Good morning/afternoon/evening to you, thanks for giving my blog a click 🙂
I have titled this blog “Wake Up and Run!” for two reasons: 1) I have just woken up and plan to go on a run to start my day; right after I finish this blog post of course… And 2) the “Run!” part of the title is more referring to any substantial action, whether physical or not, that makes you feel alive and ready for the day.
Let’s get physical, physical!
If fitness and working out is your cup of tea (morning cup of tea, that is) then here is what I’ve got for you– some of my thoughts and ideas on starting the day with a run.
Some benefits of running (regardless of the time of day):
- Improves cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure
- Relieves stress and, in many cases, symptoms of depression
- Increases lung function
- Helps to prevent various diseases
- Increases your metabolism (so you can eat more!)
These are just a few of the many benefits of running; I chose the ones that are scientifically supported and agreed upon by experts across the board. (I should add that these benefits come from making cardiovascular workouts a regular part of your routine, not just doing them once)
So, why should you integrate running into your regular morning schedule?
Physically speaking, running is a great start-up for the body to begin the day. You get your heart rate up and your blood pumping which is going to keep you from groggily wandering back to bed. You also increase your metabolic rate and, depending on the length of your run, it can stay spiked for most or all of the day. This means you have the freedom to eat a little more food (yay!) or you will have an easier time burning fat if that’s the goal.
Mentally speaking, again, running is a great start-up for the body to begin the day. Longer or more strenuous runs release endorphins in the body which are responsible for what is known as “runner’s high”. This is why running is so strongly suggested as a method of relieving stress and/or symptoms of depression. I’ve personally had friends who’ve experienced “runner’s high” for two full days after their run; they seem relaxed, optimistic, and free of worry and anxiety.
Another mental benefit of running in the morning, and this point is more my own belief than a fact, is that finishing a tough run sets you up for a day of success. When you conquer that run, despite the voice in your head telling you it’s too hard or you’re too tired, you get better at turning off the voice of doubt and negativity. When taking on tasks later on in the day, your question won’t be “How will I get this done?” Your question will be “What could possibly stop me from getting this done?”
Getting out of bed, throwing on some sneakers, and heading out for your morning run will turn you into a doer and a go-getter. Action will become habit and the lazy, doubting, negative self that we are all way too familiar with will step out of the way.
Physically running is not the only way to get a head-start on a productive and successful day. Whether you are physically unable to run or simply hate it with a passion, there are plenty of other things you can do.
- For many people, morning meditation or yoga is a strategy to prepare for the day and get into a positive mindset.
- Singing or playing an instrument can be a great way to gather your energy and focus it into something transcendent of the mundane world. When you get really into a song it can do wonders in terms of stress-relief and anxiety; you stop thinking about this or that and you sink into the moment and the music.
- Gardening is therapy for a lot of people; there is something so simple, yet humanly fulfilling in growing and caring for plants.
- Reading a positive book or watching a positive video can be great pick-me-ups when you’re not feeling any motivation or drive to get started on the day.
- Writing or working on art projects will get your mind to work and shift your focus onto something outside of yourself.
Whatever the thing is, it’s important to find something that wakes you up and keeps you up; something that makes you want to be alive! One of the hardest things to do is to get up and excited for a day you’re not looking forward to. Schedule something to begin your day that gets you energized and pushes you to get through the other (possibly more undesirable) tasks at hand.