Oh, what a beautiful morning! The 8 best benefits of morning walks
Walking is a great way to start the day. Even a short walk can improve your mood and your body. Bonus: If you make it a habit, walking eventually reduces your risk of serious health problems like strokes or heart attacks.
Here are the top 8 benefits of morning walking:
Improved blood circulation
Gentle on the joints
Make healthier choices
Promoting weight loss
Management of health problems
Keep reading for details on each, as well as tips on how to add walking to your morning routine.
How Morning Walks Improve Your Health
Morning walks can have a positive impact on your body and mind. Here is a detailed look at the physical benefits.
You will sleep better
Walking in the morning could help you get a better night’s sleep. In a small study, researchers observed adults between the ages of 55 and 65 who suffered from mild insomnia or had difficulty falling asleep. Participants who exercised in the morning had better sleep quality than those who exercised in the evening. FYI: We need more studies to show if exercising in the morning is better for sleep than exercising at night. But we know that aerobic exercise can stimulate the brain and keep you awake. So try not to push too hard on the treadmill two hours before bedtime.
You will have better blood circulation
Your heart rate increases when you walk. This lowers blood pressure, improves heart health and decreases the risk of stroke. Even 20 or 30 minutes a day can make a big difference! Walking also helps promote new blood vessels. In some cases, this can increase muscle contraction in the legs and reduce pain.
It’s easy on the joints
Walking is a low impact activity. It contributes to the flexibility of your joints and the health of your bones. So it’s a great workout for people with arthritis or joint pain. Another advantage? You can choose your own pace. If your joints start to ache, you can always slow down or walk to better ground.
It strengthens the muscles
You don’t need to spend hours in a gym to see gains. Walking is a great way to increase muscle definition and strength, especially in the leg muscles.
For best results, walk at a brisk, incline pace. You can also incorporate other strengthening exercises into your morning walk. For example, stop walking every 5 minutes to do lunges, squats, or push-ups. Remember that you don’t have to be exhausted to get results. Be patient and persevere, the results will come!
It will give you energy
Starting your morning with a walk can give you more energy throughout the day. A study in 18 sleep deprived people found that 10 minutes of stair walking gave more energy than a cup of coffee. Plus, you might experience even greater benefits if you take a morning walk in nature. In an older study (2010, y’all!), researchers compared the effects of indoor and outdoor walking. At the end of the study, participants who had walked for 20 minutes outdoors had more energy and vitality than those who had walked indoors.
You could make healthier choices
When you exercise first thing in the morning, you can feel more inspired to make healthier choices throughout the day. Part of that may be the energy boost a morning walk can provide. It may also be because walking can improve your mood and motivate you. Public Service Announcement: Remember to drink water before and after each sweat session. Even a light morning walk can make you sweat, especially if you’re walking outside in the summer.
It can promote weight loss
Walking is a great way to burn calories. This is a major benefit for those who want to lose weight. The exact number of calories burned depends on your body, but walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes generally burns around 150 calories. Of course, while walking is great, it’s not the only way to lose weight. If your goal is to shed a few pounds, you’ll get better results if you combine your morning walks with a nutrient-dense diet and other physical activity.
It will help you manage health problems
Walking can be amazing for your overall health. It can even boost immunity. Morning walking can also help you prevent and manage various health issues. For example, research shows that walking 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%. It may also help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Bottom Line: While walking isn’t a panacea, it’s possible that regular morning walks may reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
How Morning Walking Improves Your Mental Health
Morning walks aren’t just good for the body, they’re also good for the mind. Exercise stimulates positive chemicals (endorphins) in your brain. This means that morning walks can help you manage your mood.
Specifically, morning walks can help:
reduce symptoms of depression
Also, morning walks can help improve mental clarity and your ability to focus. One study found that people who started their day with a morning walk had better cognitive function than sedentary participants. Research also shows that walking stimulates creativity and encourages the free flow of ideas. It can help you solve problems better than sitting still.
Tips for a good morning walk
You don’t need to race up a mountain to experience the many benefits of walking. In fact, one of the best things about walking is that it’s so customizable. Play with terrain, elevation, and treadmill settings to find the perfect blend for your unique needs and goals. In general, a brisk pace will help increase your heart rate and maximize the benefits of a morning walk. A “brisk walking pace” is about 100 steps per minute. Of course, every body is different, and a slower pace is better than no walking at all!
Also be sure to dress for the occasion. Obviously you have more leeway if you walk inside. But for outdoor walkers, dress warmly in the winter and wear cool, breathable clothing in the summer. Finally, don’t forget your sunscreen, in case of a sunny morning! You have to protect the skin.
Here is a quick recap of the most common questions about morning walks.
When is the best time for a morning walk?
It’s up to you ! Some people like to wake up very early and get to work. Others prefer mid-morning walks between breakfast and lunch. Again, you decide.
Should you have breakfast before a morning walk?
In general, a light, high-protein snack is best before a workout. This can prevent lethargy and nausea.
How long should a morning walk be?
Again, you decide. You may find it more useful to count your steps or times rather than your distance. If you’re new to morning exercise, start with 10 minutes a day. You can then expand to 30 minutes at your own pace.
Are morning walks beneficial for weight loss?
Morning walking is a great addition to any weight loss program, but it’s best paired with a nutritious diet. Walking burns calories without putting pressure on joints or bones. It can also improve muscle definition, especially in the lower body.
Morning walks are a great way to boost your mental and physical health. They can help improve your mood, mental clarity, cardiovascular endurance, and overall well-being. Remember that you probably won’t feel a major difference after just one walk. So persevere! Aim for a 20 to 30 minute walk four or five times a week. If that sounds like a lot to you, don’t worry. You can start with shorter, less frequent walks and then gradually increase.