It’s always a shock when someone in the office says that they run every day before work.
When you’re not quite the morning person, it does sound like too much of a challenge. It’s cold, you’re tired, your legs aren’t ready for this, and you start to wonder if it’s even worth it.
Turns out, morning runs can be boosters for your mood, energy, and health. So, we’ve decided to take a look into what keeps morning joggers going.
What Gives Morning Joggers Motivation?
It’s hard to imagine the amount of discipline it takes to become a morning jogger. Yet, more and more people are getting into it.
Some people do it to stay in shape, while others use it to de-stress. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why people pick up running as a habit.
1. The Health Benefits
From stronger heart muscles to a peaceful sleep, aerobic exercises are overall good for your health. Here are a few of the physical benefits of morning jogs:
Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
A regular runner has a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure. Both are indicators of good cardiovascular health in athletes.
Pump Up Your Metabolism
High-intensity workouts, like jogging, are associated with an increased metabolic rate. When you start your day with boosted metabolism, staying in shape will be much easier.
Preserve Your Joints
For a while, people thought that running wears out the knees. Turns out, professional runners have a 50% reduced risk of developing arthritis.
Keep Insomnia at Bay
Having trouble sleeping is more common than you think. Thankfully, morning cardio helps reduce the severity of insomnia by rebalancing endorphins.
2. Chasing the Runner’s High
Morning joggers may start for the health benefits, but the runner’s high is what keeps them going.
Yet, when you ask a jogger why they do it, you’ll probably hear something along the lines of “It helps clear my mind,” and it’s true! Jogging is a great chance to take a break from the world.
Try it out for yourself, Put in your headphones, blast some music, and find your pace. Soon, you’ll drown all the stress that’s weighing you down.
3. Energy Boost
You might think that long-distance running or jogging is going to drain your energy out., but many people find that a quick run can leave them energized and ready for the day. That’s after showering, of course.
For beginners, it can be tough to find this energy boost. Just remember that after a while, it gets easier. So, keep pushing forward!
4. Running for a Cause
Charity is yet another great reason to take up jogging. While you may think that running for charity is limited to annual events, there are a lot of organizations out there that you join daily.
Pedometer apps are now used by charity organizations to raise money for causes like ALS, WWF, and Feeding America.
So, if you want to run for a cause but never had the time for marathons, early morning jogs and charity apps might be the answer for you.
5. Maintaining a Streak
Sounds petty, but hear us out. Streaks help us form habits, review our progress, and stimulate our reward centers. They’re also pretty cool to brag out, but that’s not all.
There’s a logical scientific explanation behind how gamification helps the formation of habits. Keep in mind that maintaining a habit for long enough strengthens the neural pathways.
Some people have been doing daily jogs for so long that ditching a day sounds unthinkable. Not only because of the benefits but partially because there’s a streak to preserve.
6. Going Somewhere
Do you know how people always say that the treasure is in the journey? We agree that it might be a cliche, but in this case, it can be true.
A pleasant route turns running into a delightful way to start your day. Some people like to jog to a place they love to reward themselves.
Maybe there’s a new coffee shop you like. Or maybe there’s a serene path in a nearby park. Whatever it is that you’d like to see in the morning, go for it!
How Long Should a Morning Run Be?
The distance and duration of your morning jog vary between 30 to 60 minutes. This depends on your endurance, your pace, and the time you can spare.
Most joggers like to do at least 40 minutes or higher. However, 30 minutes can still do you good if you’re a beginner. Even for people who jog regularly, it’s good to make use of short-distance days.
We recommend that you start slow and steady. You can increase your mileage and pace later on once you’re comfortable with the daily exercise.
Are Morning Jogs Better Than Evening Jogs?
Not everyone is an early riser. Some people would rather postpone tasks to the afternoon or later at night
While there’s nothing wrong with that, morning jogs are still extremely popular. Early mornings also happen to be the best time for a quick run before you get busy with work, appointments, and errands.
Let’s take a look at what makes mornings great for exercise!
This might not apply to everyone, but sometimes, running at night isn’t the safest option. Meanwhile, running later in the afternoon means going through busy streets and full sidewalks.
