Running Before Breakfast (Benefits Of Early Morning Exercise)

A man running before breakfast.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to make it through the day? You can’t stay focused, and your mood tends to be more of a turn off than a turn on. With a lack of concentration, you notice your creativity levels fall short to those around you, and by mid-day, your energy levels are on empty. Well, running before breakfast may help change all of that.

There is a whole list of advantages that running before breakfast can do to increase your mood, creativity levels, and the amount of fat you burn daily. Below we review five benefits of running before breakfast that just may have you reaching for your running shoes at the start of each day.

1. Increasing Mental Focus And Memory

Many studies have been conducted that link high-intensity exercise, such as running, to an increase in cerebral brain function.

For those unfamiliar, the cerebral cortex of the brain plays a huge part in your attention, memory and your thought processes.

According to Dr. John Ratey author of “Spark- The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” exercise such as running could raise your focus up to at least 3 hours after completion.

Therefore, by running before breakfast, you have already started your day on the path to success. You have done this by improving your mental focus for a good portion of your workday.

No more stumbling to the kitchen each morning or aimlessly driving to your nearest coffee-house for that cup of liquid motivation. Instead, put your sneakers on and push yourself out the door for a much-needed morning run.

Additionally, you won’t just be reaping the rewards for a few hours after your morning run. There are also long-term effects on memory that just maybe the motivation you need to get moving.

One main long-term effect mentioned by Dr. Ratey is the ability to decrease or even divert brain aging and your risk of Alzheimer’s. This is possible through a process called neuroplasticity and synaptic pruning.

In short, the process of synaptic pruning is your brain’s way of removing weak and no longer required neural connections, and strengthening the more useful ones.

Furthermore, neuroplasticity can be kick-started by physical activity such as running before breakfast.

With the simple task of going out for an early morning run, you can increase your ability to focus in the timeframe afterward, in addition to increasing your memory in the longterm.

2. Boost Creativity

Running before breakfast increases your ability to focus throughout the day, in addition to boosting your creative thought process.

Those early morning runs are exactly what you need to get your mind wandering. That’s right, according to Andrew Smart author of “Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing” your brain functions at a higher rate when you allow your mind to wander.

Smarts’ theory may seem farfetched at first. However, research conducted by neurologist Marcus Raichel coincides with this theory.

Dr. Raichel concluded that test subjects who were given tasks to complete showed a lowered amount of brain activity in comparison to those who were not zoned in on tasks.

When you are out on an early morning run, you do not have to focus on anything. Your mind is free and wandering, and as a result, your creative wheels are turning.

Furthermore, exercise such as running before breakfast can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels. According to Baba Shiv, a professor at Stanford, these two neurotransmitters are known to increase your creativity levels.

Serotonin levels are said to be at their peak in the morning. Therefore, if you go for an early morning run, you are enabling yourself to produce higher levels of dopamine and serotonin, increasing creativity.

3. Improve Your Mood

Running before breakfast won’t just result in an improvement in your brain activity. Additionally, you will also start to notice an emotional improvement that will reflect in your mood.

First off, you start your day by doing something healthy and productive when you go running before breakfast. As a result, you set the tone for the rest of your day. The accomplishment of an early morning run makes you motivated to keep being productive for the remainder of your day.

Furthermore, one of the top benefits of early morning runs is the increase in serotonin. Serotonin mixed with dopamine helps bring about more creativity, but serotonin has its own benefits as well.

Serotonin can help regulate your moods and minimize the feelings of depression. Additionally, it can also help to minimize anxiety.

If you feel like you are constantly on edge or feeling down on the day, you can alleviate this by going for a morning run. While the physical benefits of exercise are important, many individuals are just as interested in the mental benefits of exercise. Thus they start their day by running before breakfast.

It can be hard making it through the day when you’re unable to focus or have clear thoughts. Especially when you are trying to accomplish something that requires significant creativity. To add to that, the feelings of anxiety and depression don’t make it any easier for you.

Instead of dwelling on your poor mood, take the necessary steps that are within your capabilities to improve your situation. By running before breakfast, you are setting yourself up to go about your day with a positive attitude and make it a productive one.

4. Sleep Better At Night And Boost Your Energy During The Day

You already know by now that early morning runs can reduce stress and anxiety. However, you might not know that running before breakfast has also been shown to help you fall asleep better at night too. 

Recent studies have been completed showing that those who engaged in exercise, such as that of an early morning run, were able to fall into and maintain a deeper sleep at night. As a result, individuals woke up feeling more refreshed and rested to continue the routine of early morning exercise. 

One way to boost your energy for the following day is to get a good nights rest. However, there are some neurological benefits to running that can help boost your energy as well.

It has been said that amongst the many other health and mental benefits of running, one popular advantage is known as the runners high that you experience afterward.

Running, or any physical activity for that matter is known to help your body release endorphins which reduce the perception of pain.

If you choose to partake in activities such as running before breakfast, the adrenaline you feel from the release of endorphins gives you a boost of energy to help you make the most of your day.

5. Setting The Tone For A Productive Day

You should always try and start your day by doing something productive. It could be something as simple as making your bed, doing a quick clean and tidy of your house or even running before breakfast.

Once you start your day by doing something productive, you set the tone of your day. As a result, it is much easier to keep that trend going throughout the rest of your day.

Alternatively, if you wake up in the morning with a lazy attitude, chances are you will continue with that mindset until you are able to accomplish something productive.

For many people, exercising can be quite a daunting task and can even be seen as more of a chore than an enjoyable way to spend your time. However, by exercising first thing in the morning, you have already tackled that daunting task for the day.

By running before breakfast, you have set the tone for how you want your day to unfold. Check back to your to-do list to see what other items you can cross-off and accomplish early in your day to keep the productive momentum going.


References for this article are from the following sources:

The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?

eightysixfourhundred, make them count

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Hi, I'm James! I want to help you make the most of your day by providing helpful tips and informative articles on motivation, time management, productivity, and happiness.

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