Around the world, stress and anxiety are at record levels. With a sizable number of people experiencing at least one period of extreme anxiety or stress in any given year, finding ways to improve our mood and decrease stress is critical. A common solution is meditation or yoga. Both employ mindfulness to center us in the moment as opposed to the past or future. In addition to mindfulness exercises, exercising your body can also provide useful benefits. In particular, running has been shown to provide a wide range of benefits.
Having run for more than a decade, let this hobbyist help answer the question of whether or not an early morning run helps with your mood throughout the day.
Would Early Morning Runs Improve My Mood For The Rest Of The Day?
As a runner, there is nothing I hate more than early morning runs. Getting up is really hard, especially when I’m tired, it is cold outside, and the sun isn’t even up. That being said, if I can drag myself out of bed and head outside, I never regret it. Running for me has never been an easy thing. I’ve struggled with injuries and with feeling like I was not making progress. Given all of that, I can still tell you that running in the mornings are well worth it. One of the chief reasons is that it is a mood booster.
Your mood will be improved for the rest of the day if you run in the morning. The major reason for this, comes from the chemicals that are released throughout a running session. In particular, the hormone known as Serotonin, is released when you exercise, improving your mood as a result. Furthermore, the progression in your fitness helps remind you of how you stuck with your health goals and successfully put time aside for them, just the reminder alone, is enough to bring a smile to most people’s faces. If nothing else, knowing that you already got your exercise for the day done before leaving work is a great feeling.
Be aware that early morning runs are not without their downsides. For example, some people deal with nausea when running in the early morning. Other people find it challenging to have the energy to run. There is working out whether or not to eat before or after the run. There is also being more physically tired throughout the day. But these common downsides can be reduce by either having a pre-workout meal or one of these protein supplements, 30 minutes before and immediately after a workout. As it can help with the lack of energy as you run and throughout the day, not to mention they are great for the recovery and strengthening of sore muscles. However know that every person reacts differently to early morning exercise. Give it a try for yourself and see whether or not early morning runs are good for your mood.