Look, no one enjoys waking up at the crack of dawn.
It's still cold, it's still dark and your bed has probably never felt more comfortable than it does at 5am. So, all of that considered, why get up early?! Personally, I've definitely been struggling to get out of bed for the early classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. These days I've been setting 4 f***ing alarms: 5:30am, 5:35am, 5:40am and finally 5:45am, which usually comes at me with my head under the pillow and Louie barking for me to take him out of the crate.
And it's not just me... there has been a big drop in our morning attendance and I began to wonder, what changed? From January to March, the 7:00am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays booked up with a 5 person waitlist every week! Maybe this is the time of the year when your New Year's Resolution begins to feel distant and unimportant, or maybe you're staying up later to enjoy more of the warm weather! Whatever your reasoning, hear me out, I found some pretty interesting research that may just convince you to get out of bed!
When you get up and workout early...
Who doesn't want a boost to their metabolism?! There is research to support that working out first thing in the morning can boost our metabolism, which keeps you burning calories even after you get off the bike! Conclusion: workout early, burn more calories ALL DAY!
Stick with me for a second here, and think about how you feel any time you get off the bike. Obviously tired from the exertion and drenched in sweat, but what else is there? Psychologically, you feel good about what you just did for yourself, accomplished, empowered, happy! So how exactly does this happen? After you finish a workout, endorphins are released into your brain (or as I like to call them, inner-dolphins). Chemically, when your brain receives endorphins, you feel a "euphoric" rush. Ever heard of "runner's high"? Endorphins are responsible for that high, and trust me we release plenty of endorphins here at MVMNT. So, if you cycle first thing in the morning, you get to enjoy your endorphins ALL DAY!
There is PLENTY of research to support the positive effect working out has on your brain, too! In the short-term, working out can improve your "executive functioning (this refers to the brains ability to coordinate all of your activities; helps you to make plans, stay organized, control your impulses, etc.) and memory recall". So, the more you workout, the more efficient your brain becomes! Now consider what would happen if you worked out first thing in the morning... for the entire day you would be able to retain more information, think clearly, stave off those impulses for a morning doughnut, and be more efficient at school/work!
Sounds great, but I'm still not a morning person.
Challenge yourself, you can BECOME a morning person. If you're still reading at this point, there must be part of you that is open to the ides of getting your grind on early. What's the harm in trying? Put your health first even just for a week with these easy steps...
Lay your clothes out and pack your bag BEFORE you go to bed! This will save you time in the morning while you fumble around in the dark, and it takes away an opportunity for an excuse... "I don't know what to wear", "I don't know what to eat for breakfast", "I can't find my shoes"... all valid excuses that you can eliminate before you even go to bed!
Don't burn both ends of the candle. In other words, if you plan to get up early, make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time! Most adults need 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to function. Especially when you're working out; your body needs sleep to recover. Plan ahead and cozy up in bed early! (Highly recommend watching "The Office" if you need to wind down).
Make yourself accountable. This can take many different forms; maybe for you all it takes is purchasing a package of classes. There is a ton of research to support the idea that when you spend the money up front, you are more likely to come and actually use the classes/membership you've bought. My biggest recommendation is to find a friend who is willing to take the challenge with you. Often times its easy to get out of bed, change your mind, and retreat back under the covers. BUT, if you have a friend who is going to do it with you and is relying on you for support, you may think twice about getting back into bed.
The Moral of this story...?
Today I woke up at 5:30am and I really REALLY REALLY did not want to. Literally my boyfriend pushed me out of bed, which I was less than happy about in the moment. I dragged through the apartment getting ready, ate a quick bite, drove slowly to the studio and finally mustered up the strength to walk in the front doors. I even started class 2 minutes late because I just didn't think I could get my legs moving.
But the moral of the story? I'm sitting here, finishing this email to all of you and it's not even 9am. I just polished off a power acaí bowl from Amer's (with almond butter not peanut butter- so much better) and I'm ready to conquer the day already ahead of schedule!
So, start your day off here at MVMNT and be your most productive self.
Peace, love and cycling.