User Reviewed

How to Go for a Morning Walk or Run

Three Parts:Getting ReadyGetting GoingStaying Motivated

Going for a morning walk or run is not only a great way to get exercise, but it can also start your day off on the right foot by giving you the "me time" you may be lacking throughout the day. To go for a morning walk or run, you have to be prepared with the right clothes, eat the right foods, and be motivated enough to make it part of your everyday routine. If you want to know how to go for a morning walk or run, see Step 1 to get started.

Part 1
Getting Ready

  1. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 1
    Get the right gear. If you want to go for a morning walk or run, then you have to be equipped for it. Even if you're just doing some light jogging, walking, or doing a walk/jog combo, having the right shoes and clothes can go a long way in making you feel comfortable and excited about going on the morning walk or run. Here are some things you should get:
    • Go to a runner's store and have a staff member help you find a pair of sneakers that fits you correctly. The shoes should have enough wiggle room between your toes and the end of the shoe and a secure fit in the mid foot and heel.
    • Get light-weight, non-cotton clothes that can let you move around comfortably. Cotton clothes absorb sweat and will leave you feeling damp and uncomfortable. This means that you should get socks that are non-cotton, too.
  2. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 2
    Carve out the time. The most important thing is that you give yourself enough time to actually go on the run or walk. Decide how long you want it to be -- 30 minutes is a good time for a nice long walk, and 20 minutes is a good time to run or do a running/walking combo if you're a new runner. Make sure you give yourself enough time to eat a bit, digest, get dressed, and shower and get ready for your day, too.
    • You don't want to go on a run that ends up jamming up your day, making you rush out to work or school, and actually make you more stressed out, instead of being more relaxed.
  3. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 3
    Plan your route. If you're just going to run or walk around your neighborhood for a certain amount of time or until you get tired and know where you're going, then there doesn't have to be so much planning involved. But if you want to walk or run for a certain distance, such as 2 or 3 miles (3.2 or 4.8 km), then you can go online to a site like Gmaps Pedometer to plan a route that would cover the amount of distance you want to travel.[1]
  4. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 4
    Prepare some music if necessary. Some people like to go running or walking with music because it can keep them motivated, keep them from being bored, and just make the whole experience more enjoyable. However, other people like to run or walk without music, so they can be alone with their thoughts, and get their mind going at the beginning of their day. It's up to you. You can prepare a list of your favorite music and see if it works for you; if not, ditch it the next time you step out.
    • If you're running, you can prepare a list of your favorite "pump up" music. If you're walking, some more relaxing or inspiring music can work, too.
  5. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 5
    Make sure to get enough rest. If you're planning on getting up an hour early to go on your walk or run, then you should plan to go to bed earlier than you normally do. If you don't account for the extra sleep you need, then you'll be ready to hit the snooze button for an hour or just won't want to get out of bed when the time comes. No matter how busy your day is, you can always find a way to go to bed half an hour earlier if you need to.
  6. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 6
    Set your alarm. Pick that magical time when you want to get up and set your alarm accordingly. Now, all you have to do is get up and wait for the fun to begin!

Part 2
Getting Going

  1. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 7
    Get up without hitting snooze. This is an important point. If you hit snooze, you'll just be falling back into a restless, ineffective sleep. If you want to start off on the right foot and really enjoy your walk or run, then get up as soon as you can after your alarm goes off. You can put your alarm across the room if necessary. After your alarm goes off, raise your arms up over your head, stretch your body, and take a deep breath. Then, drink a glass of water and step out to breathe some fresh air. Splash cold water on your face to wake up your senses. This will help you wake up more quickly.
  2. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 8
    Have a healthy snack or drink. If you plan on eating a big breakfast, then you should wait 3-4 hours before stepping out for a run; absent that, you should just eat a smaller snack that will give you some energy and get your metabolism going around 30 minutes or more before you step out. Some great snacks include a banana, fruit juice, a low-fat bagel, an English muffin, or low fat yogurt.
    • Don't go running or walking on an empty stomach. You will feel tired very quickly, and may even have to deal with some dizziness.
    • If you like to drink coffee in the morning, make sure you drink it with some food. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause digestive problems.
  3. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 9
    Step out for your walk or run. You've put on your clothes, you've got your iPod, you've had some food, and now, all you've got to do is get out there and face the day. Start running if you wanted to run, or begin walking if that's what you were in the mood for. If you've planned your route in advance, then great, and if not, just enjoy the scenery and the sensation of your body moving. There are different schools of thought about whether you should stretch before running; some think it has no impact on whether you get injured, while others disagree. Some light stretching won't hurt, if that's what you decide to do.
    • You can string your house key through your shoelace so you don't lose it. You should also consider bringing a phone in case you get lost or fall and need some help.
    • If you're a first-time runner, just make sure to have the right form: keep your spine straight, look ahead instead of down, keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle, your shoulders low and loose, your hips pointed forward, your knees slightly lifted, and hit the ground lightly with your feet, landing between heel and mid-foot and rolling onto your toes.
    • You can take a bottle of water if you want, but if you're only going for 30 minutes or less, it's not really necessary if you've hydrated properly before and you don't want that water weighing you down. (If it's already hot outside, though, then you should bring it.)
  4. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 10
    Use the time for yourself. This may be the most "me time" you get all day, so use the time to think about whatever you want to think about. You can think of the day ahead and make a mental list of all that you want to accomplish. You can replay something that happened the day before. Or you can go the opposite route and not think about anything you have to do or anything that is troubling you, and just relax, focus on your breath and body, and enjoy your surroundings.
  5. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 11
    Cool down. If you finished running, then walk for a few minutes to cool down. If you were walking, then stay in place for a minute or two. Let your body temperature return to normal before you start getting on with eating, showering, or any of the other tasks ahead of you.
  6. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 12
    Stretch. Stretch when you're done with your morning run or walk so your body can feel limber and so that you can prevent injury. Just a few basic stretches, like bending down to touch your toes, stretching your hamstrings, or rolling your head or shoulders can go a long way in making your body feel recovered from your exercise. You can also sit down and do a straddle stretch, or put your feet together and reach for your toes to stretch your calves.

