my mind feels beforehand, it only takes a few steps forward or a few beads of sweat for the good stuff to take hold.
The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.