It’s no secret that running has a wide range of health benefits. But if you’re thinking of taking up this physical activity, you might be wondering whether what time you implement the exercise program matters.
Short answer? Yes, it does!
For pro and beginner runners, here are some of the major benefits of running in the morning.
Top Benefits of Running in the Morning
As one of the most optimal times in the day to exercise, some of the perks you enjoy from a morning workout include:
1.You Can Focus on Your Running Routine Better
One of the biggest benefits for runners who practice this form of exercise in the morning is that your level of focus during a morning session will be higher than that of a mid-afternoon run.
The main reason for this is that since you just got out of bed, you’re likely to have fewer thoughts clouding your head, helping you fully get the most out of this cardiovascular exercise.
Studies have shown that a consistent morning exercise routine like running can enhance the formation of new brain cells – you’re not only optimizing your body functions but also your brain performance with this activity!
2.It Helps You Stick to Your Training Plan Better
A morning workout helps you burn calories and tone muscles and gets it out of the way early so you can worry about the other aspects of your day.
As a morning runner, you’ve already put in the mileage for that day so, no matter what the day brings, you’ve put in the work and already gotten the benefit of exercise.
This is as opposed to having an afternoon or evening running plan that you have to stress over or even cancel if something more urgent comes up.
3.It Encourages Increased Body Fat Oxidation
Yet another reason to join morning people for regular exercise is that running at this time of day can be very beneficial to a healthy weight loss plan.
Studies have shown that performing a vigorous exercise like running on an empty stomach helps burn body fat more readily. This is because the absence of carbs in the body encourages the faster burning of fat to supply your energy demands.
Running before breakfast is one of the only ways to tap into this benefit, so you should seriously consider these forms of exercise if you want to burn calories fast.
4.It’s Great for Lowering Stress Levels
Cortisol, a well-known stress hormone, is usually at its highest levels when you wake up in the morning. Morning exercisers can limit the harmful impact of this hormone with a running or jogging workout the moment they get out of bed.
Research has already linked running to lower anxiety levels in advanced runners and short and long-distance runners, so taking up this form of exercise also significantly helps to keep your mental health in check.
Other great mental health benefits of running in the morning include the fact that it helps to fight cognitive decline as well as manage depression and a range of other mental disorders.
5.It Enhances Heart Health and Function
In fairness, this is one benefit of running you don’t lose, no matter what time of day you exercise. A bout of exercise can enhance your heart health and how it functions significantly.
This not only regulates your blood pressure and positively influences your circadian rhythm but it also ensures that you maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well.
6.It Puts You in a Better Mood for the New Day
As you’re likely already aware, running has a direct impact on mental health. However, what you may not know is that you can use this to your advantage.
According to a recent study, running stimulates the release of endorphins which makes your muscles almost impervious to pain. In addition to this, daily running can also encourage the release of endocannabinoids, which can act as great mood boosters thanks to their ability to easily pass through the blood-brain barrier.
The result of this is that a morning run benefits you by putting you in a good mood and filling you with positive energy!
7.It Improves Deep Sleep Quality
Yet another perk of performing this aerobic exercise in the morning is that it can enhance your quality of sleep at night.
Here’s how it works.
Running in the morning takes a considerable portion of your energy and stamina. And, while you’re certain to get used to this over time, chances are you’re more likely to get tired more quickly in the evening.
So, if you’re a night owl or have a bad sleep pattern, rather than looking for sleep medicine to help you fall and stay asleep, you can just deplete your energy stores sufficiently in the morning with a good run. This in turn may enhance your sleep latency when it’s finally bedtime.
8.It Adds to Your Supply of Energy
Need a clean energy boost?
Then hit the track early in the morning!
Joining the morning running club is a great way to shake off the usual fogginess that often comes with getting out of bed.
The supply of energy that affords you not only gives you the resources you need to take on the new day but it can make every activity you carry out afterward more satisfying.
According to Bryan Loy, a leading health professional, one of the benefits of morning running is that it can give you a feeling of more energy. The aerobic and anaerobic activities involved in this exercise may even help you combat mid-afternoon fatigue as well.
9.It Gives You Better Temperature Conditions to Work With
How many times have you wanted to hit the pavement in the afternoon but couldn’t because you knew that maintaining your 12-minute per mile pace would be akin to torture in that heat?
If you think you’re the only one who feels that way about running in unfavorable weather, think again! A study published in 2007 showed that even the performance of marathon athletes slowed when they were subjected to high-temperature conditions during training.
Developing the amazing habit of beating your alarm clock and heading out for an early running or jogging workout session daily ensures that you don’t have to endure such strenuous conditions just to exercise.
Also, a morning exercise routine may put you at less risk of injury from heat-related illnesses. This helps you get all the benefits of running in the morning without putting yourself in harm’s way.
10.It Helps You Prioritize Self-Care and Healthy Living
One of the lesser-known potential benefits of a daily running or jogging workout routine is that it makes it easier to put your health and well-being first.
The early morning is a special time to perform your running routine because it indicates you’re not doing this exercise as an afterthought. So, apart from the physical benefits, you’re sure to get from this routine, you’ll also get a host of mental health benefits as well.
The National Institute of Mental Health has established that this level of self-care not only reduces your risk of illness but it also replenishes your body’s stores of energy.
Also, consider the fact that when you have taken care of yourself, it’s easier to care for others, ensuring that those around you are as happy as you are, too!
11.It Improves Your Immune Health
Your immune health may also benefit from a morning running plan. While studies and articles on exercise and its impact on immune health can be complex, one thing for certain is that your immune system is better off with moderate exercise.
In the past, it was thought that exercising resulted in decreased immunity. However, a study conducted in 2018 suggests that healthy habits like a morning exercise program can temporarily enhance immune health.
What this means is that you can give your body a higher chance of successfully fighting off intruders with a simple morning workout!
12.It Encourages a Rise in Testosterone Levels
If the primary aim of your starting a workout program is to enhance muscle definition, then, according to research, the perfect time to exercise is in the morning!
Morning runs or a morning jug can help you build muscles faster because testosterone levels are highest during that time of day.
So, high-intensity and interval training like sprinting will get you the results you want to see with ease.
The benefits of running in the morning are almost endless and include both physical and mental advantages.
However, even if you don’t take up running in the morning, you can still gain a lot from afternoon and evening runs.
Don’t know how to get started?
You just need to know how to become a runner in a few simple steps!