Many struggle to feel great in the morning, despite our circadian rhythms working to increase alertness. They remain in bed long after their alarm goes off, or they do little until the moment that something compels them to start their day.
However done, they squander time they could have spent toward something more fulfilling.
This also detracts from the rest of their day by desynchronizing their internal clocks, delaying tasks, and creating a lack of energy. They often do not feel better until consuming their first cup of coffee or tea.
The One Mile Jog Every Morning
You need something that jolts your system into action, transitioning it away from rest, yet with fewer issues associated with stimulants.
The one mile jog will achieve that goal.
Take the following steps:
- Upon waking, ideally at the same time each day, get out of bed immediately. Get prepared to head outside. Do not eat anything. You may drink a small glass of water quickly before you leave. Do nothing else; get outside.
- You can warm up by walking for several minutes beforehand, but this is probably unnecessary. The indoor preparation should ready you. You could always go a bit slower at the beginning.
- Activity outside under the sunlight is ideal. Try to time your jog at least at sunrise if possible.
- Jog one mile at whatever pace you wish. Though a variety of lengths could work, you want to keep the session brief, lasting no longer than 15 minutes. This prevents the routine from taking up too much of your day, accumulating too much wear and tear on the body, and generating too much fatigue that encourages you to rest afterward. It would also be less stimulating.
- The same advice for the warm-up applies to a cool-down.
This daily practice can be life-changing. It leads to other habits that promote activity and fulfillment over laziness and pleasure that is fleeting.
Since your day has just begun, nothing else can interfere with it. Unlike proper strength training, it requires no equipment and is simple to do.
Consider these other reasons to jog one mile every morning.
Anthony Trollope, a famous and prolific English author during the Victorian era, wrote at 5:30 AM every morning for a long period of his life. Writing for only 3 hours but consistently through that time, he would set a timer that compelled him to write 250 words every 15 minutes.
Through this simple but regular process, he produced more content than could fill 3 novels per year, writing at least one novel annually plus countless articles. He maintained this routine alongside his obligations and hobbies, working a day job at the post office, where he invented a popular mailbox. He enjoyed hunting twice a week, all while having a rich social life.
Anthony Trollope felt that writers could only achieve so much quality work per day. He felt many wasted time by having marathon sessions. He said, “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”
This jog, while brief, will trigger a cascade of benefits, like a snowball rolling down a hill. Use this practice to help instill the right habits now, knowing that…
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
– Samuel Johnson
- It boosts energy.
The jog includes at least a few of the most powerful zeitgebers. This will reset your circadian rhythms so that you feel great while awake and earlier too.
The light, heat, and exercise work together to peak alertness quickly after the run. These factors also stimulate you in of themselves, affecting your homeostatic rhythm, which measures both the amount and intensity of time to promote either wakefulness or sleepiness. The jog also allows the circadian and homeostatic rhythms to synchronize if you rise at a consistent time.
Along with the right conditions at night, this activity also promotes deeper sleep.
Jogging releases endogenous chemicals that improve your mood and stress levels. This, in time, develops a mostly healthy addiction to the process, though you need to be careful to get just the amount of exercise you need. Otherwise, too much exercise steals your limited time in this life and can lead to overtraining.
Changing your state abruptly gives a short-term energy boost as well. This is part of the reason for the brief but intense duration. Compliment this with a cold shower afterward to maximize the effect.
- It casts off sleep inertia.
Many get less sleep than they need. Unfortunately, they may purposely get less sleep so as to wake at the end of a sleep cycle. They do this to feel less groggy upon waking. People that have researched this area typically view sleep in cycles of 90 minutes, which can be misleading.
This is unfortunate as the need for sleep did not change. The extra rest would have helped someone to feel much better as the day continued.
One way to demonstrate this is that studies show that taking naps longer than half an hour tend to create sleep inertia, or temporary drowsiness afterward. Once you do recover though, the boost lasts longer than a short nap.
The answer then is to get more sleep but find a way to quickly get rid of sleep inertia. The one mile jog will do this.
- It develops aerobic fitness.
The fitness gained from aerobic exercise creates a wellspring of energy that can seem inexhaustible.
Since the jog lasts a least a few minutes, the aerobic energy system gets worked. This brings many benefits. This system is responsible for recovery from all exercise. Everything becomes relatively easier throughout the day as you feel more fit. Mitochondria, the workhorses of the body, increase as your body’s utilization of energy improves.
A major flaw of high intensity training and other abbreviated training systems is that they tend to encourage a lack of activity. They do this with good intentions, wishing to save time and maximize recovery while avoiding harmful exercise.
This comes at a cost though. They tend to intermingle lifting with aerobics, often resulting in subpar results for both. Though it makes sense to be efficient, this can be a poor approach to improving energy. We need movement to build and sustain high energy levels. We also need exercise to sleep well.
While intervals work best to build both anaerobic and aerobic fitness, they may not have the same invigorating effect possible with a bit more time. You may also have issues with performing at this intensity too often.
- It maintains bone and joint health.
Many avoid jogging due to the fear that it will harm their joints. While this fear is sensible with longer durations, our bodies are nonetheless evolved to run.
Running emphasizes the right kinds of forces applied to the body, such as compression. The ground impact forces you handle will stimulate bone growth.
Stop jogging if you find yourself plodding, or not relying on the natural plyometric bounce that should occur while jogging at a decent pace. In this case, you could always build up to a full mile.
- It improves appearance.
Exercise reduces inflammation, which in the long run, which will improve both your health and appearance. It increases circulation and blood flow which will impart a glow to your skin. Though probably not long enough, you get some Vitamin D through sun exposure.
This all improves self-confidence, positively affecting whatever you do for the rest of the day.
- It promotes meaningful activity.
Aerobic exercise especially improves cognition. Many great thinkers foster their creativity through exercise.
The process improves your self-discipline. You gain more time during your mornings, so you could work on a side project before beginning your workday or do something educational.
The One Mile Jog Every Morning
While running should suit most healthy trainees, you still need to be practical. If overweight or elderly, you may not have the spring in your step necessary to remain safe while jogging. These groups may want to try a vigorous walk instead.
You may feel sore the first week but this will soon fade.
Make sure to sustain the energy you gain by keeping light exposure bright and continuous throughout the day. Natural light works best.
Lifting, sprinting, and jogging or walking each bring unique benefits. I suggest including all of these modes in your fitness program. You can still do this efficiently.
You will grow to enjoy the routine if not right away. Stick with it for at least a month or two and then you will crave it. A jog can also be used as an intervention when you need to feel better instead of a nap or caffeine source.
Consider adding a one mile jog every morning. Keep it brief, do it outside under the sunlight, and begin as soon as possible upon waking. You will wake up faster, gain energy and time, develop aerobic fitness, look and feel better, think more clearly, and gain a habit that leads to a more satisfying life.