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John

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Minor victories [Jan. 5th, 2009|07:55 am]
John
Yesterday and today, I managed to exercise within an hour of waking up. I haven't done my full workout, but I've managed to do two sets of pushups and a set of other exercises.

(For some reason, starting to do pushups is the hardest part of my workout. I think it's because that's the one exercise that most noticeably leads to failure.

("Failure" is a term that refers to an inability to continue an exercise. If you're lifting weights, and hit a point that you just can't lift the weight any more, that's "failure". It doesn't have any sort of negative connotation in this context... it means you've worked your muscles as hard as they'll go, for the moment.)

I hope to hit the gym today, as well... which is the point of the early-morning workout. If I hit the gym, and do a heavy aerobic workout, I won't be able to work out as hard at night.

So, for my friends with military experience (or any other experience working out in the morning): is it normal to find that you can't do nearly as much when you first wake up? If you can normally do 40 pushups, is it normal to find you can only do 30-35 right after waking up? And does this ever get any better? (Or, hell, does it ever get easier to work out in the morning? It takes a hell of an effort of will not to sit down and get lost in LJ instead.)

I've also (finally!) acquired my SAD light. It seems to be helping, but I'm in a bit of a down spot mentally, at the moment, so it's hard to tell for sure. At the same time, if it wasn't helping, I doubt I'd have been able to force my body to exercise two mornings in a row.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-01-05 04:22 pm (UTC)
For years I did Pilates twice/week, once at 7 or 7:30, and once at 10 or 11. I was *always* able to do more, better, at the later time. On the other hand, I felt *great* all day after the early morning sessions.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2009-01-05 05:24 pm (UTC)
I don't recall there being any decrease in capability early in the morning. We usually scheduled physical fitness tests then, because it got hot later in the day.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-01-06 04:08 pm (UTC)
Well, then maybe my body will adjust with time. I hope so... I've never stuck with morning exercise long enough to find out.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2009-01-06 04:14 pm (UTC)
We didn't have a choice.
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2009-01-05 05:40 pm (UTC)
I know that muscles are looser first thing in the morning -- it's easier to sustain minor injuries that way.

However, first thing in the morning is the only time I've ever been able to exercise regularly - the trick is to start before fully awakening. Once I'm all the way awake, it's too easy to think of reasons not to.
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[User Picture]From: pernishus
2009-01-05 06:48 pm (UTC)
Might I ask what kind of light you got and where you obtained it? I am considering trying one out.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-01-06 03:58 pm (UTC)
I was shopping at http://www.northernlighttechnologies.com, which was a company I remembered from about 10 years back, so I trusted them. I bought their SADelite (try not to gag at the spelling). (No, really, I think that's the full name... SADelite-try-not-to-gag-at-the-spelling.)

It has a good distance for 10,000 lux (16-20 inches), and the color seems good to me. No flicker, minimal heat, and it's adjustable enough that I can point it towards my face.
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[User Picture]From: marykaykare
2009-01-05 07:18 pm (UTC)
I've had SAD ever since I can remember, but not this year. The only thing I can identify as different is that I'm taking 2000 IU of vitamin D/day. It couldn't hurt to try.

MKK
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-01-06 04:05 pm (UTC)
I might give it a shot, but I think I'm getting a good supply of vitamin D. I take a multi-vitamin, and drink milk. But I don't know if that's anywhere near 2000IU.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-01-06 01:05 am (UTC)

Another thought

I've read that exercising later in the day (like immediately after work) leads to better sleep. I don't remember where I read it, unfortunately.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-01-06 03:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Another thought

I know it tends to help me. The rule I'd heard is not to exercise within about 2 hours of bedtime, and that sounds about right, too... it takes time for my body to stop being keyed up.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-01-06 04:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Another thought

It takes me a lot longer than 2 hours. I think what I read was 5 hours, and that seems closer to me.
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[User Picture]From: awryday
2009-01-06 04:28 am (UTC)
I think this is kinda like whether you're a night owl or not.

My experience is that my own biorhythms don't synch well with morning exercise. I have done it and done it for extended periods in the past. But my exercise is easier, or at least more effective, when I do it later in the day.

Conversely, I have buddies at work who seem to only be able to work out in the morning. It wakes them up, they get the energy kick right at the right time, etc.

The question I'm now wondering is if whether you can reset or at least train your body rhythms to be more accepting of morning exercise. Probably, I gotta think.

SAD lights are amazing! I'm glad it's working for you.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-01-06 04:04 pm (UTC)
Nod. As I referenced in my post, I can do about 40 pushups in my first set if I go to complete failure at night. But in the morning, I'm barely breaking 30. And it definitely takes more willpower to get myself to do them, because I know it'll be more uncomfortable, and be uncomfortable faster.

And, with morning exercise, it seems easier to go past the point where I feel energized to the point that I feel tired all day.

But I'm hoping this gets me into the habit of working out twice a day, except for days where I rest by only doing a token workout in the morning.
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