Life often gets in the way of looking after yourself. You’re so busy with work, kids, your partner, and your friends – you never really find the time to focus on you, and your own health. If you’re interested to learn more about the benefits of a healthy life, check out this course. On paper 20 minutes of exercise three times a week sounds achievable, but the reality is that once life takes over, suddenly the week has passed and you’ve not even thought about lacing up your running shoes.
Running in the mornings solves many of the conflicts that allow you to continually put-off your health, and as follows are the key benefits to hitting the pavement as the sun is coming up. Getting your heart racing while the rest of the world sleeps is the perfect way to start your day. The good thing about running in the morning is that you don’t need to be a morning person to turn yourself into one. Your body is malleable, and with the right training can adapt to whatever you throw at it. You can learn a little more about being fit for life in this fantastic course, or read on to discover what makes a morning run fantastic.
You realize that you’re different to the rest of the world, and that you have the strength and ability to achieve anything. You can see what you’re really made of as you scramble out of bed in the pre-dawn light while the 99% are resting warm and cozy deep in their blankets. Every time you lace up your running shoes and take to the streets you realize the strength of your commitments, and how motivated you are to achieve your goals.
Long distance runners often comment on the hypnotic and meditative qualities of a peaceful run. Whether you’re following a path along the coastline or drumming down the pavement in a city that has yet to wake – the sounds of your breathing and your footsteps form a rhythm that’s in perfect harmony. Without worrying about people, traffic and the noise of everyday life, an early morning run is the perfect time to reflect and focus towards the day, or simply to enjoy the moment. If you’re interested in learning a little more on personal reflection, take this course and discover how 5 minutes of meditation a day can help to centre your life and add to the benefits of your morning run.
Early morning runs are better for your health in many cases, because the air is much cooler, as well as it being much more comfortable than later in the day. In addition, there is also less pollution because there is not yet all of the smog mucking up the air from the morning commuters. Anyone that has ever run through a thick cloud of exhaust fumes knows that there is indeed a great benefit in waking up just a little bit earlier!
No Scheduling Problems
The best intentions are often ruined by reality. I bet there are more times than you can count where you planned to go and exercise, but something came up, or you got a better offer and decided to “definitely go for a run tomorrow.” When you get up early, you’ve already got your run out of the way, and are not going to get distracted – no matter what comes up over the rest of your day. Afternoon and evening runs do allow you to be awake and ready for a run, the downside is that you often have to plan your entire schedule around them. it doesn’t matter how dedicated you are, unforeseen changes can often force you to abandon even the best intentions, so wake up early and get the run over and done with before your body even knows what hit it!
Getting your body moving first thing in the morning is a better jump start than a cup of coffee, and leaves you in a productive mood where you’re ready to tackle anything. Ride the wave throughout the entire day, with snacks on healthy foods and plenty of water and you’ll feel amazing throughout. After exercising your endorphins are pumping and your productivity will skyrocket, and you’ll enjoy an increased mental clarity up to 4-10 hours after your run. Sometimes it feels like dragging yourself out of bed is the absolute worst feeling in the world, but if you can grab enough willpower to throw on your running gear and get out the door you’ll thank yourself for the rest of the day. The fresh air, as well as getting your body moving will get you fresh and ready for the rest of your day.
In addition, the benefits of having exercised also linger for the whole day. Your body will burn more calories, even after you’ve been for a run, and your elevated metabolism will have you burning even more calories – while you’re simply sitting at your desk like everyone else.
After being so healthy with a run first thing in the morning, you’re going to look at the food you eat over the day much more carefully. You’ll be proud of the achievement you’ve made so far, and this makes you less likely to sabotage it all with an unhealthy lunch. Instead, you’re more likely to build on your new lifestyle even more, and eating fresh and healthy foods that support a healthier you. It also gives you a good reminder to eat breakfast before you head to work (your stomach will be rumbling), and it tastes so much better when you know you’ve earned it.
There’s a limited amount of people that understand what it takes to be up and running before the sun comes up. Those you see out on the road appreciate the same things you do, and you can expect a nod, thumbs up or a smile – there’s not usually a need for words, as you both appreciate what it means and has taken to be out there.
Starting your day before the sun comes up gives you a chance to experience one of nature’s most beautiful sights, the majestic moment when the sun rises out above the horizon and lights up the world. There’s nothing better than being out in the fresh air, and enjoying the natural world that is out there. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, the early morning beauty of your city at rest helps you reconnect, and can make the commute or a long day at your desk that much more bearable.
It’s been proven in research that people who get up and do a morning exercise are often more consistent than those who exercise in other parts of the day. Your body is a machine, and as such, loves to be in routine. If you consistently force yourself out of bed when your alarm goes off, your body will thank you, and you’ll be rewarded by feeling more rested and ready for the day. Studies have shown that both men and women who stick to a schedule and wake for an early morning exercise session sleep much better than those who exercise in the evening. Remember that a run is a stimulant for your body, and doing this late at night makes it harder for you to relax and fall into a deep and peaceful sleep.
But it can be a real struggle to make the change, especially if you’re not a morning person. If you do want to become one of the elite group of morning runners, here’s what you need to do
- Get your family on board. You will need the support of your partner and family to be able to make the changes in your schedule, and they must support you on this.
- Have a running partner. It’s much more difficult to hit snooze when you have a friend waiting outside your home to start the run. This is most critical as you form your new habits, and over time you can rely on this less as your body forms its new routines.
- Find the right places to run. Paths that are beautiful in the middle of the day through a lovely park can often be unlit and downright dangerous before the sun comes up.
- Wear the correct gear. Dressing in ninja black may look cool, but you’ll be almost invisible to early morning motorists. Don’t risk it, and wear colorful and reflective gear so you light up like a Christmas tree. Adding a headlamp if you’re out before dawn is another great way to see where you’re feet are landing and avoid any rolled ankles.
The night before can be critical to your success in jumping up out of bed for your morning run, so be sure to do all of the following:
- Get seven to eight hours of sleep. For a 5:30am run that means you’re in bed by 10pm. You can learn a little more on how to sleep well in this post
- Have a light dinner, with easy carbs and protein like stir fried rice with chicken and vegetables.
- Prepare all of your gear, so there’s no excuse and you don’t forget anything as you are still drowsy.
- Dim all of your lights at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, and turn off your electronics.
- Find a ritual that helps you wind down, whether it’s a bath, a hot cup of tea, or reading.
- Set more than one alarm.
In the morning when you wake up:
- Turn on all of the lights. Don’t ease yourself into it. Bright lights tells your brain it’s time to be awake, so just like ripping off a band-aid, flick them all on.
- Get motivated, whether it’s a coffee, a motivational YouTube clip, or a fast browse through your emails. 5 minutes getting your brain in gear does wonders for getting you out running.
- Have a small morning snack, like a banana, an energy bar, or even a hard boiled egg to give your blood sugar a kick start, as well as a big glass of water before you head out.
The only real argument against a morning run is that you have to force yourself out of the comfort of your bed and forsake an extra hour of sleep. Whilst this can be a convincing argument, there are only a few people in the world that return home from an early morning run and can truthfully admit they don’t feel better for it.
Don’t expect everything to magically change overnight, but over a few weeks you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the progress you’ve made. Once you’re ready to take it to the next level, try this course on plyometric training and see how much faster you can run!