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A Night Owl’s Guide to Exercising in the Morning

There are many people who are night owls by nature- or I would say by habit or preference. It is only at night time or the few hours past midnight that the night owl finds it most inspiring to work on ideas. Or they stay up for the sheer love of it. Unfortunately, the world tend to operate in a mode that is more suited to the morning person than the night owl.

do-not-hit-the-snooze-button

The normal office hours begins from 8am or 9am- that means most people will have to get up around 6am or 7am depending on how long it takes to commute to work.

Night owls or night person, may naturally be tired in mornings and regain energy as the day pass on. Because performance is required at work, many night owls are beginning to see the benefit of being more productive in the morning. The best way to kick start the day is to exercise in the morning- forcing blood to pump through the system and wake up the entire head and body.

Further factors that pushes the night owl to consider converting to a morning person:

  • as age catches up, even though the night owl would like to stay up, she finds it gets harder to keep the eyes open. And if she sleeps too late, she finds that she had to go through the entire day feeling like a zombie
  • it come a time when the night owl realises that he gets more done if he wakes up at 6am compared to 10am and try to sleep early.
  • exercising at night according to Eastern practices, is detrimental to the body’s system as we are trying to push it to work when it is getting ready to shut down for the night. Furthermore, we all need to bathe after working and bathing right after gym workouts or at night are bad for health– it may lead to arthritis in old age.

What happens if your engine just refuse to start in the morning?

You may find it extremely difficult initially to push through the exercise pedals. You would probably be dismayed that the exercise speed is just too low compared to you normal peak time in afternoons/evenings.

How to battle: Patience and persistence.

Don’t give up- it takes practice and sometimes you need a few weeks of consistent exercise before your body starts to adapt to it. I know because I’ve been there. Usually when I use the cross bar as cardio warm up, my heart rate can easily reach up to 137 to 142 when I exercise during peak time. When I switch to morning exercise, the first three times- my heart rate hovers around 90 and I have problem staying awake at the bar. Oh, did I tell you that I am an night owl too 🙂

By week three, even though I was a bit sleepy headed, the heart rate during warm up finally nears my heart rate during my peak workouts.

I find that it is beneficial after warm ups to do more rigorous activities like jogging or running to wake up the system and get the blood flowing to every single cell of your body.

A benefit from exercising in the morning is that you tend to feel more alert and if you are the type who suffer from constant food cravings, the initial cardiovascular boost can do wonders to your blood sugar metabolism.

What happens if I just can’t wake up?

Sometimes you may not be able to wake up in time for your morning exercise sessions. Don’t beat yourself up for it. I also face similar predicament- my initial attempts of waking up in the morning saw only one exercise session during Monday to Friday (working days). So what I’ve lost, I made it a point to schedule weekends for workouts (for weekends, I follow back my peak workout times). But because I exercise in the gym, I am aware that the more sessions I miss, the more money I am wasting- so that also motivates me to try to wake up harder.

If you have any member of your family/housemates who are morning persons, enlist their help to wake you up in the morning every time you hit the snooze button in your alarm.

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