5 Benefits of Early Morning Exercise You Don’t Know

We all know the physical and health benefits of exercising daily in the morning. If we exercise, we will remain fit, healthy and energetic all through the day. We also know the health benefits of exercising in our sedimentary lifestyle. Regardless of age, exercising helps us prevent chronic diseases and maintain our cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also helps us burn those extra calories and to keep our weight in check. Exercising also keeps different parts of our body active, making it easier to do any strenuous physical task whenever required.

But there are many other benefits of exercising daily in the morning which we don’t realize. These benefits effects our mood and energy levels all through the day. Here I am listing 5 such positives from exercising which we don’t realize –

1. Personal Victory

When you wake up early, and get out of bed for exercising, that itself is a victory. A personal victory over our lazy and procrastinating self. A victory over the many different reasons which you will find for not getting out of bed in the morning. And let me tell you, those reasons will always be there. Having the courage to actually get out of bed and go walking or jogging is a personal victory. And what better way to start your day than with a personal victory over that part of yourselves which is weak, doubtful and unsure by the part which is courageous, brave and energized.

2. Confidence in Yourself

Keeping your confidence in yourself is very important, especially in times of setbacks, emotional turmoils or financial difficulties. Knowing that you wake up every morning and exercise will always remind you that you are a winner. It takes a lot of courage, determination and discipline to exercise daily and when you apply these traits in exercising, you know you can apply these in other areas of your life too. You carry the positive energy coming from exercising to the rest of your life and that will help create a chain of positive events, even in difficult times.

A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs.  ~Joan Welsh

A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs. ~Joan Welsh

3. Stress Buster

Life is full of surprises, and not all of them good. And it hurts when a not-so-good surprise reaches us when we are not expecting it. Often we find ourselves reaching for things like food, alcohol, or drugs because they make us feel better. The same feeling can come from exercising. Exercise provides an outlet for negative emotions like your frustration, anger, resentment towards an individual, an organization or a situation, which in turn promotes a positive outlook. Medically also it is proved that exercising releases mood-elevating chemicals in the brain and reduces the amount of negative hormones.

4. Peaceful Greeting to the Day

Exercising is a wonderful way to greet every new day as it begins. Nothing can be better than seeing the first rays of light on the horizon or the sunrise. Everything is so quite and peaceful in the morning, and many say that mornings are the most productive time to do anything. You can easily hear the sound of the wind, of bird chirping in the morning. You can focus on your breathing in the morning as the city is still asleep and you are alienated from its hustle and bustle. Mornings are also a wonderful time to read a book, or to think and make plans for the day ahead.

5. Free Time Later in the Day

When you get up early in the morning, you are calm and relaxed as you get time to think and plan out your day. You don’t to have to rush to get ready to catch the office bus or take the car through traffic in a rush to reach office in time for that 10 am meeting. Instead you are free and can leave early to avoid the traffic rush. With this state of mind, you are more productive and energetic the whole day and will obviously wrap up your work earlier than in normal days. This will leave you extra time in the evening to spend with your kids and family. Just imagine the kind of sleep you will get at night if you get up and exercise, then reach office and work more productively,  and later spend some quality time in the evening with your family.

In such a lifestyle, there is no space for any stress and we will always be better equipped to handle life’s problems and setbacks when they come. All by doing one simple act of exercising daily, and regularly. If you have always thought that you didn’t have time to exercise because you are busy, think again. Because exercising does not only gives you benefits in that 30 mins or 1 hour that you exercise, it has a huge impact on the whole of your day. I would say, certainly a worthwhile investment to do daily first thing in the morning.

How letting go of SaleRaja could be one of my best decisions ever?

