Running is a potent form of exercise, offering countless benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing. But what if you could optimize these benefits by simply adjusting the time of your run?
Studies suggest that morning running can offer a unique blend of advantages. In this article, we’ll dive into some reasons why both experienced and inexperienced runners should consider swapping their evening jogs for morning miles.
We’ll mainly discuss 3 key advantages of morning running, along with additional tips to help get you into an active AM routine.
1. Weight Management
Potentially burns more fat
Running is a powerful way to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, but running in the morning may give you an extra edge. When you exercise in a fasted state, such as first thing in the morning before breakfast, your body may be more likely to use stored fat as fuel. This phenomenon, known as “fasted cardio,” can help you shed those stubborn pounds more effectively.
While burning fat faster is possible in the morning, there are likely other factors at play. Studies have supported this theory, but other studies have also suggested that morning running doesn’t mean you’ll burn fat faster. More research needs to be done.
Morning running doesn’t just help you during the run; it can have lasting effects throughout the day. Running can kick start your metabolism and help fat burn continue throughout the day. So, running in the morning means your boosted metabolism could potentially last longer, increasing your overall calorie burn.
Again, there is no study that has provided definitive proof of this, but the sooner you get your run in, the less you have to worry about lack of calories burned!
2. Improved Sleep Quality
Regulation of Circadian Rhythm
Running in the morning exposes you to natural light, which can help regulate your circadian rhythm – the internal body clock that controls when you feel awake and when you feel sleepy. Routine exposure to morning sunlight can help you fall asleep more easily at night and improve your overall sleep quality.
Reduction of sleep disruptions
Evening workouts can sometimes interfere with sleep due to the stimulating effects of exercise. Running in the morning allows your body to cool down and your heart rate to normalize by bedtime, leading to better sleep.
3. Building a Consistent Routine
Promotes overall consistency
Creating a morning running routine can help ensure consistency in your daily activities. Morning runs often face less competition from other life obligations compared to evening runs. By running in the morning, you make it a priority, ensuring it happens regularly.
Committing to a morning run requires discipline, but it’s a habit that can positively impact other areas of your life. More discipline can positively impact the rest of your life, like work, personal goals and relationships.
Ultimately, being diligent and managing your time wisely will likely help you become more structured and focused in life.
Tips for Successful Morning Running
1. Start Gradually
If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry. Start by waking up a few minutes earlier each day and going for a quick run. Gradually increase your wake-up time and run duration until you reach your goal.
2. Prepare the Night Before
Make your morning run easier by preparing the night before. Lay out your running gear, fill up your water bottle, and plan your route. This reduces the likelihood of skipping your run due to a lack of preparation. This practice will also help you stay accountable.
3. Eat a Light Snack
If you’re running longer distances, consider eating a light snack like a banana or a piece of toast with almond or peanut butter. This gives your body some fuel without weighing you down.
4. Stay Hydrated
Hydrate well before, during, and after your run. While you sleep, your body can become dehydrated, so it’s essential to replenish fluids when you wake up.
Starting your day with a run can lead to health benefits such as better sleep, weight control, and a regular exercise habit.
The key to success lies in gradual adaptation and preparation. So, lace up those running shoes, greet the morning sun, and let your new routine begin!