So it’s 10 p.m. on Sunday night and while most of my friends are settled down in front of the TV trying not to think about the impending doom that is Monday morning, I am pulling on my pajamas and setting my alarm for 5 a.m.
With a smoothie ready in the fridge and leggings and towel by the front door I wonder if I am absolutely mad. No, I’m not getting an early morning flight to an exotic country. I have made the conscious decision that I will attend a pre-work yoga class.
My sleep is definitely less than peaceful. I’m tossing and turning constantly, wondering if it’s 5 a.m. or whether I should actually just turn off the alarm.
Then the music starts playing; it’s now officially 5 a.m.
Pulling myself out of my dreams is the hardest part but once I get into the kitchen, glug some water and rapidly dress, I have adrenaline coursing through my veins and there’s no stopping me as I sprint through the rain to my car.
It’s still dark. All the normal people in the world are fast asleep. Why am I doing this?
As I walk into the studio I beam at everyone, feeling like I’m a part of some special undercover exercise society. “Good morning! Guess I’m not the only one mad enough to be up at this hour!” I receive a couple of smiles, but everyone else seems to be dreaming (although the receptionist was smiling, I know she was thinking that it’s all our fault she had to drag herself out of bed!).
And then it begins. The stretches, followed by the immense sweat of a hot yoga class. Why on earth am I here? I am going to die! I get told off for sipping my water when other people are obediently in their postures. Oops. Oh the pain, oh the lack of balance. Oh the humility!!
What felt like an eternity later I’m lying on my mat being dismissed from the class. It’s 6:30 a.m. Wait, I did it! I actually did it! The pride and smugness starts to prevail and I merrily skip out the room to rush off to work. As the day continues I weigh up all the benefits:
Before the day has even really begun, a workout has been completed. It’s not just sleep, eat, work anymore, there’s another added dimension to be proud of and ohhhh, it feels so good!
2) Increased Productivity
Starting with such a positive rush of good vibes sets everything else up for the day—it gets things going in the right direction and the brain has woken up!
3) No More Guilt
So many days can go by where I feel guilty about not having done exercise or I know I’m going to be too tired to do anything when I get home. But exercising in the morning completely eliminates that. Before you can even have the slightest thoughts of incapacity you’re right there in the thick of it! Tackle the problem before your mind is too awake to convince you otherwise!
4) Metabolism is Boosted
Working out boosts the metabolism and continues for hours afterwards. So by going first thing, calories are being burned throughout the day when eating, rather than just when I’m snoring away in bed!
Places to go, people to see—there’s never enough time to do it all, until now! Exercise when others are sleeping, do the daytime job stuff, and then have all the time in the evening to do whatever else you want without having to schedule fitness time!
6) Better Diet
By setting off on the right foot first thing in the morning, it’s usually instinctive to put good food in afterward. Getting into the mind-set of health immediately is likely to change how you view food for the rest of the day. It’s a great kick-starter!
This one applies especially to practices like yoga. If you pay attention when you’re moving your body, you become mindful of it, and subsequent behavior, emotions, and thoughts follow. This awareness so early on in the day can bring many benefits, as acting with awareness is the best thing anyone can ever do!
8) Endorphins are Released
Endorphins are basically happy chemicals that get released in the brain when we do things like exercise, so getting these going at six in the morning means I eliminated that grumpy morning feeling, didn’t dread going to work, and could spread happy cheer wherever I went!
Early morning is a seriously quiet time of the day and if you’re working out at 6 a.m., it’s unlikely that anything (including your own brain) will bombard you. No mental to-do lists have woken up yet as you’re pretty much exercising on borrowed time and there’s a general sense of peace that surrounds the morning!
Yes, that’s right. Sexiness. Walking back to the apartment with a towel slung over your shoulder and skin-tight gym wear glistening with perspiration, you are telling the world you are motivated, fit, and you work out. And that, my friends, is sexy.
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