Exercising in the morning is one of those habits you wish you did but never do—like flossing between meals or cleaning out the shower drain. You resolve to do it before rolling into bed, but when the alarm rings, you worry you might kill somebody unless you hit snooze. Plus it takes so much mental effort to plan a workout, let alone execute it.

Those excuses work for many workouts, but not for running. You’ve got too many good reasons to roll out of bed and hit the ground running. Do it and you can change your whole daily outlook and make yourself a priority first thing in the morning. Read on for 15 mental, spiritual, and physical benefits of an early morning jumpstart:

  1. You’ll have more energy.
    1. By running in the morning, you’ll give your circulation a boost and your endorphins a kick, setting you up for a positive rest of the day.
  2. You’ll prepare ahead of time.
    1. If you wake up earlier than usual, you will want everything ready to go. The night before, lay out your running and work clothes; and the next day, you can imagine a kind stranger snuck in and did it for you. (It’s you!)
  3. You’ll eat a balanced breakfast.
    1. After running five miles, your body will be craving wholesome yogurt, not chocolate chip pancakes. (Chocolate milk is a delicious compromise.)
  4. You’ll save time driving to the gym.
    1. Why spend thirty minutes driving back and forth to the gym when you could spend that time running?
  5. You’ll spend much needed time outside.
    1. Rebel against your stuffy, windowless office space. It’s a small step, but every revolution starts somewhere.
  6. You’ll appreciate nature.
    1. Everything is just waking up, but you’re one step ahead. Revel firsthand in roads without cars, quietly chirping birds, and that cool morning air. And sunrises. Don’t forget sunrises.
  7. You’ll wake up to your favorite jams.
    1. Admit it: you hate your buzzer alarm. Remember you have the power to make your mornings as epic as possible.
  8. Or you’ll just zen out.
    1. Getting outside and just concentrating on that runner’s high gives you a focus and clarity of mind you can take with you the rest of the day. Try it and see how your day is different.
  9. You’ll limber up.
    1. Give yourself a nice stretch after your run and you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.
  10. You’ll be regular.
    1. Sometimes in the morning you sit on the toilet and nothing happens. Running will fix that.
  11. You’ll earn that nap.
    1. When you get home from work and ask yourself, “Do I really deserve it?” The answer is usually yes, but this will make you more confident.
  12. You’ll free up your afternoon.
    1. It’s after work and time for you to hit the gym—not. Remember this morning? You’re already covered.
  13. You’ll treat yourself guilt-free.
    1. So maybe not completely guilt-free, but hey! You earned it more than that other guy, right?
  14. You’ll know you can do it again.
    1. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again. Every good habit has to start somewhere, so why not when you get out of bed?
  15. You’ll feel awesome.
    1. Because you are. Because you did it.