A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

March 24, 2010

Bedtime and Exercise

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been a night owl.  I was not much of a morning person at all.  As my parents could easily tell you, I would have to be dragged out of bed in order to get up in the morning and go to school.  It got both better and worse in college.  I actually would get up on my own and was rarely late to class, but I definitely pushed my luck timewise.  On top of that my first semester I often stayed up late to complete some work.  It was there that I would help set my night owl habits and also discover how much I liked anime.  However, it wasn't uncommon that I would only get about 6-7 hours of sleep.

When I got out of college, I did start to get used to waking up earlier for work, but I never quite broke the habit of staying up later than I should and running on less sleep.  Maybe I would get a full nights sleep on a work night if I happened to be exhausted and crash while watching TV; otherwise it was all about sleeping in on the weekends.  Even that started to become a premium when I began attending church. 

I've gotten away with this for a long time and it has seemed to work, but it needs to change.  I know I can't just get away with not sleeping as much as I should be because it will screw up my health later on.  It also has become clear because I have been trying to lose weight, and it hasn't been happening due to a number of factors, but one of them is likely because I am not sleeping enough at night.  So something has to be done.

Sad to say it, but I have taken to having an alarm on my cell phone to tell me to go to bed, because in the past when I have tried to set a bedtime I find that either I will lose track of the time or I will notice it's getting close and I'll just ignore the clock.  So maybe a more physical reminder will help me out.  I've been doing this now for two weeks and clearly it is a time of transition.  The good thing is I find that I am starting to get sleepy around 10 PM, the bad is that sometimes I will sleep pretty hard and wake up later than my morning alarm.  However, I think it is getting better, I just have to keep at it.

So to tie in the better sleeping habits, I am also working to develop good exercise habits as well.  With going to bed earlier, I can get up earlier, and that means time to get things done in the morning before I go to work.  I've been reading that the best way to get fit and lose weight is to exercise in the morning, which is something I have not been in the habit of doing since I was about 13.  Besides the apparently health benefits, it's the one part of the day where I should always have time to exercise (unless I wake up late).  In the past when I have tried to exercise after work, it ends up falling apart within a few weeks because I'm going out after work or there's other things going on so I end up getting home late, and then I should be in bed or I just don't want to work out.

I'm starting off easy right now, doing Yoga in the mornings, eventually I will move on to doing the strength exercises in Wii Fit.  When I get myself into the habit of working out every morning, I will join the fitness center behind my apartment (I think they're open at 5:30 or 6) and take advantage of using the facilities there as well.  I know I can do it, and I know it will be good for me.  I am tired of watching the numbers on the scale go nowhere (weight and fat %) so I'm hoping they will be on a downward trend in the next few months.  Besides, it would be fun to start looking really really good. ;-)  I will give myself some credit for this, I am still within the weight range I have kept for the last 12 years. 

So besides the morning exercise, earlier bedtime and working to eat better, I have also been getting into the habit of walking after I have my lunch at work.  So far so good, and based on some measurements, I am walking about 1.2 miles every day.  That will definitely aid as I continue to move towards a healthier self.