Running has become one of the most popular ways of exercising, with tens of millions of runners pounding the pavements right as we speak. Benefits of a good run go from weight loss to fighting depression, but why is it so special running in the morning? After you endure the struggles of getting up when it’s still pitch black outside, you may notice the myriad of positive changes not only in your physical state, but also in your overall well being. These 5 benefits of a morning run may push you to make the switch and become an avid morning person.
It’s common knowledge that high-intensity physical activity like running, especially jogging, helps in maintaining a healthy weight and losing fat. On top of that, switching to morning running can bring more to your weight control. Research has long proven that there are advantages to exercising on an empty stomach compared to fed exercise. When practicing fasted exercise, you give your body the opportunity to break down body fat as energy, instead of using carbs you’ve just ingested for breakfast. This is mostly doable in the morning, especially when getting up really early, since your mind still keeps hunger and food cravings on hold.
What’s more, the workout itself has to do a lot with appetite control, primarily due to the overall feeling of achievement and the sense of starting your day in a healthy, productive way. We tend to motivate ourselves (even subconsciously) by counting positive things we’ve already done during the day, and starting your daily routine with a blood-pumping exercise will definitely prepare the ground for a successful day.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
It really sounds counterintuitive, but studies have successfully shown that early morning runs may be just the thing to help you sleep sounder at night. In the beginning, the horror of waking up to a 5 a.m. alarm sound seems unbearable, but in time your body and mind get used to this rhythm and, more importantly, you start experiencing the positive sides of getting up before everybody else. Getting up early will lead to an early bedtime, which is highly beneficial for weight loss, blood pressure control, energy boosting and overall productivity. You’ll feel more ready and motivated for what’s to come during a stressful day at work, or you’ll just be more productive and prepared to deal with the daily grind.
MOTIVATING YOURSELF IN THE LONG RUN
A lot of people struggle with finding solid reasons for exercising regularly and sticking to it in the long run. The lack of motivation usually exists due to the fact that we tend to overthink about the entire process and dread the moment of truth.
When accomplishing your exercising goals in the morning, it automatically triggers the sense of achievement. The fact that you’ve already finished your running routine may push you to keep going and want more. By basically “getting it over with” your brain won’t have time to stress about the struggles of physical exercising and it will all be over before you feel like giving up.
CREATING A HEALTHY HABIT
Similarly, if you struggle to build a healthy workout habit, beginning a morning workout regimen can help you create a lifelong habit that isn’t too straining and complicated. Sticking to a solid running routine will have evident benefits for your attitude towards exercise in general. It may seem uncomfortable and exhausting in the beginning. However, over some period of time the body starts to work hand in hand with the mind and running becomes less and less physically demanding.
What’s important is to build the routine around something pleasant and comfortable. Take some time to always prepare everything for your run before bed and keep the morning routine simple and quick. Furthermore, make sure to be well equipped and aware of what you’re supposed to do. There’s an array of useful resources like Jogging Addiction and more, which are convenient and fast for getting informed about what running shoes are best for your running technique and needs. By minimizing discomfort and the number of steps you do before stepping outside, you minimize the chances of giving up and procrastinating.
NATURE IS WAKING UP TOO
Try picturing it – gentle, warm morning light peeping through the bushes and trees, caressing your face whilst all you can hear is the rhythmic tapping of your trainers and quiet gasps of breath. There is something magical about being up before the rest of the world – finding the “me time” when there’s no one around to interrupt your peace and train of thought. Mornings are perfect time when it’s not too hot or too dark, and you get to experience the gradual awakening of nature and life. It’s almost a meditative – like state that surpasses the physical and becomes a way of mental healing.
One more advantage to morning runs is the oh-so-sweet silence that most of us almost never experience during the day. It seems now we’ve become scheduled from the moment we hit the snooze button the first time to the second we fall asleep. Early mornings offer a bit of quiet and solitude to mentally prepare for the day and just enjoy the peace before losing yourself in a busyness.
Next time you feel like implementing a change in your workout habits, try running in the morning. Let the beauty of the morning nature and feelings of accomplishment and motivation overpower laziness. Step out of your comfort zone and with each step get closer to a healthy lifestyle and a calmer mind. You won’t look back.