31 August 2005

Stick to the routine!

Last week, I deviated from the routine. I didn't think it'd make much of a difference. Whatever! All quarter, I've been waking up between 5am and 0530. It gives me plenty of time to do spinal warm-ups, read the Word, eat breakfast, study, or even get in my swim workout.

Last week, I just wanted a few extra zzzzzz's, so I set my alarm for 0600 on Monday....and Tuesday...and then it became 0630 alarm up through Friday. Sheesh! Not only did I not have enough time to get in my spinal warm-ups and Bible reading in the mornings, I just felt behind all week long. I was well-rested, but my stress levels increased. Usually on the weekends, I sleep in until 0630 or 0700. This past weekend, I was sleeping in past 8. My entire life was out of whack. Messed up circadian rhythms, messed up routine = stress.

I've been up before 0530 this week, thus far...and it's been great. I've been so productive in the mornings with studying, Bible reading, prayer time, spinal and core strengthening exercises. I never used to be a "morning person". But, it seems like I'm so much more alert, productive, and less exhausted by sticking to the 0500 - 2200 schedule.

In college, I was completely reversed. I went to bed late after studying, sometimes pulling all-nighters on papers and jittery on caffeine overload. I'd wake up early to work out in ROTC with minimal sleep...talk about increased cortisol levels. Then, I'd eat dorm food...oh so healthy. I used to think people who never fed their kids sugar, only ate whole grains or farm-raised poultry were just extreme and nuts. Now, I feel like people who constantly load up on twinkies, fast food, and soda are nuts and are completely poisining their bodies with these toxins. I wish I knew nutritional info earlier while in college...I would have done so much better and felt so much healthier. I'm glad I'm still in my twenties and have at least been doing things healthier over the past 3-4 years...but there's still room for improvement.

I hope to start crossfit workouts after labor day. Minimal workout time, fast results for core strength. Yes! I will be faster and stronger and churn it up in the pool!

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