It might seem too simple to be effective, but a morning walk can do wonders for your health and overall well-being. You can start with a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood or a nature trail if there’s one near you. However, if you don’t have extra time in the morning, you may still have an opportunity to take the long walking route to work after parking your car or getting off the bus.
Below are some of the wonderful benefits of this healthy habit:
1. Get a natural boost of energy
Walking—especially when done outdoors—can give you more energy. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20 minutes of walking outdoors can help you feel more energized than if you walked for 20 minutes indoors.
If you think that a cup of coffee is a good substitute for your morning walk, think again. A study published in Physiology and Behavior found 10 minutes of walking on the stairs was more stimulating than a cup of coffee.
2. Sleep better at night
If sleeping at night is a challenge for you, walking can help you sleep better. In 2017, a group of researchers observed older adults aged 55 to 65 who had mild insomnia. The study found that those who exercised in the morning reported better sleep quality at night.
3. Improve your mood
A walk, just like all types of exercise, is great at boosting mood, improving self-esteem, and easing depression symptoms or reducing one’s risk for depression. In addition, a walk may reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
To reap the mood-boosting benefits of walking, walk at least 20 minutes per day. Do this for at least five days a week.
4. Improve mental clarity
Movement helps us achieve mental clarity. A recent study found that older adults who began their days with a walk had improved cognitive function compared to those who were sedentary.
5. It may help you lose weight
Increasing your daily physical activity can help you lose weight. And walking—combined with strength training and a healthy diet— is a great way to start losing excess weight.
Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn around 150 calories. If you want to burn more than that, download any fitness app for walking.
6. Prevent or manage health conditions
You may have heard somewhere that exercise can help boost your immunity. The good news is that you don’t need a gym membership to unlock immunity-boosting properties. Walking can help you do that, as well as manage and even prevent numerous health conditions. Research shows that walking for at least 30 minutes every day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 19%. Consistent walking is also a great way for people living with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.
Make walking a part of your routine
Going on a walk in the morning offers numerous health benefits. And reaping these incredible health benefits means making walking a part of your daily routine. Set the alarm clock 30 minutes earlier, so you have enough time for a walk. If you don’t like walking alone, invite a family member or friend. Doing so will also give you the time to connect with those you love before the day’s busyness gets a hold of you.Do you already go on a morning walk? What tips can you share with the rest of the community? Please leave a comment below.