I’ve heard testimonials about the joys of working out and I must admit that yes, there are huge benefits to exercising in a gym — but joy? Reluctantly I train regularly because I know it’s healthy, but I’ve run miles and never ever had a runner’s high; I really don’t like to sweat; I begrudge the hour it takes to work out; and I’d prefer to do almost anything else.
Nevertheless, because I know it’s good for me, I found a gym where there’s no one else exercising when I am. The trainer knows I’m all business. I just want to focus and be done. I have no interest in socializing. And if by some awkward chance you bump into me, I beg you NOT to coach me on how to enjoy what I’m doing unless glaring looks of distress are the response you want.
If I have to exercise, I might as well do it at the time that offers the most benefits — and that seems to be early in the day.
You can start the day with coffee because caffeine is the perfect pre-exercise boost.
You build more muscle if you do strength training early because it’s peak progesterone time.
You're more likely to be consistent because of fewer unexpected interruptions.
Exercise endorphins energize you and you start the day more alert.
You continue to burn calories throughout the day.
Morning exercisers sleep better and get a longer night’s rest.
These are good reasons to exercise in the morning, but for me it’s all about guilt. A morning workout puts the avoidance temptation behind me. After a workout and a shower to wash away the experience, I’m eager to start my day doing just about anything else. (Notice that I don’t consider exercise as a start to my day, but rather something to get out of the way before my day begins.)
Strangely, I enjoy playing tennis (outdoors), riding (a real bike), walking in nature (never on a treadmill), hiking (a real trail), kayaking (in tranquil water), and assorted other active endeavors that give me pleasure. I do prefer to play tennis in the early morning but only because it’s the coolest part of the day.
This blog is not meant to either encourage or discourage you about exercising.
In fact, if you love to exercise, please keep it to yourself!
Sources: National Sleep Foundation, Jeff Reagan, www.webmd.com.