Early Morning Fitness Program

A comprehensive exercise program for women over the age of 40

The Early Morning Fitness Program is designed to meet the fitness needs of women ranging in age from 40 – 80+ years old.

The class, supported by the Department of Kinesiology, meets Monday through Friday from 6:40 a.m. – 7:40 a.m. During the 60-minute class, women participate in cardiovascular exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, they work on improving and maintaining flexibility, strength, balance, and breath control.

The instructors choreograph and teach aerobic dances to not only improve cardiovascular conditioning and decrease the likelihood of osteoporosis, but to also improve concentration, memory, and coordination. Classes include a variety of music and choreography to accommodate all fitness levels.

The use of hand weights and bands, along with Pilates and yoga movements, are used to build on strength and to improve balance and flexibility. The program provides all necessary equipment.

Each class includes a warm-up, cool down, balance training, coordination exercises, and stretching.

The program was originally developed as part of an osteoporosis prevention study through the UW–Madison Department of Preventive Medicine in 1980. Back then the class met three times per week and consisted of aerobic dancing. The study ended in 1990; however, the original participants persuaded the organizers to continue the class as a fee-based outreach program.  The program is now supported by the UW–Madison Department of Kinesiology.

Instructors: Bonnie Loughran, an Instructional Specialist with the Department of Kinesiology, is a UW–Madison alumna with undergraduate degrees in dance and physical education, and a master’s degree from the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology. Bonnie hires students to assist with the class.

When: Monday through Friday, 6:40 – 7:40 a.m.,  year round

Where: UW Natatorium, 2000 Observatory Drive

Contact Bonnie Loughran at bloughran@wisc.edu for more information about joining this unique class.

Join any time. New members are always welcome.

UW–Madison affiliation is not required to join the class. Fee $500/year. UW Gym membership required.

Participants enjoy the friendship, the relaxed atmosphere, and variety of classes taught as illustrated in the following quotes:

“Early Morning Fitness is one of the best parts of my retirement. Not only do I get excellent workouts, but also I have met a friendly group of women who inspire me to keep active.”

“The physical exercise nourishes my body; the companionship nourishes my soul! The class is a wonderful way to start the day; it improves my stamina, my flexibility, and my mood.”

“Every week I see new studies showing the benefits of exercise, not only for heart health but also for brain health.  Yes, EMF meets early, but this means I can participate and still get to my office in time for work. An additional motivation to keep attending is the wonderful, supportive women in the class. I have made many new friends and welcome new members!”

“My strength, flexibility, lower back pain, blood pressure, and cholesterol have improved since I started the class six years ago. I sleep better and feel great.”

“Remember as a youngster how fun it was to dance with friends to the hits of the day? This class has the same feel. Attending the class has been fun enough to bring me back four days a week at 6:30 a.m.!

“There is music, friendship, and laughter in a highly effective class.”