I’ve really lapsed with exercising. The dark and the cold and the winteryness of morning has really put me off getting up, and I wasn’t much good before that!!

Early after the first lockdown I bought a spin bike and for many months it was my friend. Then British Summer Time ended and it as a downhill slope from there. But last week, there was a noticeable lightness to the morning, so this week I’m back on the saddle.

In the interests of self-awareness, this week is also going to be an experiment to see what the physical and mental impact of 30 minutes of exercise before work has.

I’m doing a simple measurement:

  • How do you feel today
    *…physically (😒1-5☺️) and
    *…mentally (😒1-5☺️)
  • and some comments

I’m accepting that everything going on in work and at home will impact but the highs may be higher and the lows may be…higher? That’s the theory!

So we’ll see how it goes and we’ll see what a bit of self-awareness uncovers this week. I’ll let you know on Friday how it’s gone.


On Monday I told you about my plan to do 5 days of 30 minute spin cycling before work. Here are the results of my self assessment

Body – my physical well-being improved from 2 on Monday to 4 by Friday

Mind – my emotional well-being improved from 2 on Monday to 4 by Thursday and stayed there on Friday.

Here are some things I noticed:

You put your whole self in, your whole self out… To have an impact on emotional well-being, exercises needs to be a whole body thing. I added wrist weights to my cycling routine.

Exercise is mind maintenance. By the end of the week I felt more level and balanced, less up and down and better able to rationalise challenges and respond to irritations.

Make it routine. When you need exercise you don’t have the motivation to do it. Make it part of your routine so not doing it is not an option. Pick an environment that is less impacted by light and cold, so you don’t avoid it when it’s dark at 7am

Swapping commute time for mind maintenance and fitness seems like a pretty good exchange. I hope when work starts moving back to the office we still have opportunities to work from home and benefit from the available commute time.