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Benefits of Running in the Morning

If you're a runner, here are 3 reasons why shifting to an earlier morning schedule to get your run in before most bedroom lights go on might be something you want to consider.

I have a good number of friends who are artists, musicians, actors and other such creatively talented people. Many of them thrive in the late hours of the night tapping into their creative spirits to design inspiring pieces of art, sound, visual masterpieces and the like. Not me.

I’ve always been the most productive in the morning. If I have to get something done, make something, learn something or be at my best, it’s certainly earlier in the day. Later on in the day it just doesn’t happen. So it wasn’t surprising that this past fall, looking for “extra” time in my day to accomplish more, I shifted by sleep habit from 10 to 5 and decided to go to bed by 9ish so I could get up at 4ish in the morning.

I say “ish” because about 5 years ago I stopped using an alarm clock. The neat thing about creating a positive sleep habit is that it gives you tons of flexibility. I always have time to get up when my Healthy Body feels it’s time and I need not be rushed. No loud waking noises, buzzing or hitting the snooze button and I always make sure I have something to look forward to in the morning to help get me up “on time”. Like running!

So enough about me, let’s talk about you!

Are you a creature of the night or have you become one of those early risers in search of the proverbial worm?

If you’re a runner, here are 3 reasons why shifting to an earlier morning schedule to get your run in before most bedroom lights go on might be something you want to consider.

First off, an early morning run helps to energize your day.

By having a good routine in the morning that involves thinking positive, balancing your pH, fueling well and getting your physiology stimulated you’ll be set to be your most productive self for the rest of your day. No more worrying about failing energy levels or when you’re going to be able to fit your run in your schedule depending on how your day goes. You’ll now have more checked off on your to-do list before noon than the average person might all day!

Running in the morning, especially in a semi-fasted state, has been shown to help with weight management, blood glucose maintenance and other healthy aspects of your Healthy Body’s ability to take care of itself. Not having eaten much in the morning allows you to feel light and free during your run and avoid any GI upset that may come with running at other times during the day.

You’ll find that you’re eating habits will improve during the day as your post run meal in the morning will sustain you longer during the day without having to fuel for or recover from a run later on.

If you’re looking at racing or participating in runs throughout the year, most events are morning runs and unless you’re used to getting going in the hours before noon, the idea of taking part in these efforts and festivities can sometimes be less than entertaining. Although our bodies are at their physiological best around 3 or 4 pm for physical activity, quite often we are psychologically and perhaps even spiritually at our best in the morning.

A clean slate can create a clean effort in many regards. Be sure to warm up more gradually in the morning though as your Healthy Body will surely just be getting going compared to later in the day.

Evening running and workouts, although still good for you, are counterproductive to a good “night” routine.

Although some would argue that wiping themselves out at night by being active allows them to crash out, it perpetuates that late “sleeping in” morning routine. It may not seem the same, but a similar effect of wearing you out for sleep that night is created even from running in the morning. The big difference being that it promotes an earlier time for going to sleep. However, our culture and our habits usually keep us up later even when we could indeed go to bed sooner.

Note that every hour of sleep you get before midnight is said to be equivalent to two hours after midnight and that every hour you go to bed after midnight is like losing two hours of sleep overall. Many good things happen in a regular sleep cycle, including tissue healing and liver detoxification, much of which can be impaired with staying up too late.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, getting up earlier and getting out for your run or any other workout is simply a personal victory.

It makes us happy knowing we’ve done something positive for ourselves while also challenging ourselves to be better and different than what society may see as the norm. At the same time, it can be a very spiritual victory as well, as most times a true connection with nature, our innate and what makes the Universe tick can be accomplished with the waking cycle of the natural world within which we operate.

Running is a great activity whenever someone can fit it in. Running in the morning simply raises the ante on what can be accomplished and achieved when someone makes time for them a priority and gets it out of the way first thing in the day.

If you haven’t tried running in the morning and you’re perhaps tired of wrestling with going to the gym versus going home at the end of the day or even getting out the door once you do get home, you might be surprised what a treat your new morning routine could be. And don’t worry; you’re sure to see another crazy runner out there too at some ridiculous hour in the morning for sure!