Part 3
Staying Motivated

  1. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 13
    Get a walking or running buddy. If you're having a hard time getting yourself out of bed to go running every day, then you can find a friend to join you. It could be a friendly neighbor, a roommate, or just an early bird you know who lives nearby. Having a person to go with will make you accountable to someone else, and will make it less likely for you stay in bed instead of going for your run or walk.
  2. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 14
    Join a road runner's club. You can find a runner's club almost anywhere, and plenty of them meet in the mornings, before work. You will probably be expected to be able to run for at least a few miles, though you can find a club for beginners, too, so that you're running with people who are on your level. Joining this club is another great way to make sure that you actually do go for those morning walks or runs.
  3. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 15
    Don't let the bad weather stop you. If it's raining or really windy out, don't use that as an excuse to stay in bed for an extra hour. While you may not want to go running in freezing or rainy weather, you could join a gym so you can go running or walking in the early morning. Sure, running on a treadmill may not feel as exciting as running in the great outdoors, but it's better than nothing.
  4. Image titled Go for a Morning Walk or Run Step 16
    Remind yourself of all the benefits of taking a morning walk or run. Anytime you feel like staying in bed for an extra hour instead of walking or running, just remind yourself that taking a morning walk or run is one of the greatest things that you can do. It will help you start your day off right. It will give you some time to yourself, a precious 30 minutes before your busy day gets going. It will give your body some great exercise that will boost your energy levels throughout the day. Chant these reasons like a mantra, if you need to, and soon you will see that your day won't be the same without that morning walk or run.


  • Running is an exercise for the brain as well, so try to get your morning jog in the morning before work.
  • Even if you do not feel like running force yourself to do it, after another 10 minutes you'll love it and wonder why you didn't want to run.
  • Vary the running distance and speed to avoid programming your body. If this is about weight control make sure you change the route regularly.
  • Taking a shower is not a good idea right after a jog, your body needs to cool off for a while, otherwise you may sweat after you are finished showering.
  • Always stretch first! You might pull a muscle.
  • Keep your alarm clock at least a meter or two away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Do not go back to bed! It will make you go back to sleep.
  • Eat something light after a run to feel back up to the job the next day.
  • If you pushed yourself to the limit in a run, have a short cold shower. It is uncomfortable the first 30 times or so, but it does stop the lactic acid build up in muscles which causes muscle pain. It works, but some people consider the cure to be worse than the disease.
  • Walking and jogging should be therapeutic, don't push yourself too hard, or you'll be sore the next morning, and probably not want to walk again. Always start slowly.
  • Wear jogging pants too, if you like.
  • If it's still dark out, wear white clothing or better, clothing with reflective material built in. If you're wearing dark clothes, cars won't be able to see you and you're more likely to be hit.
  • If you live in a rural or semi-rural area, keep mindful of what kind of wildlife you're sharing the early morning hours with.
  • Make a point to know where there are open stores (coffee shops, all night gas stations, etc) that you can go to if you get into trouble.
  • If you have long hair, consider tying it back into a ponytail or making it a faux hawk. A bun also works.
  • If you're listening to music, listen at a low volume.
  • Encourage yourself to go faster when your getting tired. Track how far you go and the next time see how much further you can get without stopping.


  • If you live in an unsafe area, then take whatever precautions make you feel safe.
  • Never stretch before running. Do a light warm-up first, then stretch, or else injury may ensue.
  • If you are running a very long distance, then make sure that you know how to get back! You don't want to get lost.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod/MP3 (optional)
  • A watch (optional)
  • Right clothes and runners
  • Alarm clock and keys
  • A bottle of water
  • Good footwear
  • A small towel (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Running for Fitness | Walking for Fitness