Getting into shape vs. Getting out of bed
BY GARY KNOWLES
The alarm blares, sounding out like a police siren. Slowly, my eyes creep open and meet the flashing light in the dark room. I move over to turn my alarm off. After doing so, I contemplate why I decided it would be a good idea to wake up at exactly 5 a.m. and go to the gym. I’m not going to lie, there are plenty of days where shutting off the alarm and rolling over becomes the best choice.
As a college student, my first class usually starts around 8 a.m. As the day goes on, my schedule generally gets busier with more classes, homework, my job and dealing with other people. These things take away time that I could be using to work out. That is where 5 a.m. comes in. By being up that early in the morning there are not as many distractions to take away from my time. Most people are not going to be texting me asking about a homework problem, or hanging out that early. Plus, working out in the morning helps give me that wake-up push that I need and all the benefits that come with regular exercise.
UMW sophomore Claire Planton, echoed my sentiments on morning workouts when she said, “[morning workouts] help set me up for my day.” While the early mornings work for some, it may not work that way for every student and without being a part of a sports team most students neglect exercise.
“[Working out] is more random than a specific schedule,” said liberal studies Christina Lopes. Sometimes this route is all that works, working out whenever possible. Especially when someone has other commitments such as jobs, children and so on.
I can attest for the benefits of having a workout schedule. If possible this is great, because you already know ahead of time what you’re doing and when. Since students must be on campus anyway, why not try to fit in a workout between those two classes that are an hour apart? I have missed my 5 a.m. workout several times, but use gaps in my classes as another shot to get some exercise in for the day.
Another important factor is the location for working out and it doesn’t have to be a gym. Working out is about personal comfort, goal setting and success. So, if the only thing you do is run in your neighborhood three times a week, then that is fine. The key is not beating yourself up about not meeting your fitness goals and finding what works for you. I tried muscle-building when I started working out. After a year of taking weight lifting classes and hitting the gym, I didn’t meet my goal. But, I did find that working out helps me focus and get out of my head—especially when running. In the end that’s where I focused my time, because it was what worked for me.