Benefits of running in the morning
What are the benefits of running in the morning when there is always the alternative of running after work?
I am most certainly not a morning person so getting up in the early mornings before work is a very difficult task.
Are you a morning person?
You can still teach yourself to be one.
It takes approximately 21 days of consistent work and focus to break a bad habit.
Training in the afternoons certainly isn’t a bad habit, but to break a routine you have been accustomed to (training in the afternoons so you can get a few extra hours of sleep) takes that amount of time to make consistent changes.
Obviously, you are still working out and taking care of your body regardless when you run, but if you want to do a better job of training in the mornings you will have to make an effort.
It isn’t easy for some I know.
I commend you if you have no problems whatsoever getting up at 4am to workout.
Where To Begin
The hardest part for anyone to start a cardiovascular training program and running in the morning is simply getting up.
If you have never ran a day in your life starting a distance running plan can be quite challenging.
Sitting your shoes and clothes that you are going to wear at the foot of your bed is a good first step along with setting the alarm and getting up immediately when you hear it go off.
The best advice I can provide is to write down your goals and make the decision to start running in the mornings.
You won’t have to remind yourself throughout the day that you still have to workout.
What do you want to accomplish?
Is it to lose weight, drop time on a specific race distance?
How about running your first marathon?
Having a well laid out and structured running program can help make the transition into the sport much more manageable and fun.
There are numerous benefits of running in the morning but we will go over a few along with some additional information that will help you get motivated to run.
We as athletes know that running at any time is a great practice but running early has its positives.
It Is Peaceful
How much traffic do you deal with at 4 or 5 am in the morning as compared to 4 of 5pm?
There is a massive difference. It is quiet.
There much less traffic at this time of the day and it quite peaceful.
It is hard to get up early if you are not a morning person but once you are out the door and moving it is simply the best time of the day to workout.
What a great time of day to get your endorphins revved up.
People that run in the mornings find that their day at work seems to go much smoother if they ran before they reported to their jobs.
This can be said whether we decide to run in the morning or the afternoon but how many times have we made excuses for not running because we chose to not run in the mornings?
You know what I’m talking about!
Don’t deny it.
We all have done it at least once in our training.
You wait until you get off work, then go pick the kids up from school or go see a friend, get groceries, something always seems to come up.
Before we know it, it is time to go back to bed and repeat the entire cycle over again.
The greatest benefits of running in the morning is the fact that once you knock it out early, it is done and over with.
You can enjoy your day knowing you put in some mileage before the day even started.
We don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day and that takes a lot of stress off of the individual.
One thing I have learned about my stay here in San Antonio, Texas is that running in the mornings brings with it much less pollution from automobiles.
Exhaust from our cars can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
This is the greatest health benefits of running in the morning, by simply making the choice to run early in the mornings you offset that health risk
Pollution is always going to be a part of our lives but we can make the conscious decision to workout at the best possible time and get the most out of our day.
Beat The Heat
Ahh yes, one of my favorite of many Army linguistics terms.
‘Beat the heat’.
I have heard this countless times in the past 12 years in the military but the reasoning behind it is valid.
We have a way (most but not always) of outrunning humidity, smog and heat by running in the morning.
If you are from a hotter climate you can surely attest to the fact that running early in the morning can help combat having to deal with it by choosing to run in the afternoon.
This isn’t always the case if you live in Texas, Florida or California where even during the summer months the temperatures are high even in the early morning.
Running in the morning is still the better option as temperatures will most certainly will be lower in the morning then afternoons.
We burn more calories throughout the day when we choose to run in the morning compared to training in the afternoon.
You rev up your metabolism which is a much better way to lose weight and burn fat throughout the day.
If you run in the morning when you have an empty stomach your body will have no other choice but to burn fat and you will burn more calories throughout the day.
Additional Benefits of Running In The Morning Or Evening
Distance running strengthens the heart.
People realize it is cardiovascular exercise meaning it is any activity that is low intensity which depends on the aerobic (with oxygen) energy process.
The biggest benefit to the heart is that is strengthens it’s ability to transport oxygen to the body.
It also lowers the body’s ability to create blood clots as well as lowers cholesterol levels.
What running does is increases bone mass. It even stops bone loss as we age.
I am sure you have had friends or family in the past tell you
that running your doing is bad for your knees.
You know you have heard that statement at least once in your life.
It could quite possibly be true as I had many knee related issues when I first started out in the sport back in the early 90’s.
A prominent researcher by the name of David Felson who works at Boston University states,
Active runners have no more cases for osteoarthritis then non-runners
Running doesn’t degrade but improve knee health.
As I have stated knee injury setbacks are not a reason to give up the sport.
Sometimes a piece of cartilage breaks off in the knee joint and surgery is required.
There is no way around that but the underlying causes of these forms of running many times are weak muscles and bones that have not been trained.
Slows Down Age Process
Have you ever wondered how cells function throughout a lifespan of a human being?
Statistics shows that on average, this happens between 50 to 60 times in a lifetime and every it happens our cells DNA has to be replicated.
It comes at a cost though because every time the chromosomes replace themselves they become shorter and shorter.
What happens if they get too short?
The twining of the chromosomes can be undone which causes the genetic data to be corrupted.
This causes the cell to eventually die.
In a study published in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review in December of 2012, it was found that regular cardiovascular exercise helps to combat decline of age related functions within the body such as working memory and selective attention.
Studies also have been shown that older, fitter adults scored better on mental tests then their non-fit counterparts.
How do you think stroke patients faired?
Those who routinely participate in daily exercise have been shown to have 50% greater judgment, memory and thinking capability then those who do not.
This is serious business and it goes past just wanting to hit specific goals and earn a Boston Marathon qualifying time.
I lost my aunt to breast cancer so this topic is one that hits close to home.
If you have never heard of Robert Beck I urge you to read up on the man.
I know there is a cure for cancer but studies have shown that running does lower our risk of getting it.
These chemotherapy options for treating cancer and big pharmacy are doing more harm then good; often times people can forgo having to deal with these options by exercising and eating healthier foods.
Walk into your average gas station and look around.
Change your diet
Do you not see nearly 100% of processed food filled with sugar?
People have to realize that choosing to make running a part of your life, whether it be a morning or evening routine, will not only help you burn more calories throughout the day but fight these diseases that so many people have had to deal with.
It is also about making better nutritional choices.
Our benefits of running in the morning or afternoon is that they give us the sounding board to set ourselves up for success..
..but it is only a start.
What are we doing the remaining hours of the day.
Regardless when you run, morning or afternoon, find out what works best for you.
Although I have never been a morning person I have forced myself to run in the mornings simply because it is the best time of the day and you have it out of the way early.