7 Morning Run Benefits + Tips for Building a Regular Routine

Is there a best time to run? Morning run? Evening run? Runch? Besides the most obvious answer of “yes, whenever you can” there’s a little more nuance to it. Perhaps even some science!

For some, waking up before sunrise to run sounds like a terrible idea. However, I encourage anyone asking me for tips to run consistently, to lose weight or hit a new PR to aim for a morning workout.

If morning running is one of your goals, find out how and why to make the switch…or, more importantly, if you really need to switch from your evening run!

It turns out the benefits of morning running might just make Ben Franklin’s old statement “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” truer than he might have ever known!

Morning Run Benefits

The follow are seven of the biggest benefits to implementing a daily morning workout.

If you’ve been trying to talk yourself in to making the switch, sometimes it helps to appeal to your reward centers!

That’s right, I LOVE tapping in to our subconscious anytime I want to make a change.

Simply saying that you should do something does not motivate your body and brain to get excited for that 5AM alarm. Instead, find one of these morning run benefits below to encourage you to get up and out of bed when that alarm sounds.

1. Brain Booster

Studies have shown that exercise can increase mental acuity for up to 10 hours post workout.

What that means is that if you start your day with exercise, you’ll be more productive during the work day than if you were to run in the evening after work. And just imagine if that means getting more done faster…there’s a reason runners make the best employees!

2. Appetite Control

Morning runners often report feeling less hungry throughout the day. {Cavet for first time marathon runners who would entirely disagree and say they;re hungry 24/7}.

However, studies have tried to dissect the cause of this appetite reduction and found two answers: it’s either a direct result of the workout itself or it’s a mental shift from starting the day in a healthy way and wanting to continue feeling good.

Wondering if you should run with out eating for the biggest morning run benefits?

The answer is no in almost ALL cases.

Find out why you should not run fasted >>

Tips for Beach Running

3. Get Better Quality Sleep

It turns out that today’s morning workout might help you sleep better tonight by helping to better regulate your hormones throughout the day.

Cortisol will be highest in the morning and naturally taper off throughout the day, we want it that way to lead us in to good sleep. Where for many an evening working will send cortisol back up and lead to issues falling asleep.

Sleep is one of the best tools we have to recover between workouts, so we want to find ways to improve sleep quality anytime we can.

Checkout 7 ways a morning workout could improve your entire day #fitness Click To Tweet

4. Sweet Silence

It seems now that every minute of our schedules are full from the moment we hit the snooze button the first time to the second we go to bed. The growing to do lists for both ourselves, our families and our jobs is like a non-stop party of voices in our head all day long.

Early mornings offer a bit of quiet and solitude to mentally prepare for the day. It’s absolutely my favorite way to slow down, while of course speeding up.

5. Consistency

Morning exercisers tend to be more consistent over the long haul with their routine. And we all know that consistency is KING when it comes to results!!

This is likely because as the day progresses, life gets in the way or we feel too exhausted after the stress of a full work day to hit the gym {even though it would help!}.morning run benefits

6. Workouts Feel Better

Working out at the same time each day actually signals your body to prepare in advance for exercise.

Yes, your body will start getting ready even while you sleep!

That’s gotta be the coolest way to burn extra calories ever. The muscles involved in your workout will actually begin to wake up while you are sleeping, making it easier to get up and preventing injury by acting as a warm up of sorts. (but don’t you dare think about skipping that pre-run routine!)

7. Depression Blaster

According to Web MD, the endorphins generated during a workout might be one of the best ways to ward off depression and handle life stress.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Research has shown that exercise is an effective but often underused treatment for mild to moderate depression.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine has shown that the runners’ high is not a result of the release of endorphins, but rather endocannabinoids. As you may have already guessed, this produces similar effects as cannabis (see runners and CBD oil!).

Now, you’re probably wondering…how do I event start a morning workout routine?morning workout habits

How to Become a Morning Runner

After years of running after work, I realized a morning run habit was necessary if I wanted my running to truly continue. I found these tips made it possible to make the switch and now, I can’t imagine anything besides my morning sweat.

So let’s dive in to how to start running in the morning, and more importantly, how to stick with it for for the long term.

1. Adjust your Routine

Our bodies quickly adapt to new routines and will begin to automatically feel sleepy and energized at the right time of day if you follow a consistent schedule.

This means going to bed and rising at the same time every single day whether you have a shorter or longer workout planned. Yes, this includes weekends!

2. Gradually Change Your Bedtime

It might be time to start using the DVR a little more if you find yourself always catching the Daily Show at 11PM, thus missing your 5AM wake up call. Make a small change, by simply moving your bed time up by 10 minutes each week.

Over time you may find that going to bed earlier feels more natural as your hormones begin to regulate.
Tips on how to fall asleep faster >>Benefits of running in the morning

3. Take Some Time to Warm Up

Your body will feel stiff first thing in the morning, so you will want to get the juices flowing with a little bit of movement before you head out the door.

Start by swinging your arms in circles, twisting a little bit side to side and taking some great big deep breathes to fill your lungs and start moving oxygen through the body.

It doesn’t take something high intensity to start waking up your body pretty quickly. Next do this short dynamic warm up routine to give your muscles and brain a few more minutes to wake.

4. Prep the Night Before

Before you go to bed, lay out your clothes, have a quick breakfast ready to go, set the coffee pot to turn on, pack your lunch the night before, have your work clothes picked out, etc. In other words do whatever you can to make your morning faster so you have no excuses.

Tips to meal plan like a pro>>

5. Smile. Seriously.

Find the workout you enjoy the most and start there. Maybe that means a cardio or spin class where you can meet friends, maybe it’s a mentally refreshing yoga class or a stress busting run.

It could take some trial and error to find the workout that fits you, but once you have it will make the earlier morning alarm far more bearable.

6. Find an Accountability Buddy

It’s a lot harder to ignore that alarm clock if you have a friend counting on you to meet them at the trailhead. If you can’t find a friend, look into joining a group run. Many of them run first thing in the morning before work starts.

Can’t commit to always doing mornings? Find out how to make the most of evening runs>>

Looking for more tips to improve you runs:

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7 Morning Run Benefits + Tips for Building a Regular Routine is written by amanda for

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