LarryD517

Finding the Best Time to Exercise

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Finding the Best Time to Exercise

 

Yoga at 3 a.m. may sound crazy, but it’s actually a very spiritual time to practice
 
By JEN MURPHY
June 22, 2015 11:42 a.m. ET
 

Doing yoga at 3 a.m. may sound crazy, but it’s actually a very spiritual time to practice, according to Andrew Tanner, a Framingham, Mass., yoga instructor and chief spokesman for the yoga teacher association, Yoga Alliance.

The philosophy of yoga is rooted in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing tradition. “The Ayurveda philosophy divides the day into blocks of time. Some are better than others for exercise,” says Mr. Tanner. “From 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. is a spiritual time known as Vata, which is good for a meditative practice. You would not want to do an intense physical practice during those hours,” he says....

 

read more at http://www.wsj.com/articles/finding-the-best-time-to-do-yoga-1434987537

YogaByCandace likes this

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Crazy! That would not be my ideal time - 3am is the time I feel my worst! I do get up at 5 every day and am at the gym usually right at 6. Love that time of day. I feel like I have the whole day ahead of me when I'm done. And, it's a good time at the gym because you have others there who are kind of in the same mindset - happy to be there, grind it out, and start their day afterwards. Love it.

EricaKaye likes this

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I'm a night owl, so the only way for me to exercise at 3am would be to stay up that late, which is something I'm trying to avoid. Being in bed ready to fall asleep at 2am is improvement for me, believe it or not.

Oddly enough, I far prefer to do yoga in the morning/noon. My afternoons/evenings are quite busy as that's when I feel most productive. Mornings are when I'm walking around on autopilot, so there's no room for distractions, let alone brain power to come up with excuses not to practice.

EricaKaye and YogaByCandace like this

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As long as I can get to bed by 10pm, I find that practicing yoga at 4:30 is my optimal time. The house is quiet - husband, kid, and pooch are asleep, and so is my mind. I always feel sleep deprived during the day if I don't get at least 7 hours of sleep, but I'm not willing to give up my yoga to get it, and there is no way I will be able to find time to practice or meditate if I get up later.

 

There is something magical for me about practicing asanas as the night transitions to the predawn hour...and then again to sunrise :25:

EricaKaye and YogaByCandace like this

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I would like to get up early and exercise/yoga as a healthy way to start the day.. reality I'm drinking strong coffee and trying to wake up and not be so grumpy. I get up at 5.50 am and am certainly not a morning person. I actually really enjoy being awake before everyone else in the house (minus the cat who will sit there giving me the death stare because she wants me to feed her) but exercise... no way. I tend to do exercise as in weights/bodyweight/skipping or walk the dog the minute I walk in the door from work as I find that's when I'm most productive exercise-wise, I love yoga before bed as I find it helps me sleep. 

YogaByCandace and EricaKaye like this

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I would like to get up early and exercise/yoga as a healthy way to start the day.. reality I'm drinking strong coffee and trying to wake up and not be so grumpy. I get up at 5.50 am and am certainly not a morning person. I actually really enjoy being awake before everyone else in the house ...

If you'll permit me to hop on my soap box for a second, if you would love to do the morning thing, you can, very easily...and the answer can be found in the second part of your first sentence...

 

...I'm drinking strong coffee ...

I have never "woken up with coffee", let alone a strong cup. The only time I will have regular coffee is if I need to drive somewhere and feel a bit drowsy. (Full disclosure, about ten years ago, I started having an afternoon cup of regular coffee, I did this for about a month or two.)

Without a morning cup, I wake up and feel alive and alert from the second I open my eyes (it's now Saturday morning at 4am and I woke five minutes ago and am ready to tackle the world ...as soon as I go to the bathroom...LOL)

I believe the reason I can wake with tons of energy and many others can't...is because I'm not addicted to "the morning cup".

So many people say "I can't wake up without my coffee", etc. I'm not an expert, but I believe what they've done is trained their body to need the artificial stimulant to get them moving. The body provides us with an awesome natural stimulant called adrenaline, we have a never ending supply.

However, much like we can train our bodies to act around a circadian rhythms, the "coffee addict" (yes, caffeine is an addictive drug) has told their body "hey, Mr. Adrenaline Gland, you can sleep in, I don't need you to wake me up, I'll use a cup of Starbucks to do the job". So the body has been trained to delay the release of the adrenaline until some other point in time.

