Owl or Lark?: What's Your Body Rhythm and Personality Type?
Today's Will Power Moment - 24
with Dr. James Meschino
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in wellness success is getting enough exercise each week to meet the recommended standard. In fact, 80% of adults don’t meet the standard. So, what is the standard? The U.S. government recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours (150 mins) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes (75 mins) of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. As well, adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week. So, 20% of adults do this and 80% don’t.
One more key to making this a reality in your life is to understand your body rhythm and personality type. What I mean by this is the following: Some people are morning people – larks. The wake up early, they have tons of energy in the morning, they get up and get going really early. If you’re a Lark, then it’s probably best for you to exercise first thing in the morning. That’s when you have your burst of energy and will feel most up to the challenge. If you try to exercise at the end of the day, you’ll likely be too tired and skip your workouts on frequent occasions.
But what if you’re an Owl – or a nighthawk type of person? You know what I mean; a person who tends to stay up late and gets a burst of energy later in the day. Or what if you definitely know you’re not a morning person? If this is your natural bio-rhythm then setting a goal to do early morning workouts will probably fail in the near and long-term. You are someone who would do best to workout after work or later in the evening. Your energy and compliance will be much better if this is your natural bio-rhythm.
The other thing to consider about yourself is: Do you prefer to work out with other people or do you prefer to work out alone (and maybe just see other people around you, but not be part of a work out class or buddy work out group)? If you are an extrovert, then you’re probably better off engaging in group aerobic and strength training classes or programs. The social dynamic will help to keep you showing up and putting in a solid effort. If you are more of an introvert, meaning that you tend to renew yourself by finding some alone time to recharge your battery before venturing back out into various social environments, then you’ll probably look forward more to working out on your own – at your own pace, on your own program, on your own terms, with your own timing. The trick is to know yourself and Be Yourself and look for exercise solutions that work for you with respect to your bio-rhythm and personality type.
In case your’re wondering, I’m an owl. I like to workout later in the day. That is when I feel my best. It helps to restart my day and gives me renewed energy as I head into the evening. I also prefer to work out on my own, whether lifting weights or running or doing some other aerobic activity. The solitude is like meditation time for me in some ways, helping to clear my head, and it gives me renewed clarity on the things I am working on and the things that are important to me. And I always feel much better when I’m done.
If you’re still healthy enough to exercise, then be grateful for that, and get on with it. Exercise is a gift to yourself. It’s an invaluable aspect of preventive medicine and preservation of a functional life. So, if you’re not engaged in it fully, think about how to get more compliant by tapping into your natural bio-rhythm and personality type to make it more enjoyable and less arduous.
Have fun! And I’ll see you next time.
Dr. James Meschino
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.