This morning it was still chilly in the shade as I laced up my shoes for my morning run. The birds were wide awake already. Their chatter lets me know that I was late to the world’s morning routine around me. The early summer sun had already risen. Not a cloud in the sky.
I ran through a park to the nearby college campus. Most classes don’t start that early. The university grounds felt like they had hit the collective snooze button and snuggled deeper into the warm blanket of an early summer morning.
There are lots of reasons to run first thing in the morning. And I don’t really know why or when I developed the habit, but it’s stuck with me. Something about this morning got me thinking about it. And it’s not just to get it out of the way early. It’s good for your body and mind, it sets the tone for your day, and it gives you space to think.
If you don’t already, here are five great reasons to go for a morning run.
When you exercise first thing in the morning, you turn up your metabolism. If you want to lose weight, this is extremely important. Get your body going every morning and you’ll have a full day of healthy progress.
It’s also good for your mind. Your metabolism is responsible for all of your energy production and distribution. You may feel sluggish as you roll out of bed and get ready, but once you get back from your run, you’ll be in high gear.
A morning run kickstarts your body’s natural processes and gets you ready to go. You’ll feel great. Who knows, maybe you’ll even start eating healthy breakfasts finally!
Ticking off an objective like a run before the neighborhood even wakes up feels pretty good. It sure feels a lot more motivating than hitting the snooze button five times.
Beating your habit of staying in bed and putting off your day is a big step. But if you wake up and go do something challenging first thing, you’ll build a momentum that will carry you into the rest of your day. This really can’t be overstated: if you start off on the right foot, you’ll end up in the right place. A morning run isn’t just healthy, it’s motivating and empowering. You’ll have your most productive days of the week when you get up and go out first thing.
If you do develop the habit of running in the morning, you’ll inevitably wake up to rain sooner or later. That’s the most important day to go for a run. If a little rain is enough to keep you in bed, then a little adversity will be enough to keep you in line.
Don’t let the world dictate your schedule or your goals. You can overcome monumental challenges; rain in the morning is nothing.
And if you do develop the habit of running, no matter the conditions, you’ll develop a toughness of mind. You will become comfortable in the face of discomfort. You’ll start to realize that when others give up, you can keep going.
All of these benefits will start to change the way you see yourself. Soon your runs will get longer and your breathing will get easier. You’ll see your progress, day by day. You’ll see that no one else is out in the rain this morning. People headed to work this early simply scuttle to their cars to quickly escape the drizzle.
But you aren’t phased by the weather, or weariness, or pain, or challenge anymore. You’ll become confident and composed. The strength of body inevitably becomes the strength of mind. The one feeds the other.
And this newfound confidence will carry over into the rest of your day. You’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Each day, as you tackle your morning run, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in everything to come.
And lastly, as you begin to build a morning run into your daily routine, you’ll develop better habits. A month ago you would have gone out drinking with your coworkers all night on a Wednesday.
But now, you decide to save the thirty bucks. You might not work the next morning, but you’ll be up for your morning run and then you have plans to work on a project all morning before work.
Giving yourself a goal to start each day is a great way to stay focussed and maximize the time you have. Sure, it’s easy to stay up until 2 a.m. partying or watching YouTube videos. It’s comfortable to stay in bed all morning until you go to work at noon. But is that all you want to do with your life?
You probably have other goals desires and dreams, and they aren’t going to accomplish themselves. Once you build the habit of going for a morning run, you open up space and structure to build all sorts of other positive habits into your life.
So try it
Get a new pair of running shoes or dig yours out of your closet. Put them by your bed along with whatever you want to wear tomorrow morning. Set your alarm. If you have to, then set it to play a YouTube video of someone screaming “Wake up!” Or set it to a motivational video of Les Brown telling you “You’ve gotta be hungry!” Do whatever it takes.
Tomorrow, wake up early and go for a morning run. Use it as a time to plan your day, to notice the birds, to admire your ability to wake up and get after it, and to smile. Once you’re done, you’ll feel great and it will probably still be hours before you would have normally woken up. Then, you can use all that extra time to work on one of your goals.
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