So many exercise advice lists say you should get to the gym or exercise in some way first thing in the morning. For the most part, this advice is aimed at people who get up at the same time every day for work, but it can work for other people who don’t have such regular schedules. Whenever I read these types of articles or lists of how to stick with an exercise plan or whatever, I think it makes sense to get your exercise done first thing, shower then you’re ready for the day.
Here’s my problem with implementing that strategy. The few times I’ve been to the gym recently, I’ve noticed something about myself. The days I get to the gym some time in the afternoon, exercising feels good. I can push myself and I’m tired when I’m done, but it’s for the most part a positive experience. The past two Saturday mornings that I’ve woken up and gone right to the gym have felt horrible. My workout is hard and I’ve felt wiped out after both, rather than the strange tired yet energized that I usually feel.
I’m not saying I’m giving up on the idea of exercising first thing in the morning, but at least for now, it’s not for me. I have to wake myself up earlier so I can be awake a bit before getting to the gym. To be honest, this isn’t a new thing for me. When I was in nursing school and had to be at a clinical site very early in the morning, I woke myself up that much earlier so I would be awake enough before I would be able to eat some breakfast before clinical. Even when I worked at Starbucks and opened the store very early in the morning, I would not have been able to help customers right away. It took the half hour or so of doing the opening tasks before the store opened for me to mentally wake up enough to be pleasant to customers.
I have this history of not doing well right when I wake up, so it shouldn’t surprise me that getting to the gym first thing isn’t ideal. I guess this is just a long, drawn out way of saying that week 3 day 1 of couch to 5k, which pushed the running time up to 3 minutes, kicked my ass.