Running is one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise, but when is the best time to do it?
Many people prefer to run in the early morning, before the sun rises and the day gets busy.
But what are the advantages of running in the early morning, and how can you make it a habit?
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of running in the early morning and share some tips on how to prepare for it and stay safe.
Why Run in the Early Morning?
Running in the early morning has several benefits, both physical and mental. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to try it:
It boosts your metabolism and burns more fat.
Running in the early morning, especially on an empty stomach, can help you burn more calories and fat throughout the day.
This is because your body uses fat as the main source of fuel when you run in a fasted state, rather than carbohydrates.
A 2020 study published in Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews found that a consistent morning exercise routine can boost both exercise adherence and weight loss in those with excess weight.
It improves your mood and productivity.
Running in the early morning can also give you a dose of endorphins and adrenaline, which can improve your mood and energy levels.
Running can also help you clear your mind and focus on your goals for the day.
Some runners like to use their morning run as a time to plan, reflect, or meditate.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that morning exercise can enhance positive affect and creativity.
It helps you sleep better.
Running in the early morning can also improve your sleep quality and quantity.
Running can help you regulate your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock that tells you when to sleep and wake up.
Running in the morning can also help you avoid the stimulating effects of evening exercise, which can interfere with your sleep.
A 2014 study published in Sleep Medicine showed that morning exercise can increase the amount and quality of deep sleep.
It reduces the risk of skipping your workout.
Running in the early morning can also help you stick to your exercise routine and avoid distractions.
If you run in the morning, you can get your workout done before anything else comes up, such as work, family, or social obligations.
You can also enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning, and avoid the heat, traffic, and crowds that you might encounter later in the day.
How to Run in the Early Morning?
Running in the early morning can be challenging, especially if you are not used to it. Here are some tips on how to make it easier and more enjoyable:
Prepare the night before.
One of the keys to running in the early morning is to plan ahead and get ready the night before. This can save you time and hassle in the morning and make you more motivated to get out of bed. Here are some things you can do the night before:
- Plan your route, pace and timing so you don’t feel rushed afterwards
- Adjust your bedtime if you’ll be waking up earlier than usual
- Set your alarm — building in time for your mind and body to wake up
- Have a light snack before your run, such as an apple, banana or half a bagel
- Lay out your clothes, shoes, and gear, and check the weather forecast
- Pack your water bottle, phone, keys, and any other essentials you might need
- If possible, sleep in your running clothes or put them next to your bed for easy access
Warm up properly.
Running in the early morning can also be harder on your body, as your muscles, joints, and blood vessels are colder and stiffer after sleeping. This can increase the risk of injury, cramps, or fatigue. Therefore, it is important to warm up properly before you start your run. Here are some ways to warm up:
- Do some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, arm circles, and lunges, to loosen up your muscles and joints
- Start your run slowly and gradually increase your speed and intensity
- Run on flat and smooth surfaces, and avoid hills or uneven terrain
- Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard
- Stop and stretch again if you feel any pain or discomfort
Stay safe and hydrated.
Running in the early morning can also pose some safety and hydration challenges, especially if you run in the dark or in cold weather. Here are some tips to stay safe and hydrated:
- Choose a well-lit and familiar route, and avoid isolated or dangerous areas
- Wear reflective or bright clothing, and use a headlamp or flashlight if needed
- Run with a partner, a group, or a dog, or let someone know where and when you are running
- Carry your phone, ID, and some cash or a credit card in case of an emergency
- Drink water before, during, and after your run, and adjust your fluid intake according to the temperature and humidity
- Wear appropriate clothing and layers, and protect yourself from the sun, wind, or rain
Running in the early morning can be a great way to start your day and improve your health and fitness.
It can help you burn more fat, boost your mood and productivity, sleep better, and stick to your exercise routine.
However, running in the early morning can also be challenging, so you need to prepare well and take care of your body.
By following the tips above, you can make your morning run more enjoyable and effective.
If you are interested in running in the early morning, why not give it a try and see how it works for you?
You might be surprised by the benefits and the beauty of the morning. Happy running!