My body, as a result of never having never touched the stuff in the morning, gets a massive shot of adrenaline the second I open my eyes. I feel instant energy and absolutely love the morning (I'm typically at the office by 5:30, so I can get some work done before heading to the gym, which opens at six for a 45 minute yoga exercise)

I am convinced that my ability to wake up is no different than anyone else. Think about it, do babies and children wake up slowly needing stimulant, or do they open their eyes and instantly start to play? What's different is many/most of us started drinking coffee and now can't wake up without it.

So, now that I've given you my theory, here's my challenge.

 

Anything in life can become a habit. Habits are created (or broken) over a ten to twenty day period. Once created, they can drive many of our subconscious activities (for example, we suppress the urge to go so we can sleep through the night, we, we crave certain foods, even putting butter on toast is a habit that can be broken, etc.)

 

But you have the power to change that!

Breaking a caffeine addiction is tough for about a week. When I gave up coffee (my brief period of afternoon cups) I started getting headaches. I felt a very powerful urge to grab a cup. The headaches lasted a week (I found that drinking cold water seemed to ease, not only the cravings, but the headaches, too). I also changed my routines, when walking in the office, I took a route that was not near the coffee machine and when I drove, if possible, I avoided going near coffee places, or if I couldn't avoid that route, I'd stay in the far lane, consciously making it difficult to get there)

Then, miraculously, the cravings ended.

The addiction was broken.

You can break the addiction too (you say "it's not an addiction, I love the taste", ya-da-ya-da...trust me, it's an addiction!)

 

You want a 'wake me up' drink? Try a tall glass of cold water!

So, here's my challenge (you guys love Candace's thirty day challenges, right?). Try a thirty day caffeine holiday. Pick a point in time where the first three or four days you are out of your basic routine, for example, if you work during the week, try starting on a Thursday before a long holiday weekend. Deal with the minor discomfort (wake up groggy, endure a few days of headaches, etc.) and force your body to adjust to the lack of artificial stimulants.

Shortly, Mr. Adrenaline Gland will resume his proper role providing you the spike needed to make you feel alive.

The first week or two will be tough, breaking a chemically addicted dependency never is.

But in a week, or two, you will notice the difference.

By the end of 30 days, it will no longer be an automatic desire to drink, but rather a decision..."do I really want a cup?" (Just say no).

Keep it up for a few more weeks and celebrate your independence! You'll be able to wake much easier, hoping out of bed and ready to do yoga, or what ever, as soon as you open your eyes.

Think of the benefits...

  • you'll sleep much better
  • you'll be doing your heart a wonderful thing (caffeine elevates the heart rate for about five hours)
  • your teeth will be whiter,
  • your breath will be fresher
  • you'll lose the heart burns (acid reflux),
  • you'll be doing the environment a favor (imagine a few billion less K-cups or paper cups sitting in a garbage dump) 
  • best of all, you'll have more money! Take your daily coffee budget ($3 for a cup at the deli, $10 for the bag at the grocer, etc.) and for each cup avoided during the thirty day challenge, put the money saved in a jar. At the end of the month buy yourself something!

Trust me, you can break the addiction! Don't be afraid to push yourself. I was afraid to do yoga and avoided it. So one day I put my fears aside and moved forward. You can do the same.

This Thursday is July 2, with Friday being a legal holiday...a perfect time to start the challenge ... by the end of July, you'll be over the addiction. Mark your calendars that Thursday morning begins the challenge.

Start the 30 day challenge on July 2, using the three day weekend to deal with the toughest part!

Anyone up for the challenge? (feel free to post nasty photos of your caffeine free mornings...LOL)

Go for it!

Who's up for the challenge?

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If I go to the studio to practice it is in the morning...which works great during the school year when we are up and moving early. It gets a little trickier during summer break when the kids are home and we are on much less of a schedule. So basically...I work out whenever I can! Some days it is 9 a.m. other days it is 5 or 6:00 in the evening! On the weekends it usually falls in around lunch time. If I set a time I think I would end up missing out on workouts too often. Same for my hubby. We try to make sure we each get our time in between the kids' activities and everything else. Flexibility is key in this house (bad pun intended lol)! 

YogaByCandace likes this

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Yay go Larry.. I gave up tea about 6 months ago and now only drink herbal tea. I sometimes have the occasional cuppa.. But I might try with something else x

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Yay go Larry.. I gave up tea about 6 months ago 

Try green tea (leaves, not those awful sawdust bags)

Brew the first cup and discard, subsequent cups have all the flavor but non of the caffeine (and green tea is lower than many others)

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I believe the reason I can wake with tons of energy and many others can't...is because I'm not addicted to "the morning cup".

