Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise for many of us because it is an effective way to increase your fitness levels, burn fat and lose weight. But did you know there is a way to run that is more beneficial? If you aren't a morning person you may not want to read this – but running in the morning is one of the best things you can do for both your body and mind. Why? Well, there are many reasons, including both psychological and physiological benefits. Read below to find out why this morning exercise will kick start your day and keep you on track.
Starting Day off Right
Running in the morning will get you in a good mood and help you through your entire day. When you arrive at work you will be wide awake and able to better focus on your tasks, which will increase your productivity. You also don't have to rush out of work early to get to the gym for a run since you've already completed it. When you get your run out of the way first thing in the morning you get the feeling that you are one step closer to your goals and you will stay in a positive mood for the rest of the day.
Lose Weight Faster
Running in the morning will help you lose that extra weight more quickly because it will jump start your metabolism early so your body can burn calories at a faster rate during the day. And because getting up earlier will require you to go to bed earlier, you are less likely to snack late in the evening. This reduction in calories will help you reach your weight-loss goals faster.
Running in the morning – when it's just you and nature – can be almost hypnotic. All you will hear are your sneakers hitting the pavement and your breathing. And if you're up early enough you can take in the sun rise. It's a great time for quiet reflection and will leave your mind feeling free and calm for the rest of your day.
You're likely one of the few people in your neighbourhood who get up for that early morning run. It's a good way to bond with others like yourself with a quick nod or a wave. You don't even have to talk because you will all know why you are there – to exercise with some peace and quiet.
Early morning exercise has a positive effect on blood pressure. Dr. Scott Collier at Appalachian State University tracked the blood pressure and sleep patterns of three groups of 40 to 60 year old participants who walked on a treadmill at 7 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The ones who worked out in the early morning experienced an average drop of 10 percent in their blood pressure, which lasted all day and a 25 percent drop at night.
When you get your cardio out of the way early in the morning you are leaving yourself with extra time at night to weight train. Since exercise programs should also include resistance training to help build lean muscle and burn fat it's important not to leave out other types of training.
When you start your day off right you simply feel good. Your mind and body are in fit mode so you are more likely to eat healthy throughout the day. Instead of going out for a burger at lunch time you will find yourself looking at that delicious salad instead because there is no way you are going to waste what you crawled out of those warm, comfy blankets for.
Research has found that consuming caffeine before you work out boosts your speed, endurance and workout quality. Since you are likely to crave that morning jolt of caffeine as soon as you wake up, running in the morning will be beneficial. That cup of coffee will help you burn more calories when your workout is done.
There is a lot of research out there about the pros and cons of working out on an empty stomach but some suggest that you can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by exercising before your first meal of the day. But don't skip breakfast. Getting a meal in before you get to work will help kick-start your metabolism and control your appetite so you don't overeat later on.
Some of us work out better when we are with a group of people. Let's face it, none of us want to be embarrassed and stop in the middle of a workout so when you're with a group you are more likely to keep on going. As well, it can be a good time to socialize with your friends before your work day consumes it. If you're the type that likes to have others around, you can join a running group or gather a group of friends. You're less likely to back out if you know others are counting on you.