By: Matthew Jones
Adventure Expert at Universal Dialect
The alarm sounds at 7 o’clock in the morning. To get to work on time, you need to wake up, shower, have breakfast, get dressed, and pack up a bag by 8 o’clock. You need the full hour to do everything in time, but the warmth of your bed and the prospect of five more minutes asleep are too enticing to resist.
So, just as billions of us do around the world every day, you press snooze and roll over.
When the alarm sounds again ten minutes later, you jump out of bed and start your routine. This extra ten minutes felt nice at the moment, but now that it’s crunch time, the bliss of those ten minutes is far from your mind, and your day has started out in a rushed and stressful way.
This feeling can linger, and later, when it’s time to go to the gym, it’s easy to feel too tired and too stressed to bother, even though you know it’s something you “should” do.
This kind of thing happens all the time, and once or twice isn’t a big deal. We all skip the alarm or wake up late by accident every once in a while. But to make the most of life, we should try turning each day into an adventure because adventure inspires happiness and all the great things that come from it.
There are many ways to inspire adventure in your daily life, but one of the best is to go for a morning run.
Here’s why this can work so well:
Exercise Gives You Energy
It seems slightly counterintuitive. After all, you expend energy when you exercise. However, studies have found that regular physical activity can actually boost your overall energy levels, helping you fight back against the crushing fatigue from which many of us suffer.
Exercise will have this impact no matter when you do it. However, incorporating it into your daily routine allows you to make use of this energy throughout the rest of the day.
Going for a run in the morning also improves your mood and helps you be more positive. Exercise is one of the most effective ways of triggering an endorphin release, which naturally reduces pain and increases pleasure. It’s not hard to see how starting your day this way is much better as compared to starting it with groans, grunts, snoozes, and hurried breakfasts.
Of course, it takes some time to learn how to drag yourself out of bed and go for a run, but once you do, you’ll find it’s the most powerful and effective cup of coffee you could ever drink.
Set Your Intention for the Day
To live a healthy, productive, and meaningful life, each day should have a purpose, and we should start each day by making it clear what that purpose is.
Obviously, we need to go further than saying our purpose for the day is to go for a run first thing in the morning—no one would be happy if they got up, ran, and then went back to bed—but running in the morning can have a powerful impact on the way you perceive your day.
Specifically, going for a run first thing in the morning indicates you’re making your health and wellness priority number one. You’re making sure you don’t let the day get so busy that exercise becomes secondary and forgotten.
In this way, you’re essentially reverse engineering your day, saying, “My health and well-being come before anything else. No ifs, ands, or buts.”
Start Your Day With an Accomplishment
While it might not be the absolute healthiest, we tend to measure ourselves in terms of what we accomplish. At the end of the day, we feel better when we can say we’ve gotten things done, and a big source of our unhappiness is the undue attention we give to that which we wished we’d done but didn’t.
Unfortunately, because of some of what we’ve talked about—rushing in the morning, putting things off, getting busy and stressed—exercise and other important wellness routines often fall to the wayside.
How many of us have gone to bed saying, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym.” but constantly pushing to some later date this simple yet highly effective technique for feeling better isn’t doing us any favors.
Getting up and running in the morning means no matter what you do that day, you at least made it out for a run. It guarantees the day won’t get ahead of you, meaning you won’t need to play catchup, run around, or, worse, pass on doing the things that really matter.
Get Out Into the World
The morning world is one of the most interesting slices of human life. Stores open, coffee shops buzz, traffic hums. The world is waking up. For most of us, we experience this exciting moment of the day as one of the masses. We cram into subways, fight traffic, and wait impatiently for the barista to make our cappuccinos.
However, there’s tremendous value in making an effort to see the world in a different light, and heading out for a run first thing in the morning can be a great way to do this.
Seeing your neighborhood as you jog around instead of as you rush to work will cause you to notice things you’ve previously ignored. You’ll start exploring new streets, recognizing new faces, and who knows, you may even find some new things to explore.
This turns your morning run into an adventure. You can commit to doing a new route every day, even if that just means going down just one different street. Imagine how much different your life would be if you started each day thinking “What will I discover today?” instead of “Ugh. I wish I’d had another hour in bed.”
Don’t Like Running?
The benefits a morning run can provide to your health and well-being are numerous, but what happens if you don’t like to run? It’s not exactly the easiest activity on the knees, and for some people, running isn’t a realistic option. That’s okay. There are other things you can do that will have a similar effect.
For example, if you don’t like to run, why not just go for a walk. It’s true walking isn’t as rigorous as running, but it can produce the same feelings of accomplishment and intention while also helping to raise overall energy levels.
If you want something more aerobic but don’t want to run, consider heading out for a bike ride. Seeing the world from two wheels every day can really change your perspective.
Yoga and tai chi are other great options. But really, anything that gets you out of the house and moving in the morning is going to have a positive and transformative effect on your life.
Happiness is the Key
Most of us have grown up thinking happiness is something to be attained. But this is dangerous logic, for we all know that once we get something we immediately want more.
As a result, it’s important to try and flip things around and pursue happiness as the primary objective of all we do, not as the prize at the end of the race.
If we do this, then our state of mind and outlook on life improves, and this allows us to perform better in all aspects of our lives. We’re more productive and more creative, we have better relationships, and, most importantly, our happiness compounds on itself, boosting its impact on ourselves and radiating out to others.
At Universal Dialect, we believe one of the ways to start putting happiness first is to grab life. Treat each day as an opportunity to have an adventure, for who isn’t happy when they’re on an adventure? But adventure can be anything. Travel, trying new things, going for a morning run. It depends on you. So, we ask, what’s your adventure?