There are many benefits to waking up early and starting your day off with a run. Between building a healthy habit, jolting your body with some energy, and helping you sleep better at night, a morning run is a routine that can lead to better overall quality of life.
There’s no better place to take your early morning run than on the 26 miles of trails and walkways at Brunswick Crossing. Our trails and walkways provide Brunswick Crossing residents with a safe spot to enjoy the outdoors and exercise.
To help you maximize your early morning run, follow these five useful tips:1. Prep In The P.M.
In order to win the a.m., you’ll want to prep in the p.m. This means making sure you have the right routine before bed that will put you in position to get the most out of your morning run. The decisions you make the night before will directly impact how you feel in the morning, so here are some ways to make sure you’re feeling great when you wake up:
- Set an early bedtime. The best way to wake up early is to make sure you go to bed early. Running in the mornings in general will make your body more tired and ready for bed at night. In fact, a 2014 study published in the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management showed that morning workouts contributed to more time in deep sleep than afternoon or evening workouts. Getting in the routine of running in the morning should help you sleep better, which in turn will give you the rest you need to maximize your run.
- Eat dinner early. Eating late at night before bed signals your metabolic organs that you’re active and awake, sometimes making it hard to put your body into the relaxing state you need to fall asleep. Your food intake at night should match your activity level in order to keep your biological clock on track.
- Beware of blue light. The light that devices such as our cellphones, computers, and televisions give off is referred to as “blue light” and this light signals your brain, which in turn communicates to the rest of your body, that it’s time to be active. Checking your work email before bed not only can heighten your stress level, it also can misalign your biological clock. Try to avoid all blue light for at least 30 minutes before bed.
Did you know your feet actually expand when you work out? For this reason, you’ll want to invest in running shoes that are perhaps a half size larger than you typically wear. Determining how much you pronate while you run — the inward roll of your foot as it strikes the ground — will help you figure out the type of running shoes you need. Be sure to replace your running shoes as needed. Running shoes that are worn can do you a disservice while you’re running and even cause injuries such as shin splints. A rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300 to 600 miles.3. Get Your Stretch On
It’s very important to warm up your muscles by stretching before you run. This warmup’s effectiveness can be furthered by a light jog to begin your run. Be sure to address all pertinent muscles groups such as your ankles, calves, quads, and hamstrings. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
Some useful pre-run stretches include:
- Hamstring sweep
- Leg swings
- Walking lunge
- Hip flexor stretch
- Calf raise
4. Fuel Your Body
If you start your morning run without the proper fuel, there’s a good chance you could burn out before getting very far. For your pre-run meal, you’ll want to eat something light, yet high in carbs. Try eating about an hour before your exercise. Running too quickly after a meal can result in cramping and digestion issues.
Some examples of effective pre-run food include:
- Peanut butter
- Energy bars
5. Focus On Form
When you run, you work out most of the muscles in your body, so making sure you’re running with the right form is very important. Those who are new to running tend to clench their fists while they run and keep a very stiff posture. This is the opposite of what you want to do. Focus on keeping your hands and arms relaxed, loosen up your shoulders, and maintain an even stride throughout your run. This will make your body much more efficient while you run.
Get Your Perfect Day Started!
Rising early and getting moving with a morning run is a great way to start your day. To completely plan the itinerary for the perfect day at Brunswick Crossing, click the link below.