I’m not one of those natural early risers that wakes up with a smile on her face and runs a brisk 5 miles before breakfast. My early rising was sorely bought with months of effort, and even now I don’t wake up with a smile on my face. It’s not quite a grimace, but it’s not a smile either. It’s more of a long-suffering look. And the run? Well, it’s not swift. My body’s like, “Duuuude. What are you doing? I’m still half asleep.”
I’ve compromised with my body. If I’m going to run within 15 minutes of waking up, I’m not going to force my body to actually run, at least not without a 5-minute walking warm-up first. A swift walk, because I don’t have all the time in the world.
Why I Love Early Morning Runs
After the first few weeks of torture, both my body and my brain have adjusted to this new reality: early morning runs. And—surprise, surprise—I’ve actually grown…well, not to love it, but somewhat fond of it. I’ve come to realize that early morning runs are the best, because:
- It’s cooler. I spent all summer running in the middle of the day (yes, I know that was stupid), and found that even a cloud in front of the sun seems to drop the temperature by 20 degrees. It’s that direct sunlight that kills running stamina. In the morning, the sunlight is weak, the shadows long, and the weather cool.
- It’s peaceful. You don’t know that your entire soul longs for peace until you’re run—sans headphones—in the early morning. It’s quite soothing.
- It’s relaxing. My body feels so much better when I run early. Afterwards, I come home, shower, and my body practically hums with contentment. If I wait to run, I get irritable and hot. So if this means getting up at 6 to go running before work, I do it. The payoff is worth the suffering.
- It’s beautiful. There’s something special about watching the sun rise. The world’s limned in soft light, giving it both a sharpened look and a dreamlike appearance.
Health Benefits of Early Morning Runs or Exercise
If my above very scientific, logical reasons for running early haven’t swayed you, then check out this list of health benefits:
- Better metabolism (according to Huffington Post)
- Better diet (according to Huffington Post)
- Better productivity (according to Huffington Post)
- Better fat loss (according to NBC News)
- Better calorie loss (according to Healthy Living)
- Better mood (according to Healthy Living)
- Better sleep (according to Healthy Living)
- Better heart health (according to Daily Health Post)
- Better brain health (according to Daily Health Post)
So if none of the above sways you—because who wants to be healthy and happy?—ignore this post. But if you want to improve your habits and health and happiness, work up to some early morning exercise or, better yet, runs. It’s life changing.