Three days a week, at 4:30 a.m., Glendale resident Sue Feehan rolls out of bed, pulls on her workout clothes and heads to the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA. She does 30 minutes of circuit training, 30 minutes of free weight training and an hour swim before heading home. She is done before some people are even out of their pajamas.
"You feel in the clear," Feehan said of her early exercise routine. "It is done for the day. You fit it in, and you can [focus on] your work and your priorities."
The local Y recently expanded its operating hours to better serve members like Feehan, said Executive Director Rosanne Malogolowkin. The facility now opens at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, a half an hour earlier than before. Closing time during the week remains at 10 p.m., Malogolowkin said.
"It was an attempt to accommodate the people who have to work out before work, and who have to commute to work," Malogolowkin said. "What happened is people were here before 5:30 a.m. waiting, ready to get into the building as soon as we opened the doors," Malogolowkin said.
Sunday hours have also been expanded to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday hours are unchanged, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Front desk worker Jacqui Hayden said it took about two weeks for the 5 a.m. opening to catch on. But now there is a steady stream of early bird exercisers, she added.
The early morning hours are the only window of time to get in a workout, said La Crescenta resident Jason Ryu. He uses the elliptical machine and lifts weights six days a week.
"I work Monday through Friday," Ryu said. "I don't have time to work out after work. [This is] the perfect time for me to squeeze it in."
Others said they are simply morning types. On Tuesday at 4:58 a.m., Altadena resident Peter Wormer was first in line at the Y. He swims for two and a half hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And he does the P90X workout program for two hours on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. The earlier he gets done the better, Wormer said.
"I have been retired for eight years," Wormer said. "I am 68 and I want to stay healthy as long as I can. I have older family members who are suffering all kinds of ailments and I don't want to go there."