The Early Bird Gets Sweaty
Last week I posted my views on balance, and I noted that the two “non-negotiables” in my life are generally sleep and exercise. What didn’t occur to me at the time was that, at one point or another, those two non-negotiables were inevitably going to interfere with each other! Well, today proved that point for me.
My graduate summer semester started two weeks ago, and unlike the last two semesters (where I only had class one night a week), I have to attend class two nights a week. Generally on those nights, I don’t get home until around 7:30pm, at which point I need to eat dinner, catch up on emails, prep my breakfast/lunch for school the following day, and have at least a half hour of “wind-down” time. I’ve realized pretty quickly that on nights I have class, exercise really isn’t an option (the best I’ve been able to squeeze in is a twenty minute walk, and that was pushing it).
Obviously, missing two days of exercise a week is not a huge deal, but as I mentioned last week, I genuinely enjoy getting in at least a half hour of activity a day. I just feel BETTER afterwards, and I can feel a marked difference in my mood/sleep habits/etc. on days that I don’t work out. The only option left for these two days a week that I have night class was to try working out in the morning, so today I decided I would suck it up and (gasp!) cut into my sleep time to fit in a workout.
(No, this is not really my alarm clock, but I so wish it was. How retro!).
Instead of waking up at my usual 5:50, I crawled out of bed at 5:10, threw on some workout clothes and sneakers, turned on the news, and made my way through a thirty minute interval workout very loosely based on the typical Jillian Michaels format (two minutes of cardo blasts–jumping jacks, jump squats, punches, etc. alternated with two minutes of weights–biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, lunges).
(Oh, Jillian. I really do have a love-hate relationship with you, especially before dawn).
The results? A pretty heart-pumping, sweaty workout in just a half hour, if I do say so myself! Plus, I felt pretty badass getting that much accomplished before 6 am even rolled around. As for missing out on an extra forty minutes of sleep, I will say that I’m sleepy, but really no more than I would be on a normal day.
I know that this whole “working out in the morning” thing is nothing new for many, many people, but for me to give up ANY sleep time on a work day is a groundbreaking phenomenon in my little world. I’m going to give it another try on Wednesday (the other night I have class), and maybe (just maybe!) discover that this is a routine I can stick to.
How about you? Are you a morning exerciser or, like me, do you find it difficult to get your heart rate pumping before the sun comes up?