Whether running is the best exercise for weight loss or not, the fact remains that when most people embark on a fitness journey, they jump straight into running as opposed to walking, in order to torch calories.
And to prove that such a decision is worth it, research shows that running is more effective than walking for the average person as it burns more calories per minute.
If you are not a runner yet, this is one more reason to take notes as we explore the amazing benefits of running in the morning for veteran runners and beginners alike.
7 benefits of running in the morning + early morning workout tips
1. Running increases your metabolism & helps you lose weight
If weight loss is one of the reasons you want to start running in the morning, then you are off to a good start.
Running regularly, 5 days a week for 30 minutes, at low intensity will temporarily speed up your lipid metabolism, a process by which stored fats also known as triglycerides are converted into energy.
If you are a complete beginner however, you should not go for the full 5 days a week as that may cause you to burn out and give up on losing weight.
The best way to start running in the morning to lose weight if you are overweight is to walk for 30 minutes, 3 days a week in the first week and as you progress, you can start running, as per the guide in this article which goes in detail about running to lose weight when you are out of shape.
There is also a running plan for beginners that is available for download for FREE in the article mentioned above!
If you want to become a fat-burning machine of envy that continues to burn fat hours after the workout is over, then you would have to add strength training to your running routine. Increased muscle mass will boost your metabolism further since muscle burns three times more calories than fat.
Introducing muscle building workouts such as weight lifting and high-intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) to your morning runs will ultimately help you lose weight faster and improve your physical conditioning.
2. Running in the morning will not get in the way of your day
The main reasons some of us aren’t usually consistent with exercising are that there isn’t just enough time in a day to throw in a workout, or we are too tired at the end of a workday to do any more physical activity.
Another reason people can’t commit to consistently exercising is that life is full of sudden events; things suddenly coming up at the end of the day requiring your attention is plausible enough to push a pre-planned workout aside.
If you decide to run first thing in the morning, you will be able to stay consistent with your exercise schedule. It is highly unlikely that something will come up to upset your running in the early hours of the morning.
Once you start setting the early mornings aside to exercise, you will realise how easy it is to stay committed to your fitness journey and soon be reaping the benefits of running in the morning.
Running in the morning will free up time for you in the evening to relax with family, run errands or catch up with friends over a drink or two.
3. Running in the morning reduces stress
Life is full of challenges that can knock even the strongest person down. The most recommended and effective way to help manage pain or stress that life usually presents is exercise.
Running and other forms of exercise stimulate the production of the body’s natural painkillers called endorphins, best known as feel-good hormones.
When endorphins are released, the body gets flooded with euphoria, and while you can’t run away from your problems, experiencing a runner’s high in the morning will run will definitely help reduce stress.
4. Morning runs will boost your energy levels
One of the great benefits of running in the morning is that it leaves you feeling energised and ready to take on the day. Apart from endorphins, the body releases other brain-boosting chemicals during exercises such as dopamine, and serotonin.
The hormones released during running and other forms of exercise will leave you feeling energised all day long, think caffeine-kind-of boost.
5. Running in the morning can help you sleep better
There is no argument that regular exercise does improve the quality and quantity of sleep even for people with sleep disorders. However, the timing of the workout is important because individuals are affected differently.
Some people have no trouble falling asleep after running in the evening while others like me, find it hard to drift off after vigorous activity close to bedtime.
If you fall into the latter category, then you will benefit from running in the morning. As said earlier, running revs up your energy and if you do it in the morning, that energy will be used up during the day and you’ll be ready to nod off at night. But if you go jogging in the evening, chances are that you will have a restless night.
6. Running in the morning will teach you self-discipline
It takes discipline to get out your comfy bed to go and run. Discipline only happens when you stay committed to your fitness goals and keep showing up every morning. Once you have mastered the art of self-discipline, you will stop looking for outside sources of motivation.
7. Early morning runs give a sense of peace and quiet
Because there are fewer cars on the road in the early mornings and fewer people out and about, running in the morning is so calming.
The air is fresh, the streets quiet, nature is beautiful; what better time to entertain your thoughts and reflect on life than during early morning runs?
How to Get Motivated for Morning Workouts
So you now know the benefits of running in the morning and you are convinced you to want to do this but you also know it’s easier said than done to get out of bed for early morning workouts especially if you claim not to be a morning person.
There is an inspirational quote that says ‘If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.’
Tips for an Early Morning Workout: How to Get Pumped for your Morning Run
1. Find your ‘WHY’
If your fitness goals are important to you, you will find a way to drag yourself out of bed, and that is rule number one. Define your ‘why’. Your work here is halfway done as I have outlined for you the benefits of running in the morning.
You have to remember that the ‘why’ comes in many forms and differs from person to person.
Yours could be that running in the morning will become an outlet for stress, or that you want to lose weight for health reasons. Whatever the case, make sure your ‘why’ is strong enough to motivate you to keep showing up every day!
2. Prepare the night before
Your early morning run is not going to happen if you treat the night before like any other night and simply rely on your alarm clock to get you out of bed.
Unless you have exceptionally strong willpower, chances are that you will hit the snooze button the moment the alarm goes off at 5am.
Here is what you should do in order to wake up early to exercise:
- Lay out your workout clothes (sleep in them if you like)
- Set up your alarm clock and place it far away from arm’s reach so that you have to get up to turn it off.
- Go to bed early so that you can wake up early
3. Get caffeinated
Lastly, have a cup of coffee right after you wake up if you need an energy buzz and keep the workout short the first couple of days until waking up early in the morning to go running becomes part of your normal routine.