Easier sleeps, better eats, and a happy dog – a few of the reasons we head out each morning …
Morning vs Evening Workouts
It’s been 18 months since we made the switch from 6 PM workouts to 6 AM workouts. It happened at the same time we left the structure of gym classes and began to design our own workouts. Here’s how it impacted our lives:
- Better workouts, fewer injuries.
- We start each day revved up and ready to conquer the universe.
- We sleep better and longer. No more dragging around for half the day.
- Regular home cooked, nutritious evening meals.
- A happy, healthy dog!
We had a good routine going: fight class and weight training twice a week plus yoga for me and ride class for Jamie. I’d rush out of work each night to make a 6 p.m. class. Then, the unheard of happened. Our favorite classes canceled in the after work time slot. Like everyone else we ranted at gym management and raged in emails. But, in the end it turned out to be a blessing. It started us on the path to morning workouts. So we left the gym and leapt out on our own.
We have better workouts
I always wanted to do a morning workout. I just found the timing of the gym’s morning classes at 5:15 a.m. to be a bit…well..uhm…early. I’ve had close to 24,000 days of practice at waking up in the morning. Still haven’t gotten used to it. It takes me a little time and a fair amount of coffee to get moving. Now, my exercise alarm goes off at 6:26 the time we try to be out the door. That’s a little more civilized.
Morning workouts just make me feel better for the whole day. Exhilarated. Sharp. Clear-headed. Spirited. And a morning workout in fresh air just doubles the benefit. I feel so happy and energized when I walk into the office. This morning exercise rush has got to be the same as the runner’s high.
Our workouts are also better because we design them for us. I’m paying a lot more attention to my body now instead of powering through a class following the instructor. Gone is the shoulder impingement and IT band pain. Using body weight exercises for muscle development may not make me as strong as free weights but it is making me strong without injury.
Our Lizzie dog is super fit
Our nine year old dog improved her fitness too. Lizzie used to spend an hour or two in suspended animation just waiting around while we were at the gym. Today, with a Chucker ™and whistling ball Lizzie gets a good 40 minutes of hard running in chasing that ball while we’re doing our thing.
It’s a real joy and super motivation when Lizzie jumps out of bed, runs into the foyer, collects up her “equipment,” and heads for the door at the first hint that coffee time for her peeps is coming to an end.
On a recent blood draw Lizzie had a, probably false, abnormal liver count. Between the first appointment and a follow-up three months later, she had lost three pounds. At first the vet was concerned but when I explained our workout routine, she asked me, “How’s that routine working out for you?” I had to say, “Not as well in the weight department as it’s working out for Lizzie.”
Easier sleeps and better eats
I sleep better now that we’re working out first thing in the morning. With my work schedule, often times we wouldn’t get home until 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening. And then Jamie would have to throw together supper.
At least for us, the combination of revved up metabolisms and late evening dining made it hard to get to sleep until 11o’clock or later. That cut into the quality sleep time we want (and need). Like many working Americans, we were chronically sleep deprived.
Besides that, our evening meals, though better than pathetic, were nothing to be proud of. These days Jamie has plenty of time in the evening to cook a variety of plant-based meals from scratch, something he truly loves doing. And I’m the happy beneficiary of his delicious (mostly), nutritious creations. Better food at a fraction of what we’d been spending on packaged vegetarian meals. Not bad.
Conduct your own experiment
If your schedule gives you the option of morning workouts, I suggest you give it a try for a couple of months.
- Be mindful of how it affects your attitude when you start your day with an exercise high.
- If you can manage to recruit a couple of workout buddies it’ll be harder to roll over and go back to sleep. Besides, your dog will love it!
- Monitor whether or not you sleep better and longer.
- Keep track of your evening meals and digestion. Our bodies are healthier and our digestion is easier with our A.M. fitness regime.
This morning routine has been so positive, we’ve even added 15 to 30 minutes of Spanish language studies before our workouts in the last few weeks. You might find morning workouts agreeable too.
Susan Carey retired in 2017 after a long business career most recently in animal welfare leadership. She writes about her experiences as a recent retiree living in Spain. Susan lives in Valencia, Spain with her husband, Jamie, and the senior pets they brought with them from the United States.