It’s no secret that running is an incredibly popular way to exercise, whether you go for a morning run, after work, or in the evening. In fact, tens of millions of people do it each year. From light jogs around town to die-hard marathon runners and everyone in between, there seems to be a type of running that satisfies everyone’s needs.
Not only is running accessible, it’s effective. Regular running is linked to a myriad of health benefits, can help people lose weight, and improve mood and self-esteem.
Anyone who runs regularly knows that the experience can be quite spiritual, especially when running early in the morning. There’s something magical about being up before the rest of the world, taking special time for yourself to boost your health and energize yourself for the day ahead.
Below are 10 benefits of a morning run:
1. Running burns more calories than most exercises
Running is a high-impact, high-intensity workout that requires multiple muscle groups and works them hard. And, not only does running burn more calories up front, high-intensity workouts continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after you exercise!
2. Running is inexpensive compared to other forms of exercise
Forget expensive gym memberships, equipment, and all those other bells and whistles. Just get a good pair of running shoes. Plus, outside is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Running can lower stress and improve mood
Any kind of exercise will release endorphins, which make you feel happy and good. But they don’t call it a “runner’s high” for nothing! High-intensity workouts flood your body with feel-good chemicals, which will certainly come in handy when you’re getting the kids to school or rushing to meet a deadline at work.
4. A morning run is a much easier commitment
We are really good at convincing ourselves not to do things when we’re tired. After a long day at work or in school, the last thing we want to worry about is working more. If you go for a run in the morning, however, you “get it out of the way,” freeing up your evenings for much-needed relaxation.
5. Nature is at its finest in the morning
If you can run outside in the morning, you’ll notice two things: Fewer people and more nature. So you can listen to the calming sounds of birds and other animals while on your run.
6. Mornings are rarely too dark or too hot
Perhaps the main disadvantage of running outside is that you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. It can be too hot to run later in the day, or too dark when the sun sets sooner. Plus, running in the morning reduces the need for sunscreen.
7. Running can give you an early-morning energy buzz
High-intensity workouts flood your body with endorphins and adrenaline, both of which make you feel more focused and alert. Mornings can be a particularly frantic time, so an energy boost can really come in handy!
8. It can also make your nights better
Running at any time of day will help you sleep better, but exercising later in the day, especially before bed, can leave some people too restless to fall asleep easily. If you exercise in the morning, however, that energy boost is long gone by the time you’re ready to hit the sheets.
9. It’s good for your self-esteem
Who’s going to have anything bad to say about someone so disciplined that they wake up extra early just to go out for a run? Plus, posting those #morningworkout selfies and beautiful sunrises on Instagram may hold you accountable to keep up the habit!
10. You can “program” your brain to run in the morning
It’s as simple as running every morning consistently. This kind of conditioning will actually make getting out of bed easier; your body will expect you to need energy shortly after waking so you can run and will provide accordingly.
Running for Beginners
There’s something magical about being up before the rest of the world, taking special time for yourself to boost your health and energize yourself for the day ahead.
As mentioned earlier, all you really need to start a running habit is a good pair of shoes and the willingness to put in the work. However, our bodies naturally resist change, so setting yourself up for success is crucial, especially during the first few weeks. Setting your clothes out the night before will make it easier to commit in the morning and setting your alarm far away from you will help get you out of bed when it’s time to go.
And don’t forget to warm up first!