I've had a thing for sunrises lately.
I guess it's a byproduct of my being an avid #artgeek and an early-riser.
Honestly, the summer season is so short (at least in Iowa), I refuse to let all these sunrises go to waste. I'm not only willing (and able) to sacrifice a little bit of sleep, but that's what my body seems to prefer. Heck, most mornings I'm awake before any alarms go off.
There are many benefits to getting outside early on a summer morning, though. Catching a beautiful sunrise is just a bonus.
Avoiding the heat
When it comes to summer running, we all know it's best to get outside early in the day, especially if you're trying to avoid the heat (or at least have less of it to deal with). Granted, the heat may still be a factor, and the humidity still heavy, even at that early hour. If the sun is low in the sky, though, you won't have it beating down on your face or body. Thus, you most likely won't feel as warm as you would an hour (or more) later.
Safety due to less traffic
A perk of early morning moving and grooving is less traffic. Often times, I have the entire road to myself (for running, walking or biking). You know what that means, right? Freedom to take sunrise selfies almost anywhere.
|Just the road, grass, cornstalks and me|
The tranquility of the morning
With less traffic to deal with, it's also pretty quiet. Of course, there's an occasional chorus of birds and frogs, but it's a nice change from the hustle and bustle of daytime chaos.
A jump start to your mental alertness
I often say that my early-morning workouts are my "coffee." That's because, for me, it's true. I've never been a coffee drinker. I drank plenty of Diet Coke in college (and want to gag at the thought of that now), but never acquired a taste (or a need) for coffee. Even now, I seldom have any caffeine before heading out for a run, a walk, or a bike ride (but I do enjoy a hot chai latte' upon my return). By the time I get to work (usually around 8:00), most mornings I've been up for close to three hours and my mind and body are in full-functioning mode, so I don't need any extra time to organize my thoughts or objectives for the work day. I can just get right to work as soon as I arrive at my desk.
|I'm alive, I'm alert, I feel great|
Not everyone is a fan of fasted-cardio workouts, and that's alright (I'm not here to brainwash you). For those who subscribe to it, though, the early mornings are a no-brainer. Your body will naturally burn stored fat (for fuel) if there's no "new" fuel to access. These workouts shouldn't be longer than an hour or extremely intense. You probably will not notice immediate results, but over the course of time may notice a gradual reduction in your body's overall fat composition. And, if you get to witness some beautiful sunrises, that's a win-win.
Possible ease falling asleep in the evening
Sleep, like fitness, is a very personal thing. Some people simply need more slumber than others. Myself, I'm both an early bird and a night owl...so getting to bed at a decent time is a struggle I face almost daily. While I can get up early without much issue, it's really difficult to turn my brain off and drift into dreamland. The really early wake-ups, though, help with my nighttime routine (I'm looking at you, #5at5 mornings).
Lastly, the sunrise isn't just for runners.
I do not run every day (except for the occasional run streak), but I do usually do some form of fitness every morning. If I'm not running, I'll be walking or biking...and during the summer, you can bet I'll be doing these activities outside.
|Gustavas, my trusty bike, loves the sunrises as much as I do|
So, yeah, I've been enjoying some pretty incredible sunrises lately. And, I look forward to experiencing many more in the next few months.
Your turn...are you an early-riser? If so, by habit or by necessity? Have you ever been guilty of obsessing over sunrise selfies?
I'm also linking with Debbie, Rachel, Deborah, Lisa, Sandra and Jenn for the Runners' Roundup
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