August 23, 2016

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

“If I work out, my work works out.”

Simone Schurle approaches her fitness from a slightly different angle than the norm. She isn’t training for a marathon, looking to bench any specific number, or trying to move the numbers on a scale. Simone works out because of the way it makes her feel – and it makes her feel great. And when she feels great, she finds her work life benefits.

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

It makes sense then, that Simone often works out during her work day. “I sometimes might even come in [to work] in gym clothes, ready to go for a break later that day,” she says. Simone’s work, as a Postdoctoral fellow, fits her workouts well – or maybe it’s the other way around – allowing her to take workout ‘breaks’ between experiments. “When I feel myself getting unproductive, I can just go, work out and come back to continue with a fresh, awake mind.” A quick bout of activity can be the perfect pick-me-up during a hard work day.

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

With the MIT Recreation gyms within quick walking distance of her office and experiments, Simone can afford to take an afternoon HIIT class or Pilates, and get the energy boost and clear mind that she needs for the rest of her day.

Start with something you like – grow from there.

It wasn’t always this easy and natural for Simone to fit fitness into her day though. “I was on local sport teams when I was little…but kind of started slagging in high school. I didn’t like school sports and was not exercising at all,” she admits. But knowing she needed to start making fitness a priority, she took small beginning steps. First, she joined her campus gym in undergrad. “They offered fun group exercises in big halls where hundreds of students participated,” she explains. Starting with an activity that was more fun than ‘work,’ got her on the right path. “I got more and more fit and started to do little charity runs as well,” she explains.

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

Before she knew it, keeping active started to feel…normal for Simone. “All of a sudden exercising became a natural thing I’d do at least every other day. Since then, it doesn’t matter where I am, on travel, for a conference, for fun, I at least go for a run and do ‘weight-less’ exercises.” Fitness is now a permanent, almost automatic part of Simone’s life, all because she took those important first steps.

No Routine might be the Best Routine

These days, you might see Simone in one of MIT Recreation’s group exercise classes. “I love the group exercises offered at MIT, specifically Boot camp, Abs, Core/Stability, Barre strength, Pilates, Spinning- I just try to get a mix of cardio and strengthening,” she says.

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

Just don’t expect to see her each week at the same time. Simone likes to shake up her fitness. “I do not follow a strict rule for which courses I go to…sometimes it conflicts with my experiments, but that way I also do not end up in a routine.” That lack of set routine allows Simone to constantly tailor her workouts to what she really needs. “I sometimes go for a swim early in the morning to have a fresh start. Or, sometimes it might be on a Friday evening, after a long week to get out refreshed,” she explains.

Work Out to Work Better – Simone Schurle

Whether it’s a long week beginning, an exhausting Wednesday, or a Friday that needs a little refreshing – Simone is set. Her philosophy of keeping balance, staying active, and most importantly listening to her own body, keeps her fit and happy all work-week long.

Feel like you need to inject a little fitness into your work days? Check out one of the MIT Recreation facilities. Sign up for a group class, take a swim, or just go for a run around the track. And wave hello to Simone when you go!