With finals season upon us—and to all of my fellow seniors, the homestretch of college apps—I leave with you this piece of advice: work out in the morning.
For me, a typical Wednesday starts with heading to the gym at 6 a.m. There, I work out for 45 minutes, head home, shower and get ready for school. Think what you will, but this has been the single best thing I’ve added to my schedule.
You’ve heard over and over again “exercise is a great way to destress!” It is, they’re not wrong. However, if I am supposed to be making a Quizlet set while rereading the whole entire history textbook while practicing every single problem from the math workbook, when am I supposed to squeeze in a workout? What should I even do for a workout? On top of that, it seems counterintuitive to wake up early to work out when we should be “getting a lot of rest.” Yes, you’re right. But, a morning workout doesn’t necessarily mean getting up at the crack of dawn to run four miles and then going to the gym to lift weights. Your workout can be something as simple as waking up ten minutes earlier to do three sets of fifteen push-ups, squats or burpees in the comfort of your room. Let me tell you, if you don’t think that will do anything, check back in with me a couple of weeks.
Now I understand, in an age when a typical duration of sleep ranges from five to six hours, why shorten that number? You provide yourself with the mental fuel to get you accomplishing tasks left and right, and you feel really amazing. If you can do something as hard as getting out of bed, you can tackle a challenging workout. If you can accomplish a challenging workout, you can attack that really difficult Chemistry final you’ve been dreading next. This mentality of “if I can do that, I can do this” is honestly life changing, and starts with that morning workout.
I’m not trying to stunt on anyone with my workout schedule. And although it may seem like I have it all together, I don’t. For example, talk to me in “real life” and you’ll see how my words trip over each other and how I somehow struggle to articulate simple ideas in my head. Or how there are days I can’t bring myself to start my homework because it is so overwhelmingly difficult. Or no matter how many times I try, I always hate how I look in this certain shirt I spent a lot of money on. My room is a complete and absolute mess, I can’t find anything in my backpack but I’m too afraid to clean it out, and on top of that there are days I know I won’t be accepted into any of the colleges I’m applying to. While many of these are trivial things, they are still little annoyances that I feel like I have no control over sometimes. How I feel, or whether I work out, are things I can control though, and they make the difference when I wake up early Wednesday morning.
Again, when it feels like everything is falling apart, do something to help you get back on the right road of life and begin driving. Jumpstart your day, get that bread and best of luck with finals. Los Altos, I believe in you.