Running in the Morning- Is it a Good or a Bad Idea?

Regardless of your fitness goal, engaging in a morning run at least thrice a week is a great way to keep you physically fit. However, you may find it hard to achieve your fitness goal and get compelled to run every morning. You could be working towards your goals, but should you run every day without resting? Regular exercises have tremendous benefits to your health and help in weight loss. If your goal is to lose weight, fitness experts recommend 60 minutes of exercising every day, five days per week.

Caution When Running

While running in the morning can be a great way to jumpstart your day, experts caution that it should be done carefully to avoid overuse of same muscles and joints. This is because the practice can cause injury and compromise all your efforts. Fitness experts recommend that you should combine running in the morning with other cardio activities that target different muscle groups. Incorporate indoor cycling, biking, hiking, rope jump and swimming among others. This will not only strengthen other parts of your body, but will also help prevent injury and give you a more defined shape. Incorporate some strength training in your fitness plan when running and also remember to change intervals and terrain.

Controversy behind Morning Run

In reference to a recent documentary aired on BBC Horizon, cardio activities performed in the morning could be potentially hazardous and have no benefits on blood pressure. It claimed that your blood pressure is higher in the morning and adding more pressure on your heart at this time can lead to a heart attack. People who are against early morning exercise argue that the stress hormones (cortisol) start to perk up as morning approaches while your heart tries to work a little harder to increase your blood circulation. In addition, the blood vessels narrow resulting to an increase in blood pressure. However, studies have clearly shown who is at risk.

People with Cardiac Risk Factors

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, you should be extremely careful when engaging in cardio activities in the morning. The same should apply if you are under unmanageable stress, smokes, consumes unhealthy diet or lives a sedentary lifestyle. However, if you have been physically active for years, exercises or runs regularly, eats a healthy diet, have a normal blood pressure and are not overweight, running in the morning can’t have any impact on the health of your heart. Nevertheless, if running in the morning is your only form of exercise, there could be some drawbacks.

Cardiac Risk Factors

Running Pace Matters

Effects of running in the morning are dependent on how fast and how far you run. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between running distances of about 1 to 20 miles a week at a speed of 6 to 7 miles per hour with lower mortality rate. Contrary, higher mileages, faster paces and frequent runs are not associated with better survival. This is in reference to a report published by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Benefits of Morning Run

Running in the morning has several benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing. It makes you wide awake when you report to work or class. With an increased alertness, you will have a better focus on the tasks at hand, which improves* your productivity. Additionally, you won’t be under pressure to rush home after work to run since you will have completed your workout for the day. Studies suggest that running in the morning can help you shed off the extra pounds faster. Running jumpstarts your metabolism enabling your body to burn more calories at a faster rate throughout the day. Since you are required to go to bed early to create time for the morning run, you are less likely to snack late in the day. The reduction in calorie intake will help you towards achieving your weight loss goal.

Important Tips

  • Give yourself enough time for the morning run to avoid getting late for work.
  • Wear a watch every time you run in the morning so that you know exactly what time it is.
  • Prepare all the clothes you are going to wear to work before running in the morning.
  • Have your breakfast ready if you prefer to run on an empty stomach.
  • Wear reflective clothes if you are running an area with traffic.

Conclusion

Running in the morning is a good idea if you are physically active and healthy. However, it can be a bad idea if you are a smoker, diabetic, obese, lives sedentary lifestyle or suffer heart disease. The pace, duration and distance of the morning run are more significant on your fitness goal. Don’t make the morning run as your only form of exercise but instead combine it with other workouts targeting different muscle groups. Remember to contact your doctor if you are planning to engage in morning run as part of your fitness program.

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