You can become a runner, yes you! Better yet, you can become a 6 a.m. runner. Let us repeat it, you have it within you if that’s mission. But let us answer the most pressing question first; is waking up at the crack-of-dawn, going to do anything for you?
**Whispers** to bottom-line it for you, is it worth it?
Harvard Health charmingly puts it this way, "anything is better than nothing, but more is always better." The recommended bare minimum; regardless of the time of day is 50 minutes of cardio per week. 'More-is-always-better' would be roughly 2.5 hours per week.
You can rest assured no matter the time of day, you will be rewarded. Harvard Health quotes a 2013 study conducted in Denmark where they identify the 'more range at 2.5 hours a week as the sweet spot for living a longer life. That's a significant benefit alone; who wouldn't want to live longer with less chance of developing heart disease or other life-threatening illnesses? We could almost wrap this article up with the statement, "go run for 2.5 hours a week" but we won't. Being that those morning-run benefits...are substantive.
The Benefits of Running in The Morning
Running for a mere 30 minutes a day in the morning comes with curious benefits that you won't see until 12 hours later. The National Library of Medicine published a three-week study conducted on adolescents with controls and the results? You may have guessed it, morning runs improved the quality of sleep.
(We shouldn't have to mention how big of a trend sleep hygiene is right now.)
Besides increased slow-wave sleep and a decrease in sleep onset latency, morning runs boosted the participants' concentration and moods to the end of the day. In short, your 'troublesome' a.m. run will lead to better sleep, a sharper brain, and improved psychological functioning.
You will only do yourself the biggest favor ever. Especially if you experience sleepiness throughout your day. Morning runs decreased the yawns across the board. That's what we call winning.
Connections between Running and Iron Deficiency Anemia
Approximately 10 million people are iron deficient in the United States. In a research article for the journal, Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, they call iron deficiency a common and curable condition. In the same breath, they tell us, the condition is oft-overlooked by doctors. The Mayo Clinic points to symptoms of iron deficiency anemia being as:
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of coloring
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath
- Headaches, dizziness, and or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflamed and sore tongues **strange we know
- Brittle nails
What do we get from this is? Preventive medicine is the best medicine. Live well now, and you can skip these afflictions later. For you, preventive medicine could mean ensuring your body's natural ability to absorb iron. Double-up on holding yourself accountable for your longevity. Eat your dark, leafy veggies, and meet the daily recommended amount of iron.
Why talk about iron deficiency and a.m. running? According to a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, an a.m. run increases the rate of iron absorption. Iron-absorption in athletes found that fractional iron absorption was noticeably greater after eating, *post* morning-run.
To summarize, here are our top-five benefits to waking up at the crack of dawn:
- A sharp and focused mind all-day-long
- No more mid-afternoon, siesta required
- The increased ability of the body to absorb and use iron
- Improved and deeper sleep
Now that you know the benefits, let's talk about waking up to capture those windfalls.
What is the Biggest Barrier to A.M. Running for beginners?
Your biggest barrier-to-entry won't be money. Running is the most ergonomic, fitness hobby you can cultivate. The biggest investment will be a solid pair of running shoes. In the same breath, getting fitted for a proper pair of running shoes might be what inspires you to wake up that first week. We call it a loss-win-win. Confused see the many benefits to a.m. running above.
Public enemy number one of a.m. running is poor sleep quality. The common obstructions being; not going to bed on time, poor sleep hygiene (comfort, security, sleep deprivation), and beyond. The beyond, beyond being underlying health conditions like depression, sleep apnea, anxiety, sleep talking, night terrors, chronic pain and more.
Better sleep hygiene might be manageable on your own with research and trial-and-error. Underlying conditions; however, might (and should) require a chat with your doctor or a pharmacist. After all, improved sleep is improved life satisfaction.
Getting Out Of Bed
Moving on from sleep hygiene and underlying conditions, there's your mindset. No one wants to do something they've been dreading all day, do they? Do you want to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m.?
- The night before get excited to get out of bed to the chirping morning birdsong.
- Look forward to the crisp air and rising sun.
- Next, lay out a cute running outfit.
- Tell yourself, "I won't know until I at least try it this once."
- Mentally begin to prepare for your run as the alarm goes off. Picture the rush of dopamine afterward and then do the thing!
- Post-run, after the rush of dopamine hits and your blood is pumping, open the notes section on your phone. Write how dang good that felt.
- Read that note before bed the following night, get yourself mentally prepared.
This morning run is the new highlight of your day. Are you motivated by good music? Try a new playlist every morning. Did you know you can find our playlist @bodycompleterx on instagram?
Let's get fired-up girl-gang! A morning run will become the best thing you have ever treated yourself to!
Body Complete Rx, Content Writer