Wake up! Wake up!

26 Feb

 

(Fighting the morning blues…and discovering what it takes to get up on the right side of the bed)

I recently moved to a new work location which has increased my commute dramatically. Since this unpleasant change occurred, I’ve been getting up an hour earlier and have TOTALLY been dragging what feels like every ounce of my earthly being out of the bed each morning. I’ve even tried pretending that my alarm clock is an air raid siren. But this still didn’t do me any good.

Basically, I’ve been so thrown by having to get out the door an hour earlier that I’ve converted to evening fitness entirely.  Last week, I took the opportunity to figure out (over five days) if I tried to transition back from a PM to AM sweat. As a result, I am taking this opportunity to share with you the pros and cons of early morning fitness regimes for those of you seeking to do a little switcheroo yourself.

My unscientific but hopefully helpful tips are as follows:

TIP 1: PICK A GOAL. Is your morning workout goal to get in some yoga? Head out for a spin class? Or simply get to take a dawn colored jog around the hood? Starting with the end in mind definitely helps. Visualizing your goals ahead of time certainly make them more achievable.

TIP 2: NO COLD TURKEY. Work up to waking for an early workout over a period of several days. This means you’ll need to scale down your evening routine (if you’ve got one) and try to get to bed earlier. This is really hard, especially for me. My biggest mistake deciding to break a serious sweat in the pre-dawn hours was jolting my routine (e.g. sleeping after midnight and waking at 5:30 for some spin). I tried this prior to making the transition the right way and ended up doing the sleepy head bob thing during and important meeting.

If tweaking your morning routine involves changing your wakeup time by an hour or more then I’d recommend you try to get up fifteen to twenty minutes earlier each day and do some gentle stretching or exercise.  (At the bottom of this entry, I’ve posted my favorite early morning yoga routine).

TIP 3: THE MAGIC YOGA HAND RUB. After you’ve acclimated over a period of three days or so, you may still feel totally beat and unable to move (notice a theme here with me?) If after the alarm starts buzzing, you have trouble achieving the initial burst of energy to rouse yourself from bed, I highly recommend that you get your rub on. It has helped me SO much. I’ve copied a video below of this yoga inspired invigorating hand rub. It also helps if while lying in bed, you turn touch the soles of your feet together and rub one sole against the other with the same vigor and at the same time that you rub your hands together. Call me crazy but it really wakes me. I stole this idea from a Kundalini yoga class and find it invigorates like nothing else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kUXQ26edow

TIP 4: PACK YOUR BAGS THE NIGHT BEFORE. Just like in grade school. You know what you need, just remember to put it all in one place…and don’t forget the water. You’ll be priced gouged at the gym.

TIP 5: HYDRATION. After your early morning foray into the dark side, you’ll be feeling extra parched. I advise skipping caffeine in large quantities until you know how depleted a morning sweat will leave you feeling. I love to recharge with Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness. It’s blended perfection…fruity mango and pineapple with spinach, barley, wheat grass, chlorella among other amazing things…plus it’s got green tea and echinacea. Who could ask for more? Seriously!

green goodnes

TIP 6: NIGHT OWLS MAY JUST HAVE TO SCRAP THIS IDEA. I’m not big on quitting but, in all honesty, after spending the time working up to morning workouts, I still felt uncontrollably tired during the day. My work/life schedule frequently demands that I stay up a bit past my bedtime so I am basically unable to recoup the hours I need to be fully functional all day. I am not giving up on the pre-work work out entirely, but I’m just saying I’m not sure I am there yet. At least not for every day. For those of you who can do it, power on! For those of you who can’t, I’ll be sure to talk loads more about powering up for a workout after a long day on the clock.

EARLY MORNING YOGA

As promised above, below is a link to a great morning yoga sequence. Even if you decide gearing up for a morning workout routine is not right for your lifestyle, this video is just a super awesome way to get invigorated in the a.m. Not to blow my own horn (‘cause I love yoga so much) but yoga can help loosen your muscles, relieve stress, change your prospective (something I’m in desperate need of when I wake) and help digestion. I recommend trying this at home:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLLskpRfhpM

One Response to “Wake up! Wake up!”

  1. Brandi February 26, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    If only I could get up every morning for yoga, it would be like a personal finding world peace….

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