For decades, I have exercised early in the morning. For me it’s the best time of the day to exercise, and I know that when I do it, I feel much better for the entire day. That was until earlier this year, when I lost my way. This was before the pandemic struck, so I can’t blame isolation stress.
I was working longer hours than usual, and those hours were all over the place. I had a 45 minute drive to work, so some days I would leave home before 5am, and other days when I had a later start, I would be coming home at 9pm. This was no good at all for my early morning exercise routine.
I soon found that, even though I was still exercising, it wasn’t happening early. The pandemic then struck, and I was self isolated, with all day every day to myself. This brought on an attack of laziness, causing me to make the choice not to get out of bed early to exercise. Looking back, I needed a break, so I’m not making myself wrong over this. It was just the way it needed to be.
The thing is that this caused me stress. When I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, I get stressed. Stressed and disappointed that I didn’t get out of bed early. Stressed that I didn’t know what time in the day, I would be able to fit it in. Also I was feeling stressed that this could be the time when I give up exercise altogether. You would think with all this stress, that I would just get out of bed earlier and get into the gym. After all, I have a home gym, so it’s convenient for me. Even though we are having a very cold winter here, there are only 30 steps to be taken from my back door to the gym. But I just couldn’t do it. I told myself it was too cold out there.
When I was younger, I had a very strong gym attendance ethic. I was there at 5.30am every week day. I didn’t have a home gym in those days, so gym was 10k from my home. I must have been quite mad as I rode my bike to the gym every day without fail. In winter, the morning temperature would often be below freezing, there would often be rain, and it would very often be dark. I had small children at home and had to ride home from gym, in time to get their breakfast and see them off to school.
I don’t say this to say, “how good am I?” I’m just trying to illustrate how far I’ve fallen since those days. Thirty steps from my back door to my gym shouldn’t be so difficult.
I’m happy to say that I gave myself a talking to, and turned this around a few weeks ago. These days, I happily climb out of bed early on weekdays and head into the gym. By breakfast time, it’s done and I don’t have to think or stress about it at all during the day. That gives me such freedom to do whatever it is that I have planned for the day, without worrying about when I will be able to squeeze in a workout.
7 Benefits of early morning exercise
- There are no distractions early in the day. The day hasn’t yet started, so time is your own to spend exercising
- I am more alert in the early morning and have more energy
- To beat the heat of the day in summer
- It’s easy to put off a workout later in the day, when I’m busy with other things
- I feel stronger in the mornings. I haven’t read any science about this, but for me it’s true. I am much stronger when doing a strength program early.
- An early morning workout sets the tone for the day, usually leading to me making healthier food choices during the day.
- I always sleep better when I have a routine of early morning workouts
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This post is linked to Denyse’s #LifeThisWeek linkup