This may be a rather boring post, but I am troubled by the problem of exercise. There are two objectives and three four constraints here:


  1. Go for a run twice a week.
  2. Swim on non-running work days.
  1. I need to be near the markets at key times.
  2. I need at least 8 hours’ sleep.
  3. I don’t want to go to bed earlier than 10pm.
  4. I need routine to do things regularly, so exercise time should be the same time each day.
When could I exercise?
If I exercised in the morning, I would have to have a shower and shave at the gym on swimming days, which would not be so bad — I have done it before. But it means missing the open of various markets — I wouldn’t be at the office until around 9am. I could get up half an hour earlier, but I am loathe to do that because I need to be fresh for the day. I could do my exercise at lunch time, but I have nowhere to shower and change at the office so for runs I would have to walk to the gym, and then run on the roads around Victoria, which is not an appealing prospect. And I don’t like the idea of breaking in the middle of the day when the markets may be doing something interesting. Finally, I could exercise at the end of the day, but that leaves little time for supper, and makes the exercise routine vulnerable to social engagements and tiredness. This is why I have not been exercising — there doesn’t seem to be time.
The thing to realise is that excercise takes time and one has to give something up in order to do it. Ideally I would have a trading screen set above a running machine, and minions to alert me if anything interesting happened while I was swimming in my private pool. But I don’t have these things. The other thing to realise is that exercise is important. I will trade better if I am fit and active.
I think that the thing to do is exercise in the morning. I have to miss some of the trading day whatever I do, and this approach minimises the amount of the day lost. I don’t tend to trade at the London open in any case, and many markets are quiet until the US opens at lunch time. I will still be many hours ahead of a US-based trader. If I find I miss too many opportunities, I will revisit the question.