Why do we get out of bed so early to run?

So often my (non running) friends ask why we choose to run at such a ridiculous time of the day…  What is it that gets us out of bed and bouncing along the pavements of Durban north at 5am a couple of times each week…?

Here are some of the benefits:

  • The first and obvious benefit is that waking up and running early means that your workout is done for the day and you don’t have to worry about trying to fit in a run after work, between fetching kids from school, social engagements etc. Running is a form stress relief but if you spend your day worrying about fitting your run into your schedule its benefits are counterproductive.

  • Early morning exercise can help lower your blood pressure. A study showed on average a 10% drop in the subject’s blood pressure, which lasted all day, and a 25% drop at night. If your blood pressure tends to be high, your early morning run may have positive long-term health benefits.

  • It awakens your mind and body so that you’re ready to face the day. The extra blood flow to your limbs and brain will quickly warm up your body and senses.

  • The fresh air! Anyone who has run after work and gulped in a lung-full of exhaust fumes will know that waking up early just to experience fresher air is worth it. The air is also cooler in the mornings, which makes for a more comfortable run, especially as we get closer to summer.

  • Exercising before breakfast kick starts your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.

  • And last but not least… exercise causes the body to release a hormone called endorphin which is the feel-good hormone. So after your morning run you’ll be in a much better mood when you arrive at the office.

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