Take advantage of your morning commute.
For many of us, as soon as the morning alarm goes off, our thoughts turn to work and our upcoming commute. Whether you're getting in a car or climbing aboard a bus, a rigid daily routine like this can often lead to your arriving at work in a daze, not really knowing how you got there.
While you can't eliminate your morning commute (aside from moving next to your workplace), you can put that time to good use. Let your morning commute energize and motivate you to tackle the day to come. These tips will help you transform from a sluggish-before-10 a.m. sleepwalker into a morning go-getter who's ready to seize the day!
1. Check in with colleagues
To really get into the business frame of mind from the very start of the day, consider making some calls while on your way to work. This might not work with every type of commute, but if you have a quiet walk or drive to your workplace, it might be worth touching base with your team just before you get in.
If your commute doesn't require your full attention (e.g. riding the bus or subway), use the time to begin sorting through your inbox on your smartphone. Even if you don't get through every email, you will at least have some advance notice of what the day has in store.
The benefits of these things are twofold. For one, you will feel more on-the-ball when you walk in the door. On top of that, having your business head on early in the morning will help you shake off your mundane commute and put the time to good use.
2. Get active
Exercising in the morning gets your endorphins flowing, giving your mindset a welcome breakfast boost. Combining your commute with exercise can help you optimize the time you spend journeying to and from work, and there are plenty of options out there.
You could cycle, walk, run (or even swim to work if you're Munich commuter Benjamin David!) — the benefits are all similar. Just make sure you're well-prepared by utilizing an on-site shower and packing a change of clothes. Taking an active approach to your commute is also proven to help you lose weight and reduce stress, and it will even help you gain a new perspective on your home city. Sounds like an invigorating start to your day of work.
3. Supercharge your breakfast
It's true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you're a charge-out-the-door type, you might tend to overlook this essential meal. As the first meal of your working day, breakfast gives you the vitamins and nutrients you need to take you through a long or tricky morning.
Taking extra time the night before to pack some on-the-go breakfast foods will help you start your day off right without having to spend your precious morning minutes in the kitchen. Superfoods such as blueberries and chia seeds, for example, offer numerous nutritional benefits, from the blueberries' potassium and Vitamin C to the chia seeds' high antioxidant quotient. Of course, your tastes will dictate what you like in the morning, but since you're already taking this proactive breakfast step, you may as well try to keep it healthy.
4. Exercise your mind
You can use your commute to energize your body, but what about your mind? After all, sharpening yourself up for the workday can be done without having to jump into your inbox or onto a bike. Giving your brain a quick workout in the morning has become popular, with many people lauding the benefits of logic puzzles when worked into their daily routine.
Smartphones allow you to take this brain training on the go, and your morning commute is a great opportunity to get to work. There are plenty of programs out there that will help you hone your cognitive skills for the day ahead. Lumosity offers a bevy of fun and challenging brain-twisting games, while similar apps Peak and Elevate offer their own exciting takes on the genre.
Ultimately, your morning commute can be whatever you want it to be. Of course you can continue to sleep through it, but why not take advantage of this travel time to help you start off your day with energy and mindfulness? Whether it's a relaxing time to slowly prepare yourself for the day's work, or a workout to get the endorphins pumping, just make sure you adopt a fresh attitude to your morning's journey and you'll be surprised by the benefits!
This article was written by Alex Jones, the features writer for Start Fitness, providers of running, cycling, gym, football, and outdoor products.
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