How Early Is Too Early To Exercise?

One thing I love about the fitness blogging/tweeting/facebooking/instagramming/dailymile-ing community is the inspiration I get from other people who show by example that there is no excuse for not fitting exercise into your life. No matter how busy I think I am, I come across someone who is busier. No matter how early I set my alarm to fit in my workout before work, I learn that someone else sets theirs even earlier. No matter how hardcore I think I am for running in the heat/cold/rain/snow, I “meet” people¬†who brave even harsher elements. Whenever I find myself deciding that I “can’t” workout, I think of these people (this means you!) and ask myself if I have a valid reason or if am just making up an excuse that someone more dedicated would be able to overcome.

This week brings one of those situations, and has me wondering, how early is too early to exercise?

I have a business trip that requires that I be out the door at 5:45 am, to catch a flight and catch a cab to speak at a conference–after which I will catch a cab to stand in a long security line at O’Hare to catch a flight that if I’m lucky will get me back home by bedtime. I have already decided that I will not workout that day–I hope I don’t have to do any sprints at the airport!

As it is, I will have to get up at 5:00 am (my usual time) and get ready pretty efficiently to be on my way within 45 minutes. While I have set my alarm for 4:45 am when that would give me enough time for a 1/2 hour workout, I usually won’t set it any earlier than that. My body just isn’t used to being up at that time of day.¬† While the endorphins might wake me up, the lack of sleep is likely to catch up with me by the end of the day.

How early do you get up?

How much earlier will you get up to be able to fit in a workout on an unusually busy day?

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13 Responses to How Early Is Too Early To Exercise?

  1. misszippy1 says:

    I get up by 5 most days to work out. If I have a trip looming and know I can sleep on plane or car, I'll push it even earlier to get some sort of activity in. 4 a.m. would be my absolute cut off, though!

  2. Steph says:

    I'm usually out the door by 5:45 for work…so morning workouts generally don't happen. If it's really the only time I'm going to be able to do it, I'll set my alarm for 4:45 and cut back on "get-ready" time to fit in a quick workout

  3. SuperBabe says:

    I saw this as I was lying in bed at 6 am this morning, having made up a bunch of excuses for not going out on a run… the main one being that I'm still depressed and bummed out that I lost my fitness file in my computer (long story). Before this week, I had been waking up at 5:40 am M-F to get my exercise. Since I joined the swim club, however, I've noticed it takes me some effort to get going the days after (I get home almost at 10 pm!), if at all! So… I'd say, in the summer I have no problem waking up at 5:40 am and being out for my runs by 6 am. In the winter, however, it is a lot harder :( My problem is being able to go to bed early… and I can't seem to go to sleep before 10:30-11 pm, so after several days of 5:40 am up time, I end up crashing… still working stuff out. Sigh.

  4. Carrie says:

    I'm probably a 5:30 person. If I can get my workout going by 5:30 then I'll get it in. On a day like the one you described, I'd plan on that being my rest day for the week and then fit in something on what would have been my usual rest day.

    I also think about all the people around that are way busier than me and realize that my excuses are lame. Love the fitness blogger community – keeps me going.

  5. I don't think I'd wake up before 5am to workout… but thats just me. haha. I also learned at crossfit that you should wake up an hour before you want to workout and not just sit around but move. That way your spine gets ready… I guess this really is more for people who lift heavy weights but also a good thing to keep in mind for everyone!
    itsaharleyyylife.com

  6. Yum Yucky says:

    I've been up a 5:30am, but I need to start doing 5am (starting tomorrow?), because I just need more time for early morning house stuff, packing my lunch & actually getting in my workout, all done 7am instead of 7:30am. I can DO IT!! It's only a 1/2 hour difference, right?

  7. I'm already up by 5 most days, and that's so I CAN work out before I head to the office (counting a 1 hour bus ride to work, time at the gym, time to clean up, etc). If I get up any earlier, then there just isn't much point in me going to bed, is there?

    If I'm not able to get the exercise in during my morning, then I'm probably not going to get it any anywhere else.

  8. David H. says:

    I get so fed up with people's excuses that I pretty much tune them out. I don't ever want to get into that debate because I'll immediately start rattling off my life to them. I have longtime friends who don't understand how I have time to run. My response is always the same, I make time.

  9. Steena says:

    On Sunday when John & I were running, we passed a gal who was pushing a baby stroller and had a dog leash in one hand while running. That is a huge example of "No excuses". I admire people who do it.

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