I have been teaching fitness in some form or another for 23 years...wow..reading that number makes me feel older than I actually feel. For most of my teaching life I can't think of a week when I haven't hauled my butt out of bed at 5.30am and headed to class. In the early days, in Canberra, I would scrape the ice off my windscreen of my old ford station wagon, head to the gym...teach, come out and re-scrape my windscreen. Really.
When I moved to Melbourne many years ago and started yoga as a student I was enthralled by the 6am - 8am yoga intensives that Frank Jesse offered at Clifton Hill yoga school. The change to my practice was immense. I come from a family of early risers so getting up before the sun is pretty normal but I married a night owl which comes with its own challenges. Add some kids who didn't like sleeping as babies and my energy to teach and train was sorely tested.
I regularly meet people who roll their eyes at my start time with a "oh that is too early for me" " I would love to be an early bird but its too hard". I want to be clear and do all my early morning training clients and friends - we don't really like getting up early either but for many reasons such as the list below we stopped giving ourselves the choice and ride the few moments of "is it really that time?" and just.get.up.
Benefits of getting up and training early:
It's all done by 7am. you walk out of your session with the smug knowledge you are done for the day! The monkey is off your back and you are free to work, play and hit the couch at 7pm without feeling guilty for the workout you never quite got to.
The people you meet - I did a FB post recently about this. The same people each week, each year. Train together, sweat together, laugh together. human connection..we crave it and there it is..all yours for the taking at 6am. Suffering the cold mornings and the stunning summer heat together with no make up, morning breath and whatever gymwear you can bothered to put on in the dark. (inside out pants anyone?)
Depending on what study you read and what you are training in your testosterone is higher (builds more muscle). I think there is also something to be said for the early morning client and their consistency leads to results.
Again studies would suggest that the endorphin release you get from early morning training sets you up for a more positive day. The action of getting up and doing the work keeps you motivated and achieving throughout the day.
Early morning yoga is the best time to practice. Your mind is free from the troubles of your day, you feel clearer and less busy in your head.
In the cold of Winter, nothing feels better then generating your own heat and sweat! You finish feeling invigorated and ready for that sweet sweet coffee!
So what do you have to lose? Nothing...a bit of sleep after 6am is about it. Get rid of the negotiation in your head about whether its an option to sleep in or not. Do all you need to do to make it easier to rise early. 2 3- alarms across 30 min is good (5am, 5,15am and 5,30am). have the kettle filled ready to get a cuppa ready before you leave and a small piece of fruit if you feel hungry and then just go. Exercise is not a privilege or a luxury, its key to good health and well being and you owe it to yourself to get up and move. See you in the morning!