I've let this week get the better of me, I'll explain tomorrow.
Back in 2005, I managed to lose 60 lbs just by drinking water, sleeping well, watching portions, and working out 5-6 days a week. Just. Like it was that easy... Actually, it didn't feel as hard as it does now. I had a roommate at the time that worked out every morning. At 5:30 AM. After a few months of hearing her leave early in the morning for the gym, I finally decided to ask her a huge favor. "Wake me up in the morning before you leave." You see, I am notorious for not wanting to get up in the morning. I always have, but I hate it. If someone talks to me however, I have to think in order to respond, so it wakes me up. So that's what I did. She'd talk to me for a few minutes on her way out and I would wake up (slowly), change, and follow her to the gym. After a month or so, I would hear her door open and I'd already be up. I devised my own workout plan. It consisted of mostly cardio, but I threw in a couple of weight training sessions every week, which also involved a simple ab workout and back exercises (I think they were called "Good Mornings" but I'm not sure.) I have weak core muscles and a bad back, and I was carrying a lot of weight. Anyway, it caught on and I was losing about 10 lbs a month at the height of my working out. I was doing great, but then I started writing my thesis for my Master's and I couldn't get up in the morning, I couldn't sleep, and I stopped working out. I gained all that weight back.
These last few weeks, I've been talking about working out at night and how I was surprised I'd like it so much. But I've been slacking this week, and only fit in a couple of workouts so far. I'm going to the movies tonight (Watching the new Batman flick!!!) so I know I won't workout. So I'm starting to rethink my plan of action.
Working out in the morning
I loved, LOVED, working out in the morning. John left a comment that he loves working out at 5:30 AM. You may think it is crazy, but what a way to start off your day?
- I didn't have a good excuse not to get it done. I could get it "out of the way," which is how I thought of it at first, but then it became my first priority. It turned into my favorite way to wake up and I felt so much more awake throughout the day.
- My nights were free to socialize, study, or catch up on some tv time.
- I also didn't have to worry about forgetting my clothes or mp3 player or anything else because I was coming from home.
- It forced me to eat breakfast, since I was always so hungry afterward. Because I'd worked out, it also made greasy breakfast food not sound so tasty so I would reach for a bowl of cereal. (I'm from Texas, so egg and chorizo always sounds so good, but it's really, really greasy!)
- I didn't have to take multiple showers in a day. Need I say more?
- It forced me to go to bed early because I knew I was getting up at 5:30 AM. None of this staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning. If I didn't go to bed early, I was going to drag the next day.
Working out at night
Now, I have 2 precious dogs - Chiquita ("little one") and Scrappy - that I have to feed, take on walks, and spend time with. I'm still not sleeping great and I'm still getting used to working out. Working out at night has been surprisingly nice.
- I get my day done and then I have time for me. Working out is such a nice way to relax at nights. I zone out during my runs (or anything cardio) and I just... relax. I leave feeling so peaceful and open-minded about everything going on.
- I can work out as long as I want - as long as I get to the gym early enough. If I get to the gym at 8 pm and I want to work out until 10 pm, then I do. There are no worries about coming in late to lab, or being in at a certain time, or taking too long to get ready afterwards.
- No after-dinner snacking. I've been really bad about snacking at night. Something about watching tv at night that I just crave bad food. Working out takes that time out and I end up forgetting I was "hungry."
- I am tired at night so I tend to go to bed about an hour after I get home. Some minor reading, play with the dogs while I'm in bed, and then I'm out.
- An evening shower is nice before bed.
- My dogs really love their after-workout walk around the complex which I use as a cool down.
Well, for me, it seems as though both work well. Working out at night has been hindered some by my socializing. Random things get planned on a Tuesday and then there goes my workout. Morning workouts are bit hard now that I have the dogs because I have to take them out and I feel bad that I'm constantly in and out of the house. That, and my sleep pattern is still inconsistent. I think my lesson through even writing about this is that I don't have to pick all mornings or all nights as long as I work out. I think I am going to do an experiment this coming week, but I'll tell you more tomorrow, when I have it sketched out better.
By the way, when do you prefer to workout?