Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunrise Workouts

I’ve never considered myself to be a morning person. A night owl by nature, I relish late nights and lazy mornings whenever I can, and used to make a habit of exercising with my husband each evening before winding down with a tasty meal and refreshing glass of wine. 

This year, however, between nighttime grad classes and hectic schedules all around, my time and motivation for sunset fitness has definitely taken a backseat. And afternoon routines? Forget it. Once I’m in a productive "zone" throughout the day, there’s no way I’m about to quit to squeeze in a workout.

Ever since last fall, the pounds have slowly started to creep on, along with the stress that accompanies feeling out-of-shape and lax about my health. Something simply had to change, and that’s why you'll now find me rising and shining three days a week for 6 a.m. cardio and toning classes at the local community center.  

Image Source: www.activehealthinstitute.com
After just one week of sessions, I still feel part insane yet also part exhilarated by being up before the sun, fascinated to discover a whole new world of early-morning dog-walkers, joggers and commuters, all venturing forth bravely into the rising dawn. All in all, I'm pleased that the transition hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I initially thought it might be. 

Rather than feeling entirely exhausted afterward, the early start has actually helped me feel more energized and productive throughout the day. And although I do still have trouble falling right to sleep when I turn in early, I know it’s surely better for my health in the long-run than staying up until 1 a.m. trying to finish just one last chapter of reading, like I usually do.

Even more so, the fact that it’s a scheduled class I’ve actually paid for pushes me to get up and start moving, even when I don’t initially feel like it. Working out in a group also inspires me to push beyond my limits without giving up. I’ll keep you posted as the weeks progress, but right now I’m looking forward to a healthier, stronger, few-pounds-lighter me!

How do you stay in shape, and what’s your favorite time of day to work out? 


P.S. Special thanks to blogger Nali of It's the {little} things for giving me The Versatile Blogger award! I'm proud to pass it along to each one of the inspiring and insightful writers listed in my "Savvy Reads" sidebar, whose posts never fail to brighten my day! 

19 comments:

  1. Good for you! I used to love working out at 5:30 - the feeling of not having to work out after work is the best thing ever. Now, I can't get out of bed that early no matter how hard I try. My new favorite time to work out is at 8:00 p.m. - prime time when the new TV shows are on. I can watch them while on the Stairmaster :)

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  2. Wow! I leave for work at 7 and work 12 hour days, so exercising and blog commenting have always been hard to accomplish.

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  3. Ha! I've gained about 10 lbs since our wedding. I recently bought P90X to get back into shape. I told my husband it's not working and he reminded me I had to take it out of the box and use it ;-)

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  4. Good for you! I have tried to do morning workouts and it's mostly worked. It's hard, but I definitely prioritize being healthy and developing a more balanced lifestyle!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  5. In the past when I would work out (which was rare) I preferred to do it at night because I can't manage to get out of bed any earlier than I already do, but it's hard to have that kind of motivation after a long day of work too. Hence why I didn't work out much!

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  6. I can totally relate to the night owl part, I just can't do mornings. I am glad that you are enjoy your early morning exercises... keep it up!

    Oooh! I am on your "Savvy Reads" sidebar, thanks for the award!!!!

    Have a great day :)

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  7. Good for you for getting up early and working out. I am sooo not a morning person, and really admire people who are able to not hit the snooze alarm 4 times before getting up!

    I've recently started going to scheduled workout classes too, and I agree, knowing that it's scheduled and you've spent money on it already really helps motivate me to go.

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  8. I've got my engagement photo shoot coming up in 2 weeks, so I'm dieting and exercising like crazy. I am not a morning person, so I try to get out for a 4-7 mile walk sometime around 1-2pm. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise though, next to swimming.

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  9. congrats on the award!

    Interesting how you are accepting this change to your routine... I don't know if I'd be so welcoming. lol.

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  10. That's great! I started waking up at 6am to get an hour to an hour and a half of writing done before going to work. I'm usually not a morning person either but it's been working out well. I need to squeeze in more exercise time in my schedule. I like working out outside (running on bike riding) so now that it's getting nice and cool out, I'll try to do that more. :)

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  11. WOW! I'm so proud of you! Keep up the good work :)

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  12. Ooops - that looks creepy! I was logged in as my husband .. the above comment was from me ... SO sorry!
    Denalee

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  13. Congrats for getting up early to work out! I am not a morning person either and I really don't like to excercise. My intentions are good but then I think of ALL the things I need to get done and excercising gets pushed to the way way way back burner!

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  14. I absolutely have to go before work. Even though I'm exhausted and don't want to, I make a point of going - when someone else is paying for your membership, you tend to show up :) I make it at least 4 days a week, but usually 5!

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  15. oh my goodness I could have written this exact same post today!!

    I've gained 6 pounds since the wedding and have been working out less than I have in the past 7 years!! ever since college, I have diligently woken up at 6:15 every morning, worked out at the gym, showered there and gone to work. However..somewhere around April..I just lost it. My morning workout routine just couldn't happen anymore with everything else going on and it has been imposssible to get back to it! So last week..I bought a new membership at a gym that's a 6 min. walk down the street from us and I am slowly but surely trying to get back into the 6am morning workout routine (by slowly I mean, this morning was the first time Ive been to a gym since april!!) But tomorrow, hopefully I can rise and shine at 6am knowing that somewhere in DC...Heather is getting up for her cardio session too!!

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  16. Congrats on the workouts!! Everyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest advocate of #BEASTMODE, so I am all for the early morning exercise! :)

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  17. Good for you! I am not a morning person, so the earliest I have ever worked out is like 10 am...ha! I tend to workout after work, which is typically when I get my second wind. I wish I could get them over earlier so I would have more free time in the evenings, but I enjoy sleeping in too much.

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  18. how awesome for you :)

    i need to start getting back to work outs. we usually go after work but since it's been getting darker earlier, i may have to try morning ones.

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  19. Me too! While I've long been a morning person, I found I was both a morning person and a night owl in grad school. Seminars ended at 9p.m., I'd typically read until midnight and get up a five or six to work out. It was grueling. My heart goes out to you!

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