Many runners have found that the best time of day to exercise is first thing in the morning. A lot of people didn’t realize that the time of day they run affects their performance and lifestyle. However, there are many ways that morning running is good for you, physically and mentally. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of running in the morning.
Morning runs could have positive effects on your physical health and mental well-being. Many early-morning runners notice a boost of energy that helps them stay productive through the rest of the day. These runs can also leave people feeling focused and managing their stress better, among many other benefits.
15 Benefits Of Running In The Morning
There are many morning run benefits that you should know about. A lot of runners were surprised by how different they felt (physically and mentally) after switching from midday runs to early morning runs. Even people that prefer sleeping in have noticed positive changes from getting up early.
Are you wondering what the benefits of running early in the morning are? Let’s go over 15 of the reasons why runners should be setting an early alarm clock.
1. Consistent Exercise Plan
One of the top problems beginners face is being consistent with their exercise plan. Inconsistency leads to skipped workouts and falling off track with your goals. Every runner should have goals that they want to accomplish, even if they are small.
So, how does early morning running help people stay more consistent? Runners always prepare for morning runs ahead of time. Part of their plan involves scheduling a time and setting an alarm clock. By setting this specific time for your run, you are more likely to stay consistent with your plan. Runners that don’t schedule a set time are less likely to be consistent.
2. Better Quality Sleep
Would you like to improve the way you sleep at night? One of the best benefits of running first thing in the morning is that you can sleep better at night. Studies have shown that people who run early in the morning sleep better than people who run midday or in the evening.
This is good news for morning runners. It’s important that people get a good night’s rest before they go on an early morning run. As a beginner, you may find yourself feeling tired earlier than normal and you may want a midday nap. You should avoid midday naps if possible because they can negatively affect your quality of sleep at night. Once your body adapts to the routine, you shouldn’t feel tired at midday.
3. Improved Focus & Productivity
Running is an excellent way to clear your mind. This is why it’s highly recommended to set your alarm early and go for a run before your workday begins. There have been studies linking exercise to an improvement in people’s attention.
On average, most runners feel more alert mentally roughly 2 hours after their run. This can help with their productivity at work. They will be focused, eager, and ready to make more precise decisions.
4. Fewer Distractions
One of the benefits of running every morning is that you get it done and out of the way. Midday and evening runners are guilty of blowing off their runs when different things in their lives keep them distracted.
Often people have excuses, such as having to stay late at work or spur-of-the-moment plans to call off their run. It makes sense that something could come up that prevents a person from running at times like 2 or 7 pm. However, it’s unlikely that life distractions will get in the way of a 6 or 7 am run.
5. Manage Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure has earned the title of “the silent killer.” Approximately 1 out of every 3 American adults has high blood pressure. A healthcare provider will prescribe medication for people with this condition. However, high blood pressure may also be managed through healthy lifestyle changes.
Is it good to run in the morning if you have high blood pressure? Getting in the habit of running or jogging early in the morning is an efficient way to lower blood pressure. When people exercise regularly, their heart becomes stronger. This allows it to pump more blood, which decreases the pressure on the arteries.
6. Promotes Better Self Care Habits
Self-care is very important for your mental health. You need to make your health and well-being a priority in your life. However, far too many people are guilty of putting off self-care.
Your exercise routine is part of your self-care. People that schedule (and stick to) early morning runs tend to develop better self-care habits. They start every day devoted to improving themselves. This makes it easier for them to make decisions that will keep them healthy and happy.
7. Feel Better Mentally
One of the benefits of running is that it releases endorphins. This is a hormone that can put people in a better mood. It has also shown positive effects on people’s mental health. After early morning runs, people have noticed positive effects on their state of mind, such as:
- Better mood;
- Better stress management;
- Reduced anxiety;
- Better cognitive function;
- Improved memory;
- Little things bring more pleasure (ie: you may feel happier upon the sight of a cute animal or a bright-colored flower).
8. Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is also known as your internal clock. When you get into a routine, it will determine when you’re going to feel alert vs when you’re going to feel tired. It’s common for people to choose an exercise where the training matches their circadian rhythm.
If you’re wanting to adjust your circadian rhythm to feel more alert earlier in the morning, getting up daily for a run is a great way to start. This can benefit someone who has recently started a new job, school program, or other events that call for them to start waking up earlier than they are used to.
9. Wake Up Your Metabolism
Running is one of the best ways to burn calories. If you’re interested in running for the purpose of weight loss, then you might be more motivated to set an early alarm clock once you read this section.
When you run, you will naturally increase your metabolism. By running in the morning, you can give your metabolism the kickstart it needs before you eat a full meal and go on with your daily routine.
10. Ideal Temperature
Not every benefit of running in the morning has to do with your physical and mental health. Some of the benefits of going out in the morning have to do with the quality of the run itself. If you run on a treadmill, you can skip ahead to the next benefit. This one is for outdoor runners.
The temperature is cooler first thing in the morning. As the sun rises, the temperature will as well. During the afternoon hours, the temperature will reach its daily high. Ideally, you should run before 7 am if you want to beat the heat on hot days.
11. Ideal For Race Training
Are you training for a race? Runners that choose to train first thing in the morning are more likely to have success reaching their goals. The morning training allows the body to adapt to performing early in the day.
So, why is early morning training ideal for races and marathons? It’s common for these events to start in the morning. That’s why runners that train in the AM have an easier time on the day of the race.
