I’m about to do something totally out of character. I really never thought this day would come, but here goes…
I’m going to advocate for morning workouts.
Not like nice, leisurely 10 AM workouts, but the ones where you have to get up insanely early in order to get the thing done and still get to work on time.
I know–no one’s more surprised than I am.
The evening workout thing just wasn’t happening. You know the drill: get home tired, have to make dinner, want to spend time with family, and then–whoops! It’s 10 PM, and I still need to fool around on the internet for a pathetic amount of time. (I actually did do some 10 PM workouts here and there, but guess how awesome that wasn’t??)
So I’ve been on the morning workout train for a little over a week now, and it’s going SHOCKINGLY well. Like, I’m embarrassed by how well it’s going. What were my original excuses again?
To be clear, I think a MAJOR factor in my success is that it’s summer, so it’s not unbearably cold or dark at the ungodly hour I need to get up to make this happen (which isn’t that ungodly at all, really). I’m not convinced that I could pull this off in the winter, when my bed is all warm and my brain’s telling me that darkness = sleep time.
But for the time being, it’s working. I’ve been doing a mix of random things that add up to about 30 minutes. Like, this morning, I practiced teaching the intro track to a PiYo class (pretty sure I have it down! I even tweaked the exercise progression a little bit to align better with the song–who do I think I am right now??), then did this 10-minute PopSugar arm circuit, and wrapped it up with a speed walk down and then back up the giant hill in our neighborhood. Other days, I’ve done random PiYo tracks using my instructor DVD or my own prenatal workouts.
So everybody knows the obvious reasons that morning workouts are nice:
–You go into the day more energetic.
–You’re less antsy at work (in my experience).
–No guilt of taking time away from family (they’re sleeping!).
–Evenings become sooooo luxurious.
–Etc. etc. etc.
But I recently heard another reason that I actually found even more compelling than any of that. It was in a Balanced Bites podcast (what else?) when Diane was talking about how the body naturally goes after the most readily available form of fuel. So, if you eat a carb-loaded snack and then work out, your body’s going to start using those carbs first, before it hits up the back room for fuel stores.
In the morning, of course, you’ve been fasting for however many hours, which essentially puts your body into a state of “ketosis” (fat-burning vs. glucose-burning). So it’s ready to accept fat as a fuel source, even though it always prefers glucose (easier to convert).
If you don’t eat before your early morning workout (which I don’t, and Diane recommends not doing if possible), your body has no immediate fuel to work with, so it has to go directly to stored energy. Aka my love handles. (Not specifically of course–I WISH–but you get the idea.)
I haven’t done a bunch of research on this to make sure Diane knows what she’s talking about, but I do generally trust her opinion–plus there’s the fact that it makes sense. (My only little hiccup is that I’m not sure you can actually get into full-on ketosis after one night of fasting, but I’m no expert on all that sciency business.)
All I know is that when your alarm is blaring (actually, I have the kind that’s like gentle piano music in a rainforest, haha) and you know you COULD sleep longer, you need all the reasons and motivations you can possibly get. So I’ll take it!
When’s your preferred time of day to work out?
If you work out in the morning, what reasons are most compelling to you?