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Monday, September 19, 2011

Exercise in the Morning? What, Are You Crazy?

To meet my weight-loss goal, I need to exercise. Plain and simple. But finding the time to exercise is hard.
When I was in college, it was easy to find time to exercise, because all it took was skipping one class. But I can’t (and don’t want to) skip work to exercise. And I especially don’t want to skip spending time with my wife.

What to do?

Well, I decided about three weeks ago that I would start exercising in the mornings. Guess how many times I have actually accomplished that on a weekday? None. Zip. Nada.

But I still need it. And evenings are harder than mornings because after work, my wife and I are both famished and need to eat. And once you’ve had dinner, it is 10 times harder to get to the gym or even go for a run.

And speaking of running, it is really hard for me to do that these days. I was a runner in high school, and could take the pounding, but now at my ripe old age of 25, if I go running on the pavement; my knees take a beating, which usually puts me out of commission to run for the next three days.

Now, I can imagine you’re thinking: “Boston, stop being a panzy and just get to the gym.”

Well, you’re right. I need to just go. But, man it’s hard to do that without any motivation. Even my desire to lose weight falters when I think about having to make a trip to the gym, which requires a 30-minute round trip drive, and an hour or more while there. I have realized that if I want to go to the gym after work, then I will only have time in my day for work, dinner and the gym. And that’s it. Naturally, I have been choosing to spend time with my wife and doing hobbies (reading, writing, television shows).

So, mornings are my only real shot at exercise. There’s just one problem: I hate mornings. I am a total night-person. I am awake and alert in the evenings, but groggy and mean in the mornings (just ask my family about waking me up from sleep or a nap when I was in high school).

Therefore, in order to get up, I have enlisted the help of my social network: I asked, through Facebook and Twitter, if anyone had any good ideas I can use to get up and exercise in the mornings. Here are a few of the responses I received:
     “Make a workout date w/ a friend - someone to be accountable to” Kelly (@according2kelly) via Twitter.
     “Just commit to doing it every day. If you say three days a week or something, then every morning you will put it off and plan to do it another day. It won't happen. Just do it every day and it will become an indispensable part of your schedule.” Abram Jones via Facebook.
     “Go to sleep at 10:00.” Matt Hopkins via Facebook.
     “Make your alarm your favorite pump up song! That way you get excited about the exercise right from the start :) just made that up! Let me know if it works!” Trisha DeGroot via Facebook.
     “Remember how Momma used to sing that super annoying song to get us to wake up when we lived in the hotel in Atlanta? Have Jess [my wife] sing that song every morning until you are up out of bed. It will work. It did when Momma did it. It got to the point where she would sing the first note and we'd jump out of bed. lol. That song was so annoying.” Albany Blake (my sister) via Facebook.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

I will definitely try each of these. I will be enlisting the help of my wife (who’s a morning person, by the way) to help get me up. I’ll set my alarm to a great, pump-up song, and if I hit snooze, have my wife sing that wonderful song to me (which I have forgotten, but which I am sure my mom will be happy to teach my wife for me) to get me up. And of course, go against my night-owl ways and be in bed by 10pm (though my wife wants us to be in bed at 9pm!).

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress, and let you know how these ideas work out. Thanks for looking out for me!

For those who would like a little light reading, check out this WebMD article about why it is a good idea to exercise in the morning if you are trying to lose weight. And also check out this essay, about becoming what we make ourselves, which was recommended by Jason Woodward via Facebook.

If you have any other recommendations, I would love to hear them. Please feel free to leave a comment, or find me on Facebook or Twitter (@byuboston).


  1. I suggest working out together! Juj and I go to the gym together every night when we both get home that way you can still exercise and still be together.

  2. Great suggestion. We have been trying to figure out a way to do that. But I definitely think working out/exercising together is the way to go.

  3. Morning is the only time to exercise. I think you'll get hooked, and suddenly you'll be a morning person. I haven't missed a day (except for illness or traveling) for two years and I hated the thought of it before I started. Good luck, Boston!

  4. Also I read the part about being hungry which is the tough thing about the gym in the evening. If you plan ahead and bring a snack to work and eat it about 4 pm like a protein shake or fiber one bar it can help power you through. These are my suggestions if you like me just find you an't do morning because I am NOT a morning person and working out with your spouse gives you someone to stare at and be entertained : )