Start the day right: why morning workouts are my non-negotiable
A major, daily ‘non-negotiable’ for me is exercising first thing in the morning. And when I say ‘first thing’, it really is as I typically wake up around 3 a.m. and hit the gym (or use the equipment that I’ve had delivered to a hotel room if needs be).
Getting going with a session of high-intensity activity in the morning boosts your metabolism, increases energy levels, and enhances cardiovascular fitness. This is not only clearly, good for my physical health, but it means I better manage the demands of my role as a global CEO.
Morning exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and enhance mental clarity. I can say for sure it works for me.
When you exercise, you increase blood flow to the brain, stimulating the release of endorphins and other beneficial neurotransmitters. This enhances your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and solve complex problems throughout the day.
Being a CEO often involves high levels of pressure – managing diverse teams around the world in different time zones, with different regulatory and compliance demands, to name a few of the factors.
But exercise helps as it acts as a natural stress reliever by reducing cortisol levels and promoting the release of endorphins, which are mood-boosting hormones.
Starting my day with exercise helps me sort the pressure of my position more effectively, and I approach things with a calmer, cooler mindset.
Although working out in the very early hours might seem a bit intense for some people, I find it boosts my energy levels for the day ahead. Why? Because exercise increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscles and tissues, resulting in improved energy levels and productivity. By investing time in physical fitness at the start, I lay the foundation for a more energised and productive workday.
Another reason I like giving it my all in the gym first thing? I guess I am just someone who thrives on discipline and routine.
And you know what? I’m not the only business leader who does this.
The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is known for being an early riser and starting his day with exercise. He reportedly wakes up around 4.30 a.m. to hit the gym or go for a morning workout.
Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is also an advocate of starting the day with exercise. He often engages in activities like tennis, swimming, or kiteboarding in the morning.
The co-founder and CEO of Meta – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp – Mark Zuckerberg is another. He’s often seen jogging or walking with his dog in the mornings.
Indra Nooyi, the former Pepsi boss, is also known to wake up early and start her day with exercise. She mentioned in interviews that she would wake up at 4 a.m. and use the early morning hours for physical activity, which helped her manage her demanding role effectively.
There must be something in it!
While we all have different approaches and activities that we engage in, the common thread is the recognition of the benefits that morning exercise can bring to physical and mental well-being.