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The Sense And Nonsense Of Working Out At 5am

The sense and nonsense of working out at 5am

I’ve been having this draft post halfwritten for quite a while. The original title was “You don’t have to run at 5am”. But then, at some point in the pandemic, I started to wake up at 5:20 am to workout and meditate in the early morning. And before having my daughter, I woke up at 5:20 am to make it to my 6:00 am crossfit class, every weekday.

Since then, I’ve been going back and forth with how I really feel about waking up crazy early and getting my workout done before the rest of the day. I like the idea of getting my workout in, no matter what. I like how awake I feel after working out in the early morning. At the same time, I never get enough sleep when I work out so early as I simply cannot get used to fall asleep at 9:00 pm, and I wake up with a jolt when my alarm goes so early. And that jolt is not a positive feeling – it’s the racing heartbeat of anxiety, rather than feeling rested and refreshed.

When my daughter was younger, I was doing quick workouts after coming home from work. The drawback there is that I never get to focus fully on the workout and am monitoring her with one eye, and often have to pause the workout to pass on something, wipe a butt, clean a nose, or whatnot. I used screentime a few times, but it only makes me feel guilty. I also feel guilty for taking time to work out while those hours after work and before she goes to bed is our time together.

Another option I’ve been thinking about is to go during my lunch break. I could technically buy a gym membership for the gym that is right next to campus and go there during lunch. I used to have a membership there, and I know that there is a lot to improve about that gym, but it could be something that would work, on days that are not too densely packed with meetings. Or, I could some days of the week go to work a bit later (instead of starting at 7:00 am) and get my workout in by waking up at 6:00 am.

If you are a faculty member, how do you fit your workout in?

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