Saturday, November 12, 2011

Morning VS. Evening Workouts

In a quest for a healthy routine I have yet to decide whether I prefer to workout in the morning before my day has begun or in the evening when my day has ended. Because I am only working three days a week right now I have allowed myself those days as off days or light core and stretching days. This I always do in the evening after I've showered and before I go to bed. For all out sweat-til-I-stink shred sessions, though, there are certain pros and cons to take into consideration.

If I exercise first thing and then shower right afterward it is a great way to wake up and get going and then be free to pursue the day as I wish. I always feel really good on days when I workout in the morning. The downfalls here are that sometimes I am tired and cranky in the morning and coffee messes with my stomach. Usually if I can just make myself workout in spite of my morning brain's objections I end up perking up and having a productive workout. Getting to that point can be difficult, though, when I know I'll have time to workout later. Another issue is that I always need to shower after a good workout and depending on what my plans for the day involve it is sometimes possible that I would have to shower twice in one day if I work out in the morning. This isn't the end of the world, but it bothers me.

When I work out in the evening it is usually before dinner, and preferably before cocktail hour. I am never too tired to workout in the evening on days when I don't work early and I think I tend to be more motivated to push my limits in the evening. A good workout followed by a long shower followed by comfy sweats and a glass of wine is one of my favorite small pleasures in life. The downfall here is that if I am out later than say, 6:00 PM,  or if I am in charge of cooking dinner and it's something time consuming, I sometimes lose motivation and skip right to the wine bit. Then there are the times when I get home and I just really want a drink and it's only 4:30 and the idea of waiting 'til after a workout and a shower is more than I can cope with. When I have a drink at 4:30 it usually means that I've had a trying day and am done being productive, whether I realize it or not.

Tonight was an evening workout night and I am in my softest, baggiest sweatpants and hoodie, I'm still  warm from my shower, and my quads are  slightly tingly in a well-worked but also well-stretched kind of way. It's pretty great. I almost didn't work out tonight though. My dad and I spent most of today trekking up rt 100 between Waterbury and Morrisville (with a detour to Hyde Park) looking for an affordable, not hideous sleeper sofa that is big enough to fit two people but not too big to fit in a smallish space. It was just looking at couches and I wasn't driving and we only made three stops but for some reason this kind of thing makes me crave hard liquor mixed with more hard liquor. I refrained, though, and now I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.

What I am trying to decide is when I want to work out tomorrow. I like to keep a consistent schedule but I don't really know what I'll be doing tomorrow so working out in the morning seems like a safer bet. I'm considering working out twice and making the morning something that doesn't demand a shower afterward so at least I won't feel completely shitty if I don't end up working out later. If it were warmer out I would run in the morning, do a quick jump in and out kind of shower thing but I just don't run outside in November. It makes my throat feel like its bleeding and despite the fact that I've devoted an entry blog entry to exercising I'm not actually a fitness freak. I just don't want to get fat and there are other ways to accomplish that than forcing myself to go running.I actually enjoy weight training and resistance cardio and I really DON'T like running so unless I'm getting fit for soccer I really don't feel the need to go there. The ski season will be here soon enough and because of my race background I can't turn in a way that isn't a workout unless I'm skiing bumps but then that's even more of a workout in a different way. To summarize: Fuck running. Actually that wasn't really my point. It was just one piece of information that goes into my decision making process. Seriously though, fuck running.

Now I will drink wine and try to devise tomorrow's itinerary. As soon as the mountain opens and I start working the waffle hut I'll be down to only 1 day off a week so I feel it's necessary to be proactively self-indulgent on my days off in the meantime.

Here is a picture from when I was in much better shape than I am at the moment. In my current defense this was after my freshman year at college when I had no personal income, spent a lot of time worrying (stress kills my appetite) and a meal plan that mostly depended on the cafeterias which A)didn't have any food that I ever wanted more than a tiny bit of B) did not hold hours which were congruent to my strange sleep patterns and C)served food that may or may not have contained potent laxatives. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have never boxed as a means of exercise. I was just posing with the gloves because I fancied they made me look badass.

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