Morning Sickness

Being a health nut comes with certain conversational baggage. For example, I frequently find myself talking about working out, people in the gym, my running club, dieting and other minutiae so much so that I begin to lull myself to sleep from the repetition. This isn't from some elitist need to constantly expound upon those around me with my achievements (well, not entirely =), but more a natural progression of conversation about my day and the morning workout.

"Whoa!" they will exclaim, "I can't do mornings!" Then I usually bask in an outpouring of rationalizations, half-truths and Well thought out, carefully crafted statements intended to maximize sympathy. For maximum effect, this is accompanied by a steady gaze to show the sincerity of their words. I do my best to tune them out. I wait for my turn to speak. It's only fair since they do the same to me when I explain how it is possible to fit the time into their schedule. Maybe there is a better way to convince people. Perhaps convince isn't the right word...encourage would be better. So, for posterity's sake, here is my rationale for encouraging the morning workout; Why I buck the trend and get up to go six days a week and what motivates me to be consistent.

  1. Something always comes up.

  2. Everybody's been there. You start out with a spectacular plan and going every night to the gym is the solution! Monday is great, Tuesday, too, but on Wednesday, your coworkers are going out for a few drinks and it turns out to be a late night affair. No problem, there is always tomorrow. Doh! Your friend's birthday party is tomorrow! Maybe you can make up both workouts on Friday?

    My point is that unless you are a hermit or have the most forgiving friends who understand why you'll be an hour late because you have to go work will never work out. Something will always come up at night and destroy well-laid plans for getting into shape.

  3. Less glucose in your blood.

  4. Glucose is at its daily low in the morning. So when you start working out, the body reaches out for energy in the blood and can only find a limited amount. So what does it do? It burns fat.

  5. It starts your morning.

  6. Sounds silly, but I'm always wide awake by the time I get to the office. I'm also more calm. When I was training for the marathon, I revelled in the fact that I had run five or six miles that morning. It gives a sense of accomplishment before the workday has even started.

  7. There is only one excuse.

  8. At night, there are a million reasons that come up to miss a workout. Some you can anticipate, some you can't and some of them are damn good reasons. You have to quickly come up with a way to fit your workout into the schedule without dissappointing your friends, coworkers, or yourself. The compromise usually comes by shortening the workout or skipping the gym altogether.

    In the morning, however, there is only one excuse to miss a workout. One. Oh yes, I know it's a huge one, I battle with it daily. But once you learn to overcome the siren call of the snooze button, the morning workout can become a reality. It took me about a year to finally create a habit out of it, I know it's difficult. But for any consistent changes, I think it's essential.

  9. You have the right to brag.

  10. This is actually a motivating force. Others will look at you in awe when you mention your morning routine. They know it's not easy. They've thought about thinking about planning an early workout. Once you see the amazed look (quickly followed by their reasons why they can't do that) you'll think "Yeah, that's right, I'm tough!" and keep forcing yourself to wake up and start moving the moment the alarm goes off.

  11. The equipment is open!

  12. This is a big one for those who "don't have time" to workout in the morning, but seem to have time to wait in line for equipment at night. Fortunately, I've gone to the gym long enough that I can quickly find an alternate exercise for the same muscle groups, but it may be I have to make a third or fourth option during the evenings. Other times, I have to ask to "work in" and this makes my rest periods much longer than I want. And then, there is the factor that I want a specific know, the one that doesn't sound like an F-16 engine, the belt doesn't slip and it has a great view of the TV.

    Mornings spoil you. It's on those times that I have to go at night that I realize that the gym has overbooked membership to make more money and that they don't have enough lockers or benches in the men's room. The gym is a much better place at 7am.

  13. Less distractions.

  14. People working out in the morning are anti-social. You will be, too. Grumpy, quiet,'s perfect! They are efficient and move from machine to machine with a purpose. Morning people have a schedule and stick to it. They don't while away the time waiting for their friend in the Tae Bo class to finish.

    Whereas people at night have all the time in the world. They like to sit on equipment, taking ten minute breaks to let their muscles recover. They like to talk in small groups. Trainers will be moving their clients aggressively around the gym, teaching them to do bizarre exercises so they'll need their services in the future. And the strangest people come in at night and you'll wonder what the hell they are doing with that machine...too many distractions.

  15. You can make up workouts.

  16. Lastly, when you miss a morning workout because you really need the sleep you can always make it up at night! If you miss a workout at night, there is no going back. You either have to double your workout the next day (hah!) or just miss the workout. It's a guarantee of a consistent schedule.


Ahh, but my gym (the only decent one near me) opens at 7 and I work at where does that fit in on the excuse list? Factor in the 15 minute walk to work as well...

TheRus-who does usually go in the afternoons just after work before the crowds.

Dear Reader:

I suggest criticizing the lazy gym proprietors who open a gym at 7! Where are you? 1960?

It sounds like a place where it is assumed that people either go to work at 10am or have 20 minute workouts. Write your local Congressman and request a more standard workweek.

the Jayson

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