Can we talk about the gym? Like really honestly? I hate it. I hate working out and exercising. Always have, and probably always will. Even when I’ve been in a really good, consistent routine, and recognized the benefits, I’ve never enjoyed the actual during exercise part. I know I’ve said it before, but I hate doing things I’m not good at, and working out is definitely on that list. And doing in front of other people at the gym just brings back bad memories of grade school PE. And don’t get me started on group fitness classes…it is the grown up version of my PE hell–someone yelling, being the worst one in the room, and having to watch all the perfect people act like it’s too easy.
And yet, I am compelled to do it. I need it. Both for health reasons, and my mental state. I need the stress relief, the sleep benefits, the cholesterol-lowering generally make you healthier stuff. So I’ve been trying to find a routine I can be consistent at. I’ve mentioned trying early morning before, and afternoon workouts. I even made a pro/con list for each (I’m just a bit compulsive when it comes to researching and dissecting decisions). And I feel a little bit like a record writing about it again, but hey, you are free to not read. And I’m guessing with the number of “I hated PE too” comments I’ve seen on Facebook, I’m not the only one who struggles with working out.
So I tried both. I loved the feeling of “It’s over and I don’t have to think about it again and I can sit on the couch all night if I want to” feeling of morning workouts. But getting up at 5:30…ugh. There is not enough coffee. And 9:30 bedtimes felt so…geriatric. So I tried afternoon. And by “tried” I mean I ended up at the gym maybe twice a week if I was lucky. It just didn’t happen.
And as much as I despise it and write sarcastic posts about it, in all seriousness, I need exercise to be a lifestyle thing. My dad ended up in the hospital last summer with serious complications from not taking care of himself…my grandfather died of congestive heart failure. My genes didn’t set up me up great, and neither had my upbringing. My father own’s a candy company for goodness sakes.
So early morning workouts are back…with a 5:30 wake up call. Today was Day 2, and I plan to keep it going. I’m going to try to be a bit more flexible on bedtime to make it stick. Two days in (ha), it’s going well. I didn’t sleep well Sunday night, so yesterday was miserable. But actually, even though I felt kind of horrible (that awful you’re so tired you feel nauseous), I actually had quite a bit of energy. And I realized one unexpected benefit of morning workouts–I often find working out dreadfully boring, my mind just wants to do something else. I read, and watch tv, and listen to music (sometimes all at once), but I don’t enjoy it. I’m finding that at 5:45 though, I’m not awake enough to care. Which might be a good thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t love working out. Probably never will. But I may have a workable solution. Has anyone else made the switch to morning workouts? Or found a routine that’s bulletproof?