So many people say "I can't wake up without my coffee", etc. I'm not an expert, but I believe what they've done is trained their body to need the artificial stimulant to get them moving. The body provides us with an awesome natural stimulant called adrenaline, we have a never ending supply.

However, much like we can train our bodies to act around a circadian rhythms, the "coffee addict" (yes, caffeine is an addictive drug) has told their body "hey, Mr. Adrenaline Gland, you can sleep in, I don't need you to wake me up, I'll use a cup of Starbucks to do the job". So the body has been trained to delay the release of the adrenaline until some other point in time.

My body, as a result of never having never touched the stuff in the morning, gets a massive shot of adrenaline the second I open my eyes. I feel instant energy and absolutely love the morning (I'm typically at the office by 5:30, so I can get some work done before heading to the gym, which opens at six for a 45 minute yoga exercise)

I am convinced that my ability to wake up is no different than anyone else. Think about it, do babies and children wake up slowly needing stimulant, or do they open their eyes and instantly start to play? What's different is many/most of us started drinking coffee and now can't wake up without it.

I don't drink coffee at all (it deeply disagrees with my body: it makes me dizzy, gives me heart palpitations, tachycardia, you name it), never had coffee with my breakfast and I've never, ever woken up feeling full of energy. My bed is super comfy and I'm just lazy, pure and simple

Feeling functional and awake in the morning for me is a matter of time and patience. My anaemia means that I don't have a lot of energy in general, but I'm just not a morning person and I'll never be. I've always been grouchy and slow to wake up, even as a small child. As long as I can make it on time for work/school/whatever, I'm happy.

mimisouth and Vicky like this

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I think I'd have to replace it with another hot drink because it's very much part of my self-care morning ritual. Coffee and read the news! Man I love coffee!! 

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I don't drink coffee ....

Oh, well, that disproves my theory, LOL!

In my case, it can be one of two things...

Firstly, I was a railroad commuter for twenty years. From the time the alarm went off, I had 40(?) minutes to prepare for the day and get to the train station. Missing a particular train meant taking a much later, presumably more crowded train, so I forced myself to be quick, alert and efficient in a small time window.

Don't want get myself in trouble, but maybe it's a "guy/gal" thing. When I get the the office in the morning, the guys are all jovial and happy, the gals, seemingly much less so (one extremely good natured lady, who giggles and laughs all day, never smiles or even looks up to say "hello" when I walk by her desk (7 am)

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Along those lines, here is a TED talk from Rives regarding the mystery of 4AM. I heard an abbreviated version on the NPR TED Radio Hour. Many Poets and Writers apparently referenced the 4:00am hour. It is slightly too early for me because I do not have the determination to force myself to go to bed early. Currently I begin practice between 5:30 and 6:00am. 

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/rives_on_4_a_m?language=en

MrBalloonHands likes this

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well you will be pleased to hear I'm getting up early to exercise. I'm just getting up even EARLIER.

 

 

 

.... so I can have my coffee :P

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well you will be pleased to hear I'm getting up early to exercise. I'm just getting up even EARLIER.

 

 

 

.... so I can have my coffee :P

I'm posting this at 4:30 AM

I already finished reading the paper (okay, it was on my iPad), rushing to the office so I can get stuff done before the fitness center door's unlock at 6AM to exercise.

 

We, who wake early to exercise, salute you!

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Nope...it's paradise... peaceful, quiet and you can get ready so when the sun, finally, rises, you can be there to greet it with a few sun salutations!

 

My favorite time of day

mimisouth likes this

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I am out of my normal routine (currently unemployed and living in a new city) but I used to teach a 5:30 am hot yoga/pilates type class and as horrible as it sounds, I loved it. I would roll out of bed, teach my class, drink a big glass of water and then have my lovely cup of coffee after showering and getting ready for the day. The only problem was that when I didn't have to teach, I would sleep in and drink coffee first thing and not work out until early afternoon. So when money and responsibilities are in play, I'll absolutely work out before coffee! Which is why now that I'm doing things on my own time, I am trying to wake up, drink water, do 30 minutes of easy morning yoga and then have my coffee. I don't need coffee and usually only drink half a cup (I know, I know, I'm a horrible "coffee addict" haha) but the taste and the warmth and the comfort is what I'm drinking it for.

 

I honestly think a big glass of water helps me focus more than coffee. Anyone else drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning? I would be so cranky without that, but coffee I could do without if I had to  ;)

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