Running is one of the most practical ways to be healthy and fit. You only need your running shoes and clothes, and you’re ready to go. But despite the minimal requirements that running has, most people still struggle with the dilemma of finding time in their busy schedules to squeeze in a run. Which leads to a sensible but often ignored solution of running early in the morning.
Let’s admit it, waking up before sunrise is hard – to set an alarm when you could be getting that precious extra hour of sleep requires a great deal of effort. But morning runners have been doing it for almost every day of their lives and there are probably good reasons why they enjoy it so much.
So if you’re already a morning runner or planning to be one, here are the top 6 reasons why early morning running is beneficial for you and your day.
1. Lowers Blood Pressure and gives you Quality Sleep
In a study done by the Appalachian State University, Dr. Scott Collier and his research assistants subjected research individuals, aged 40 to 60, to exercise on a treadmill three times a week for 30 minutes each day. They grouped the research volunteers into those who exercised at 7 am, 1 pm, and 7 pm.
The result of the study shows that individuals who exercised at 7:00 am experienced 10% decrease in blood pressure level throughout the day and reported longer and more beneficial sleep cycles compared to the volunteers who exercised at 1 pm and 7 pm.
2. Improves your Productivity for the Day
One of the running quotes many of us can surely relate to is this: “Running is like coffee. I feel better after I’ve had one”. Just like after gulping a cup of coffee, finishing a run gives us an increase in alertness and generally wakes us up early in the morning. This is because of the endorphins and adrenaline that flows in our body after a good run creating a good feeling after a run called the “runner’s high”.
3. It’s the most Convenient time to Run!
When you are dedicated and passionate about starting or committing to running, there are times that you won’t be able to find time to do it… but you will make time for it. That’s one of the major advantages of running in the morning – that there are no scheduled conflicts at 5 in the morning. No meetings, no errands, no catch-up with old friends. Which basically means, that we have no “excuse” to skip a run.
4. Your day will seem like it’s Longer
Since you’re already done with your scheduled run. You’ll have the rest of the day to focus on work, family, and your other hobbies. You don’t have to worry about finishing something by 7 or 8 pm for you to have time for your evening jog. You can simply have the rest the day to be active in the other things your passionate about.
5. Jumpstarts your Metabolism
Every time you eat, your body can do one of the following: use the food that you just ate a source of energy, use it to replenish your body, or just store it as fat. The beauty of a post workout meal is that it is used to replenish your body and help it recover from your workout. If you even squeeze some High-Intensity Interval Trainings (HIIT) in your morning workout, chances are, your body will burn more calories throughout the day…even if you’re just sitting in your office chair!
Also, you are more likely to eat a hearty post-run breakfast after a morning run. Instead of skipping the most important meal of the day, having a healthy and full breakfast can help sustain your energy longer during the day and control your appetite.
6. It develops your Mental Strength, Consistency, and Discipline
It’s hard. It takes conscious effort to push yourself to wake up and run first thing in the morning. But precisely because of this, you will appreciate yourself more. You will develop a sense of fulfillment for having finish something productive early in the day. And this can help you build up your mental strength- a very crucial element when running long distance races.
Aside from this, you will develop a strong sense of self-discipline. Over the weeks of training in the morning, you will develop the consistency that is not disrupted by common errands and events in the evening. And this consistency in schedule can translate to better results in achieving your fitness goals. Because after all, in fitness, “consistency is key”.
So for those of you who want to run in the morning, remember to start sleeping earlier, prepare your running clothes the night before (sleep on them if you must), and keep that alarm clock out of reach to avoid hitting the snooze button! Have a good run, everyone! :