This is the tenth post in the series of Daily Habits, which is about a listing of useful habits that should be a part of a productive person’s daily routine. To read, you can start here.
Our software (the mind) has updated at a much faster rate after the invention of printing press and other forms of communication of information. However, human body is a hardware designed to cope with struggling environment of ancient times when one had to hunt for food and survive from predators. It is still pretty much the same and has neither adapted to sit on an office chair for 8+ hours every day, nor remains unaffected from doing no physical work whatsoever. Until that happens, we have to incorporate regular exercise in our daily habits.
For that purpose, the best method is to go for running or exercise at a gym at a fixed time 5 days a week. Like other good habits, it has far-reaching effects than just having a healthy body. In an earlier post, we discussed how healthy people find more energy to accomplish other goals in life.
Many people struggle with setting an exercise routine though. In that case, some other form of exercise can still be seamlessly integrated into a daily routine. Below, I mention some of the techniques I use for this purpose. Since everyone’s situation is different, you can do trial and error to find what works best for you.
- Walk to and from work, grocery store, train station, etc. instead of taking the car. For me, this results in 25 minutes of walk without any specific time slot dedication. Moreover, the benefits of having time to listen to an audio-book, think about solution to a problem or just feel the nature around are bonuses. Fresh air and sunshine are priceless!
- Take the stairs whenever you can instead of the elevator. Remember to burn calories, not electricity. It is an amazing exercise! Your heart will thank you after every such session.
- Work in time blocks of 45-50 minutes before taking a break. This generates focused work while the subsequent break refreshes the mind and prevents back problems from continuous sitting. I hide the clock from my computer and use an online timer to alert me about the break time. During the break, I walk around and drink a glass of water, let the mind wander away from work and do a fixed number of pushups. When the body is tuned to such a slow change, it adapts quite painlessly like a seed that grows into a plant.
One of the great advantages of exercise is the turbo cycle, where the increased physical energy translates into better and focused work, doing 45-50 minutes of which generates an internal desire to do physical exercise. And the cycle continues.
As mentioned above, everyone is different and you should iterate through many different techniques and routines to settle on the one that suits you best.