On the other hand, morning jogs let you enjoy a well-lit street without the unnecessary crowding.
Generally speaking, the weather is more tolerable in the morning than it is at night. The sun and exercise will warm you right up on cold days.
Since you’re going to shuffle back home for a quick shower after the jog, the hot weather shouldn’t be much of an obstacle.
Sometimes, people find evening workouts to be too energizing. It can keep them up all night or cause restless sleep.
Morning joggers usually have to get up early to finish their run before it’s time to head out to work. This means that by habit, the jog will help you fix your sleeping schedule.
What to Eat Before an Early Morning Run?
Going for a jog on an empty stomach can be tempting. You’ll want to save time and maybe burn some extra calories while you’re at it. However, this can do more harm than good.
Whether you’re going for a run or a jog, it’s recommended to eat before the exercise.
It’s better to leave a space of at least an hour between your jog and your meal. You can take your time changing your clothes and warming up a bit.
Breakfast Ideas Before Morning Jogs
The best breakfast for morning joggers should be quick to prepare and easy to digest. It also needs to be rich in carbohydrates while keeping fat content at a minimum.
Glycogen is crucial for aerobic exercises like jogging since it gives you the energy you need to keep going. Thankfully, it’s easy to get glycogen from carbo-loading.
Check out these breakfast ideas and remember to keep your meals light:
Smoothies are easy to mix and they’re versatile. You can play around with how sweet you want it to be or how much protein it should contain. Just use low-fat dairy products to keep it light.
Add bananas for an extra potassium kick. Potassium (among other electrolytes) is crucial to preventing muscle cramping.
For many morning joggers, sweet potatoes are the go-to breakfast ingredient. They’re rich in carbs, vitamin A, and potassium making them healthy, tasty, and satisfying.
The only downside to sweet potatoes is that they require a bit of prep time before eating. If you can spare the time, it’ll make an excellent pre-workout meal.
Toast pairs well with a lot of options; peanut butter, yogurt, avocado, and almond butter. It also happens to be the easiest meal of all.
It’s always to keep some at home for those lazy days. Toast will save you in a pinch when you can’t be bothered with preparing a full meal before heading out for a jog.
Oats are a classic breakfast meal that will do nicely before training. You can add nuts and fruit to shift things up a bit.
It’s loaded with carbohydrates and it’s slowly digested. This means that you’ll stay full longer. Oatmeal also has protein which helps maintain muscle mass during cardio.
Snacks can make a great breakfast in a pinch. Combine a granola bar or pretzels with peanut butter or yogurt to get a healthy and light breakfast.
In general, any whole-grain cereal or bread could do, it’s a matter of preference. If you’re going to eat yogurt, make it low-fat.
What Not to Eat Before Morning Jogs
The perfect pre-training meal varies from one person to the other. What works for you might not work for someone else.
So, it’s always important to keep in mind that this whole thing is highly experimental. You’ll need to try out different meal setups before you figure out the best for you.
However, there are a few things that are better to avoid, at least initially. Here are some breakfast ideas that aren’t suitable for jogging or running:
- Spicy or salty food
- Fatty junk food
- Large amounts of caffeine
- Red meat
How Morning Joggers Stay Hydrated
Once you wake up, remember to drink at least one cup of water. After eating your breakfast, you can take another one. This way, you’ll drink around 16 ounces of water an hour before the jog.
A fatal mistake that people often fall into is to gulp water right before a run. Instead, you should rely on consistent hydration throughout the day.
On the run, itself, keep a water bottle with you and take small sips frequently. Some professional runners stash water bottles along their routes. When regular bottles don’t cut it for long-distance running, get a CamelBak.
If you’re not keen on water, try to sneak hydration into your meals. Here are some ways that you can maintain your body’s water content:
- Flavor your water with lemon or mint
- Add cucumbers and lettuce to your salads and sandwiches
- Drink energy drinks with electrolytes
Final Thoughts On How Morning Joggers Find the Motivation
Committing to daily jogs is hard, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. The key is finding the right motivation.
Morning joggers do it for the health benefits, productivity boost, mental break, and thrill. Jogging can also help raise money for charity.
Find your motivation, stick to the routine, and your body will thank you!