It was December 2009, and although I was still working on SaleRaja, it was now more as a burden than for interest. I was stumbling in the timelines for feature changes that I had set myself, my enthusiasm was low and I was unsure about what the future had in store for me and SaleRaja. Finally, after managing SaleRaja alone for the whole of 2009, I decided to let it go and focus on my career through a job. That means I was soon looking for a job when at one time I thought that I would not have to find another job ever. My motivation levels were at an all-time low, and I was confused and unsure about what next?

But I decided to take a break from entrepreneurship, focus on my career through a normal job, and come back to entrepreneurship some years later. It was not an easy decision, and it took me around six months of consideration to finally stop running SaleRaja as a business. Looking back now, 16 months after that decision, I can laugh over those uncertain times and say that it might be one of the best decisions I ever took. The first few months were tough, as I was confused, low on confidence and struggling to find a direction in life. But after that, and till now, the going has been wonderful. I have done things in the last one year that I never thought I could, and would do, ever. I am listing below everything for which I am really grateful in this past year.

Started sumit4all.com
I had always been good at writing, but used my writing skills only when writing letters, emails, or when somebody asked my help with it. Hence, in January 2010, I started sumit4all.com as a blog where I would write about different things I feel about, my experiences, my life, etc. I could only do so because I was free and there were no SaleRaja deadlines to follow. It was not easy at first, and I was not able to write more than one post per week. Writing was like a pain in the ass and I had to put in a lot of concentration, patience and effort to research about a topic and write an article. But slowly and steadily, I started enjoying writing and I am writing around 15 articles every month now. Many of my articles have been well received and been shared a lot through social media like facebook, twitter, etc. Now I have plans of writing and getting a book published in 5 years.

Reading Books
I started reading books during the last few months of 2009 when I was struggling with SaleRaja, but I made it regular only after Jan 2010. I started reading two books every month and have been following this practice till now. I have read autobiographies, self help books, and a few business and fiction books too. These books have allowed me to take a peek into the stories of so many men and women, and the perspective of life I got after that have been amazing. I have a small, but good library now and have a lot of books in my to-read list.

A screenshot from SaleRaja.com

A screenshot from SaleRaja.com

Landmark Education
Right after SaleRaja, I was looking for some kind of education to fill in the gaps in my skills which I had found during my stint with SaleRaja. I looked at MBA options, some short time courses done by IIMs and other B-schools, but nothing interested me. I started finding groups online related to business, entrepreneurship and started meeting like minded people in Bangalore, but that also didn’t sustain. Then I enrolled myself in the various programs of Landmark Education since July 2010, and am continuing this education even now. This could not have come at a better time for me. It has helped me get my confidence to a new level and clear a lot of doubts about life. Also, I met a lot of people through Landmark Education who are very successful and leading wonderful lives, providing inspiration and support. I can without doubt say this last seven-eight months of Landmark has been the best education of my life. It is ironical how we keep studying about specific skills / courses but never study anything about life and living in general.

Joined Yahoo
Yahoo, Google and a few more are the dream companies of many people. I was open to both startups and big companies when I started looking for a job again, and found myself in Yahoo in March 2010. Having spent the last one year here, it has given me my first experience of working in a multinational company. Dealing with different people and teams from Singapore, Brazil, Europe and US over the last year has given me much needed exposure about how work happens across continents, cultures and languages. In the future too, I am sure there is a lot I can gain from Yahoo and working here.

Waste Management Activities
In September 2010, I got intrigued by the idea of waste management and thought of a business idea around it. Since starting a new business was out of question, I got involved in waste management related activities in Bangalore to know more about its details. I took an initiative to implement waste management in apartments starting November 2011 and have got a decent response from that. I have met a lot of people who are already working in this area and am totally amazed by their energy levels. They have been a great inspiration about how to to live life responsibly. It also gave me the confidence to take new initiatives in any area, irrespective of my skills and knowledge in that area.

