My Love/Hate Relationship With Early Morning
I like to think that I am a morning person. I like to think that I am bright eyed and ready to go every time I set me alarm early for whatever it might be. In reality, that's not always true. No one is ready to jump out of bed every am. Sometimes you just want to melt into the comfortable mess of blankets and pillows and forget that you have an adult responsibilities. If you're sleeping no one can make you do anything right? That's how it works.
Still overall, early mornings are my thing. I like early mornings because I always feel productive. When I wake up and get my day started early, I get more done and still have time to relax and enjoy my day. Probably because I have more hours spent awake than usual. Maybe, because waking up early gives me a kick in the ass and I stay productive for most of they day. Over the years, I've realized that I get sluggish if I sleep too much and I have been chasing the elusive "perfect" number hours sleeping that leaves me feeling refreshed and energetic. More often than not, when I wake up early and get 7-8 hours of sleep (no more) I feel my best.
I was telling my boyfriend the other day (when I forced him to wake up at 6am to take my yoga class & drive me there.. on a SUNDAY. gasp. i know.) that I loved early mornings during lacrosse season in college. We used to wake up at 7 am or even earlier on Saturday mornings in order to get to breakfast and our games each week. An ungodly hour for most college kids but for me it was peaceful. Walking across Tufts campus before anyone was up, the campus was always beautiful and quiet. A lot less stressful than navigating the quad or the intersections the moments class let out. I was able to appreciate the beauty of campus and slow down and take in my surroundings on these mornings. ( a rare occurrence when running from class to class during the week with your head down).
The sunrise on the way to yoga at 6:30am
Morning workouts are my workouts of choice. Getting my workout in first thing jump starts my day and keeps me energized throughout the morning. By getting my workout out of the way, I feel energized and already productive by the time I've had a full breakfast and am on my way to work or class. I don't drink coffee anymore (16 months strong!!) so getting my my blood moving and endorphins flowing is like a natural energy booster in the am. To be fair, there is too early for an early am workout. I have no problem going to a 6 am yoga class or getting up for a run or gym workout to start at 6am but earlier than that and I'd have to pass. I don't see a benefit in getting up much earlier than that to get a workout in. When I used to work early shifts as a PT aide (6am-2pm) I would have to be up at 5am just to eat, shower and get ready. There was NO way I was going to get up and workout before that. Although with that shift I was able to get my workout in right after work at 2pm which wasn't bad either.
Early AM stairs to kickstart my day on Tuesday
My problem with afternoon or night workouts is I lose ALL motivation and productivity after a certain time at night. (it's becoming earlier and earlier) Don't get me wrong I CAN go to a workout at 7:30 at night and I will if its my only option but I don't love it. I've always been like this. and it applies to more than just my workouts. Now that I am back in school I am realizing that I am so much more productive studying the morning or during the day/afternoon. After dinner, I like relaxing, preparing for the next day (lunch, outfit, gym bag) and being in comfy clothes in my apartment. The idea of having to get moving after 7 at night is daunting to me. My mind starts to wander and all I want to do is watch some Grey's or read a magazine.
I've always been like this. I never used to wake up AS early as I do now but I was never one to stay up late studying. I NEVER pulled an all nighter in college. In fact, the one time I attempted to I ended up just be ing super antsy from the coffee and my friend made me go home fro the library because I was ruining everyone's including my own productivity. My favorite studying technique was to wake up early when the dining hall's open, swipe in and stay for breakfast and lunch (a twofer deal) and I got a lot done.
On the other hand......Sleeping in isn't the worst thing in the world. The occasional Saturday when I don't have anywhere to be or anything planned and I don't set an alarm in favor of waking up naturally is wonderful. I feel like my body craves it every week or two. The key here is NOT having anything on my to do list for that (which these days is rare). When I lay in bed all morning and have a to do list I feel guilty and can't enjoy it fully. When I can enjoy sleeping in, I enjoy sleeping in
So my final consensus on early mornings is I'm into them. I feel better and it works for me. It's how I get myself motivated and it's what my body is used to. They don't work for everyone though. My advice to you is try out early mornings for a few weeks (it takes a while to get used to waking up before the sun rises) and see how you feel. You might find a new found motivation. It might not work for you and that's okay. If you are a late night sweater or study person get after it. Find what is right for you and find what you can stay consistent with.
Get up & Get upside down!
With all that said, I had to be out of the door by 645am this AM and I will be in class until 7 pm so I am attempting a mini workout when I get home.... We will see how this goes.