The morning workout (and why it’s worth a shot)

I never used to be a morning person. Each year as summer approached, I looked forward to the days of no alarms and lying in bed for as long as I felt like. A typical morning went something like this: This summer, however, I had to wake up around 6:30AM, five days of the week. Over time, I’ve adjusted, and have actually come to prefer not only rising early, but exercising early as well. At this point you are probably thinking, “Work out in the morning?!? Are you crazy?” I used to feel the exact same way, and wondered how those early morning joggers could pull themselves out of bed without fail. But then last year I decided to try the early Super Circuit fitness class at Hart House, and I felt amazing after!  It was a combination of stepping, stretching, jumping, and more – I was so busy moving to the upbeat music that the hour just flew by. After this, I realized I could physically get up and break a sweat in the early hours of the day, and that fitting in exercise into my mornings actually worked better for my schedule. So before you ditch the idea, I encourage you to give morning workouts a chance! There are some great advantages to exercising before you start your day, and below I’ve listed the ones that keep me at it: There are less people out in the morning. This is almost guaranteed. When I went to the 7am Super Circuit class at Hart House a few weeks ago, there were only five people participating, including me. If you like beating the crowd for a specific machine or don’t feel comfortable in front of a lot of people, then hitting the Athletic Centre or Hart House Gym in the morning is a really good idea. There’s even less people (and fewer cars!) outside in the morning, so the air is cool, fresh and perfect for a stroll. Getting it over with early means more time for other priorities later. This is a big one for me – I always feel so great after finishing a task, whether it’s a research paper or a morning jog. Waking up a bit earlier to fit in a workout, whether it’s some yoga in your room or a swim at the Varsity pool, lets you focus on other important things for the rest of the day. You can go to lectures, campus events, club meetings etc. feeling super fine because hey, you already got in your exercise for the day! AM exercise might just give you a boost of energy for the day. You can find all kinds of articles and studies out there about the benefits of morning exercise, and the MoveU crew here at U of T shares tons of tips for getting active and why it can help you be a better student. I certainly don’t know all the nitty-gritty science behind it, but I can tell you that I really do feel more alert and my mind is clearer after working out in the morning. More energy to tackle the day with = bonus! Adding a morning routine can be a great way to incorporate regular exercise into a busy student lifestyle. Even if you are still skeptical about the whole thing, try giving it a shot, see how you feel, and then go from there! -Lesia

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