Dandi March 2
In March 2011, I got a chance to organize an anti-corruption walk in Bangalore. In less than three weeks, I put together a team and on 26 March, over 400 people walked over 11km under 4 hours to make this walk a huge success. These three weeks were one of the best of my life, with all my learnings in the past year put to test. I got confidence like never before after this event, and the Anna Hazare magic caught the attention of the whole nation soon after that. It was during this time only that some articles written by me attracted huge traffic from google as people searched for anti-corruption keywords on the internet. The success of this walk is the reason nothing seems impossible now to me.

What Next?
Although I have gained a lot in the last one year, I very clearly see a long journey ahead with lots to learn and do. I am in the most calm and peaceful state of mind that I have ever been, and with confidence that I can take on anything now. It has not been all uphill too in the last year, and I have tasted some setbacks too, but I have surprised myself with how well I have handled myself during these breakdowns. I have taken the lessons from the mistakes I have committed without getting frustrated and upset, and moved on to newer things. For the remaining of 2011, I have atleast two more initiatives lined up in the social space, so watch out in the coming weeks for more updates 🙂

Update – Pick a Fight was born soon after I wrote this post

India after 200 years

We, as a nation, stand today in a moment of reckoning. We are at a fortunate junction where our actions will decide the course our nation and 1.2 billion people will take in the coming decades and centuries. If India’s history were to be written 200 years later, what we do in the next few years will certainly play a very important role. We have broken from the shackles of the license raj and taken the flight of globalization and economic growth. We are expected to be third largest economy soon. But at the same time, we are plagued by many social evils like poverty, illiteracy, corruption, etc. Whether and how we act in this moment of reckoning will decide whether we rise like a phoenix in the 21st century or again loose the opportunity to reclaim the title of “Sone ki Chidiya“.

We have a feel good mentality about our future now. Incomes are rising, jobs are plenty, multinationals have set up shops in different cities and amenities are galore if you want to go out for eating, recreation or just fun. We are one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and our companies like Reliance, TCS, Infosys are going multinational. Our engineers are behind many technological innovations in developed countries, and we are being seen as a knowledge powerhouse. American President Barack Obama has publicly asked American kids to study hard or they risk loosing their jobs to Indians (and Chinese). We have made our mark in the filed of telecom, space technology, medicine, defense, and have also started to make an international impact in arts and sports.

However, having said that, we are grappling with many problems which are deep rooted in our system because of our colonial roots and the closed economy system from 1950-1990. Our economic growth has still left a large part of the population untouched. We have got problems of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, rising prices, social inequality and terrorism. We are one of the poorest countries in the world, where more people have access to mobile phones than a toilet. The middle and higher classes use drinking water for flushing toilets too, and the lowest segments of society don’t even have access to clean drinking water. The condition of women is still poor. More than 50% are illiterate, and there are still social ills like dowry, child marriage, female infanticide prevalent in society. Our public services are breaking under the strain of bureaucracy and inefficiency.

Can we keep the optimism alive?

Can we keep the optimism alive?

With majority of our population being young, and the kind of confidence they see for their future, I believe we have everything to change the situation around. The youth have to see this as a moment of reckoning, where the actions we take today will decide the future course our nation takes. We can feel the optimism an average Indian has in the way he goes about his daily routine, with aspirations in his mind and hope in his vision. The Indian today wants to grab a piece of this growth, a piece of future, and provide a better future for himself and his family, and indirectly, for the nation too.

So when our history is written 200 years down the lane, what our generation did with this opportunity will decide the course India takes. We have missed opportunities in the past, and we might miss this one too if we let our skepticism and cynicism about the current state of affairs overcome the very basic human ability, to strive despite of problems and shortcomings. History might say India had a golden opportunity to shine and lead a new world but instead it dig its own grave and continued to grapple with its problems. Or history might witness the rise of India, again, after the period of colonization and slow growth for 60 years, into a prosperous society and economy which will lead the world order in matters of importance. We have already shown leadership to the world in the area of trade reforms and environment concerns, and there is no doubt why we can’t give this world the direction it is looking so badly for.