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12. Highest Point Of Motivation
A lot of runners have noticed that they feel a higher point of motivation first thing in the morning. It’s a brand new day that’s full of possibilities. You haven’t had any distractions to cause you to stress or make you feel tired yet. At this point in the day, you’re ready to accomplish your goals.
This benefit isn’t only good for the days you plan to run. Every runner should have 1 to 2 rest days per week. A lot of runners tend to wake up with the motivation to accomplish something on these days as well.
13. Build Discipline
Self-discipline is needed to make good decisions for yourself. This is something a lot of people struggle with. A good way to teach yourself self-discipline is through your exercise routine.
Once people start to become self-disciplined, they are less likely to make excuses. If there is something that needs to be done, they will get up and do it. Not only will this help you with your running routine, but it can help you with other areas of your life. You may find that you are able to organize your time better, never skip important events, and keep your environment in order.
14. Peaceful Time Of Day
Why do so many runners prefer going out for a jog between 5 and 7 am? This is the most peaceful time of the day. Traffic is lighter, most people are still at home, and most businesses haven’t opened yet. For this reason, early hours can be more appealing to runners.
A lot of runners enjoy the scenery this time of day as well. This is especially true for people that head out as the sun is starting to rise.
You are running for yourself! One of the best benefits of your early morning run is self-satisfaction. You woke up, stayed committed, and gave it your all. This is more than enough of a reason to feel proud of yourself.
Knowing you’ve accomplished something is the perfect way to start your day off. You may even feel more motivated to accomplish other tasks and activities. This motivation won’t stop just because you’re done running for the day.
Who Can Benefit From Running In The Morning?
Almost every runner can benefit from choosing an early morning running routine. However, there are certain people that should consider this change based on their lifestyle. Let’s take a look at who can benefit the most from running in the morning.
1. People With Morning Schedules
Do you start work or school in the morning? You can arrive in a fresh state of mind when you make time for morning runs. By waking up 1 hour earlier and running for 30 minutes, you may notice that you feel more alert and productive in the office/classroom.
2. People With Hypertension, Heart Disease, & Other Conditions
If you have any medical conditions, you should consult a healthcare provider about what you can and can’t do. There are positive effects that running can have on certain health conditions. Running on a regular basis could help to lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and reduce the risks of heart disease. Make sure to consult with your trusted healthcare specialist.
3. People With Poor Time Management Skills
There is an old saying that goes “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.” If you find yourself arriving to work, appointments, and other places late, then you need to improve your time management skills.
One of the best ways to get in the habit of managing your time wisely is by scheduling early morning running. If you can manage your time for an early morning run, it will be easier to manage your time elsewhere.
4. People With An Active Social Life
Social butterflies are the guiltiest of blowing off midday and evening runs. More people in your social circle means that more social plans and activities will arise. Of course, there will always be something more exciting than a run coming up. That’s why you should get up early and do your run before any plans come up.
Here Are Some Drawbacks of Running in the Morning to Consider
Is running in the morning good for you? There are a lot of great reasons to go for a run in the morning. However, for some people, an early morning run isn’t ideal. Let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of an early morning run.
1. Morning Dew
Early morning dew can cause the ground to become damp. While this does present some safety issues, they can be avoided if the runner is prepared. Make sure you wear proper running shoes and avoid running on the grass if it’s dewy.
2. Poor Muscle Flexibility
Some people don’t have the best muscle flexibility early in the morning. If you wake up with stiff muscles on a daily basis, you may not be able to prepare yourself accurately for a morning run.
3. Midday Fatigue
Some people end up feeling really tired midday after a morning run. However, this is typically something that only occurs in the beginning. As you get used to waking up earlier and your body adapts to the routine, you shouldn’t feel tired at midday anymore.
4. It’s Less Of a Stressbuster
Some people simply enjoy the feeling of running off a stressful day. For them, they don’t feel as satisfied when they run in the morning. This is completely a personal preference. Keep in mind, you can still go for a morning run and participate in another form of stress-busting physical activity later in the day.
What Do You Need To Do Before Your Morning Run?
Many runners will prepare for their run the night before. This includes getting their clothes out, deciding where they want to run, and going to bed at a decent time. One trick many runners suggest is to keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room. This way you won’t be tempted to hit snooze and go back to sleep.
In the morning, make sure you have a light snack and drink 8 to 16 ounces of water. You should also perform a warm-up with 5 to 7 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and stretches. This will prepare your body for the run.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Benefits of Running Early in the Morning
Some more answers to popular questions about running in the morning.
Is running for 30 minutes in the morning good?
Beginners should aim to run for 30 minutes each morning. This is a good timeframe to see the benefits of running without overdoing it.
Should I eat before running in the morning?
Always eat a light snack before running in the morning to provide energy. Some people believe that the benefits of running in the morning on an empty stomach include burning more fat, however, this isn’t true. You need something in your stomach to provide you with energy for your run.
Is it healthy to run in the morning?
Running in the morning is healthy. It’s an excellent way to stay in good shape, lower blood pressure, and maintain a healthy weight.
There are many benefits to running in the morning. People who make time for early morning runs notice improvements in their physical fitness and mental well-being. It’s an excellent way to give yourself a boost of energy and have a clear mind to stay focused throughout the day.
Do you prefer running in the morning? Let us know in the comments below.
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