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Morning People

I need some advice. I am NOT a morning person. I can barely drag myself out of bed by 7:00 to take care of the kids!

I would "like" to do my weight lifting and running in the morning. It is so hard to fit it in during the day. Some days my hubby watches the kids right before dinner so I can knock it out but then on other days my workout has to wait until 8 or so at night. As it is there are a couple other things that I would like to do at night when the kids are in bed other than exercise!

I don't have a jogging stroller so I can't take them with me on runs and I learned my lesson about trying to do dumbbells with kids underfoot. Dumbbells + kids = busted toe. Besides, exercising is my ONLY time to myself so I would like to keep it that way:-)

I don't have anybody to watch them for me either during the morning or early afternoon:-( I used to trade with a friend and I miss that.

So answer me this riddle, how do you turn a night owl into a morning person? I typically go to bed between 10 and 11 so I always get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I have tried setting three alarms, going outside upon waking, cold showers, coffee, having someone call me and a few other things to help get me used to waking up at 5:30 or 6 but I just can't seem to do it! I just DRAG through the morning and if I let myself sit or lay down I immediately zonk out again. Any ideas other than Boot Camp?


Fri. Apr 21, 9:55am

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I am a morning person, and here is what I do. Not sure what will work for you:

- I wake up and go to bed at the same time almost every day. (11 PM, 6:45 AM)
- When the alarm goes off (if I don't wake up before it), I turn it off and get right out of bed.
- I lay out my workout clothes the night before, so I put them on, and I don't have to worry about digging for socks or my keys.

Also, it takes doing something 21 times for it to become habit. Give this a few weeks, maybe a month, and see if you can change your body. 5:30 or 6 is still pretty early if you are not a morning person... Maybe try 6:30 and workout for 20 minutes to start with.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 10:14 AM

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An idea I read recently:

I'm a morning person so this isn't a problem for me. But I recently read this and it made some sense (not that everything that sounds sensible IS, and I won't mention any diets here but!) Basically:

Normally we try to change our circadian rhythms by going to bed earlier so we can wake up earlier. But we don't go to sleep because we're not tired. We toss and turn, we doze, etc but we end up falling asleep late anyway. Then we get up early and we're tired and we think, This isn't working.

So the theory is that wake-up time must be non-negotiable, and bedtime must be when we are tired, and eventually the body will figure out that if it HAS to wake up at 6, it HAS to be tired by (whenever).

So you set your wake-up time and stick to it, but you don't go to bed at night until you are so tired you are about to fall asleep in mid-stride. The first few days you'll be very tired, but then the drop-where-you-stand exhaustion will begin to hit you earlier. Your body will adjust to the fact of that morning non-negotiable rising time, and you'll be yawning by 9:30 or 10.

You might try that. I know that when school starts and my schedule goes from waking up around 7 am naturally and lying about for a while, to waking up at 5:15 and hitting the ground running, it doesn't take long before I'm naturally awake a minute or two before my alarm goes off.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 10:17 AM

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1st, if I understood you correctly, you're trying to exercise at home, right? That won't work for me either - a former queen of night owls (noon used to be early to me). All the methods above are good, just get up, get dressed and get outside - walk/run 10-20 min (better run as you'll be sweaty and at that point there's no way you go to bed unless you shower), stretch and you'll be awake. If you need to do weights, do them afterwards at home. If you have a yard, do them outside. In my neighborhood, I see ppl bringing their dumbbells to the park and do exercises there.
2ndly, you say you go to bed around 10 and get up at 7 - that's 9 hours of sleep. I think 7 is pretty plenty, so if you go to bed at 11pm and get up at 6am - that's 7 hours of sleep!
3rd, the above poster is right it takes time to get your body used to the new schedule, you will be sleepy and sluggish in the afternoon. I found cutting carbs helps that afternoon slump - I even stopped my usual PM coffee!
4, think of all the motivating factors in favor of morning exercising - you fire up your metabolism for the rest of the day, exercising also supresses appetite, and after all the pain the morning you'll think twice before that extra bite or cookie. Think of all the good times you could spend with your family the rest of the day without worrying about your workout. Just make a commitment to yourself, think if you had an important early AM appointment, you'd be up at 6 or 5 right? And how many ppl have had early AM flights? Without a blink you'd be up if you were to miss your flight. Just think of your mornings as important appointments with your body.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 10:59 AM

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lighting!

I can sympathize -- I was always a night owl, and thought I'd never be able to change. Several things have helped... A big one is lighting. Our bodies use light to tell us the time of day (to regulate melatonin, etc.). Try keeping the lights dim in the evening, in concert with the sun going down. I know, this is hard because people tend to be "on" all evening, watching hyperactive TV, interacting with their family... but try to wind yourself down. Get nightlights for the bathroom if it's bright, a dimmer for the living room lamps. Also I stopped reading in bed, which I loved, but wasn't worth the bad night's sleep. Also, I find lifting weights at night conks me right out. Can you really not get a few free moments with the kids out of your hair? good grief, I'm not looking forward to that! Maybe just crunches or stretchy bands then? Also, on a temporary basis you might try melatonin at night to get your clock scootched over (pretty safe and gently effective). Good luck! It is nicer to have the option to be up early.

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 12:35 PM

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Well, my take is if you can find a way to get some form of exercise without having to change your sleep habits... do so. I got a video for kids- YogaKids2 ABC's dvd so I could stretch and occupy my son at the same time.... It hits age groups 3-6 but he likes looking at the pictures still when he was 15 months- now being 2. It goes between stretching and different poses, movements to pictures and the alphabet.
Another thing I have been doing is walking to different playgrounds (sometimes making a 4 mile walk) and playing with ds. I push him on the swings and keep my arms up to meet the swing... alternating with both hands in front of me and one hand/arm to the side... keeping my arms up... I really feel a burn through the while arm and shoulder after awhile.. well it does not take long. He swings, I get exercise and we both win.
Along the walk I pick up litter- or when we get to the playground while ds plays... so there I get to bend over.... reaching... movement and exercise plus the added bonus of a cleaner environment. I bring along grocery sacs to put the litter in, and a pop bottle with water and soap to wash my hands off after. I have that hand sanitizer too... Though I don't think weathered candy wrappers or coffee cups pose any real threat.
When we go on the coil sprung teeter totter- I try and make sure I don't just bounce with the totter but work my thighs at the same time... clench the butt together, tighten everything.
A neighbor child of about 8 has played with us and you can really get some movement in hiting and kicking one of those large bouncy balls around.
You can exercise with your kids... it just takes a little creativity.

Sunday, April 23, 2006, 9:52 AM

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A Different Idea

This helps me a lot with getting up and getting my workout done before work: I read something before bed related to what I'm going to do the next morning. For example, the night before a long run, I'll read part of a book on marathons, the night before strength training I'll read about a new weight exercise. It might not help everyone, but doing this really made a difference for me.

Monday, April 24, 2006, 9:31 AM

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