Mr. Tobi runs every morning. If you have him on your Instagram, and you have the misfortune of being awake as early as 5 A.M., you will see him on his Instagram story slicing through the cozy Jabi morning air during his daily morning runs. If you live in Lagos where you need to wake up early enough to beat the traffic, then you better switch his notification on so his stories can serve as your alarm.
Anyway, what’s up with early morning runs though? If you live in Abuja, especially in gated estates where people feel safest to perform outdoor leisure activities, then you’re probably very familiar with the sight of people of all demography burning excess fat and sugar every morning. This begs the question: why are these people running? Where are they running to?
Eddie had told me at Metroville the other day that even though his stomach protrudes like a woman in her third trimester, he only ever runs when there are women taking the route regularly. However, not everyone runs to further their philandering agenda. I finally got around to speaking with Mr. Tobi about the motivation for his morning runs and he broke it down for me.
He stated that running in the morning works best for him because there is very little distraction at that point. You’ll only get to encounter mostly other runners, and there is little or no vehicular movement that would pose any kind of risk to you. You are also less likely to get distracted by phone calls or messages as the people who could have perpetuated such distraction are properly rounding up from Dreamland.
Also, anything done at dawn has a more productive output. It’s always much easier to run when the very angry Abuja sun isn’t out yet. It is always recommended to beat the heat and avoid running at a time when you stand the risk of becoming a human barbeque.
He also explained to me that early morning runs set the tone for healthier food choices. It makes sense because no one pounces on a bowl of fufu and Afang immediately after getting back from their early morning runs. I ran a web search on this assertion and discovered that according to the medical website Healthline, a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, 2,680 college students completed a 15-week exercise program. Each week involved three 30-minute sessions of cardio. The students weren’t asked to change their eating patterns. Yet, those who stuck with the program made healthier food choices, like eating less red meat and fried foods.
Also, early morning runs increase your overall alertness throughout the day. Exercise is important for building energy and reducing fatigue, as running makes pumps oxygen and nutrients to your heart and lungs, improving your cardiovascular system and overall stamina. Biko, what more do you need to trudge through corporate Nigeria other than sublime mental alertness?
The overall benefits of running cannot be fully stated in this article, but from my conversations with Mr. Tobi, runs are better done in the morning than at any other time of the day. Just ensure that you brush your teeth before you set out so you do not knock someone out when you’re trying to have a casual conversation. *Winks*.