There is no doubt that running in the morning makes me better at work throughout the day — I think more clearly and overall have a more optimistic outlook on work and life.
Knowing I’ll be sharper all day is exactly the motivation I need to get out of bed at 6 a.m. when sometimes my body is screaming for more sleep. The overall health and fitness benefits are nice bonuses, but it’s really the mental benefits that keep me running each morning, day after day.
Morning is also the time when nothing else gets in the way. When I used to put off working out until later in the day, something would inevitably pop up — being buried in work, an unexpected meeting, last-minute requests, a co-worker’s birthday celebration or just general laziness and fatigue. But nobody is looking for me at 6 a.m. (helped by the fact that I don’t check my iPhone before lacing up and heading out)!
I find that my morning run also gives me a great opportunity to think about the day ahead and my top priorities. Sometimes this gives me the aha moment I need to have a breakthrough at work, and at the very least it gives me a chance to think about things — work or personal — without being interrupted or distracted. I like to think of my morning run as a form of active meditation — it sets the tone and calibrates me for the day ahead.