Good morning, rise and shine! The sun is up, it’s a beautiful day – why not take advantage of the early hours for a refreshing walk? While you may be tempted to simply stay in bed or grab your breakfast on-the-go, think about all the benefits that come from taking just 10 minutes out of your morning routine.
With regular morning walks, you can see improvements in both mental and physical health; mood boosts due to increased exposure to natural light; higher energy levels throughout the day with improved blood circulation; decreased stress through tranquil surroundings and fresh air… Plus much more!
An early morning walk exposes you to natural sunlight, which helps regulate your circadian rhythm and wake you up. It provides vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health. In short, an early morning walk is one of the healthiest habits you can cultivate for your body and mind.
In this article, we will explore the various benefits of morning walk and how it can positively impact one’s life. So, lace up your shoes, step outside, and let’s explore the remarkable advantages waiting for us in the morning.
Health Benefits of a Regular Morning Walk
1. Morning Walk Keeps Laziness at Bay
Laziness demotivates you to accomplish anything. A morning walk is an excellent way to combat laziness and kickstart your day on a positive note. Engaging in physical activity in the early hours helps awaken your body, mind, and senses. The invigorating fresh air and the gentle movement stimulate your body, making you feel more alert, focused, and ready to take on the day’s challenges.
2. Natural Boost of Energy
Rather than relying on caffeine or energy drinks, a morning walk provides a natural boost of energy.
In a study of 18 women who felt sleep-deprived, walking the stairs for 10 minutes gave them more energy than a cup of coffee.
Exercise, including morning walk, triggers the release of endorphins, known as the “feel-good” hormones, which elevate your mood and increase energy levels. This energy boost can have a lasting effect throughout the day, enabling you to be more productive and accomplish tasks efficiently.
3. Boosts Immune Function
A morning walk pumps fresh oxygen into your lungs, strengthens your respiratory muscles, and increases circulation. This improved circulation helps transport white blood cells throughout your body, enhancing your immune system and ability to fight off infections.
Morning walk also exposes you to sunlight, a good source of Vitamin D, which is important for immune health.
By improving your immune function, a morning walk helps reduce the risk of common illnesses, such as colds and flu and supports overall well-being.
Studies have shown that people who walk for at least 20 minutes five days a week are 43% less likely to get sick. And if you get sick, your symptoms are likely to be less severe (source).
4. Improved Mental Health
Morning walks have been found to contribute significantly to improved mental health. The combination of physical activity, fresh air, and exposure to nature helps reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression.
The natural release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin during a morning walk can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even a short 20-30 minute walk early in the day can boost your mood and give you a sense of calmness and mental clarity for the rest of the day.
According to research, Walking encourages a free flow of thoughts, which may improve problem-solving abilities compared to sitting or keeping inactive.
The cognitive function of individuals who began their day with a morning walk was found to be superior to that of sedentary participants, according to another study.
5. Sleep Better at Night.
Exercise early in the day has been linked to better sleep quality at night. A morning walk primes your body for sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm and lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can disrupt sleep.
In one small study, researchers looked at people between the ages of 55 and 65 who had mild insomnia or trouble falling asleep. People who worked out in the morning slept better than people who worked out in the evening.
6. It May Help You Lose Weight
Walking for at least 30 minutes 5-6 times a week can help you lose weight by burning 150 to 300 calories per session.
Combined with a healthy diet, a 30-40 minute walk in the morning 4-5 times a week can help you lose weight.
Over time, the weight loss from regular Walking can significantly reduce your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
7. It Helps Improve Digestion
Morning walks can also have a positive impact on digestion. Walking helps in stimulating bowel movements and improving digestion. It helps in better movement of stools through the intestines and colon. This relieves conditions like bloating, constipation, and intestinal gas while also potentially lowering your risk of digestive disorders like IBS and colitis.
8. It Improves Your Heart Health
Engaging in a morning walk reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Moderate-intensity walking increases blood flow to your heart while also lowering high blood pressure and unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Walking regularly strengthens the heart muscle, making it more efficient at pumping blood and promoting long-term heart health.
According to the Heart Foundation, walking for 30 minutes daily on average can reduce your risk of heart disease by 35%.
9. It Increases Lung Capacity
Walking in the morning promotes deep breathing and increases lung capacity. The combination of fresh air, aerobic exercise, and deep inhalation enhances the functioning of your respiratory system. Improved lung capacity allows for more efficient oxygen exchange, leading to better overall health and vitality.
10. Reduced Risk Of Diabetes
Morning walks positively impact blood sugar regulation, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have found that walking 30 minutes daily can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 50%. Regular walks increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin which helps manage blood sugar levels and prevent full-blown diabetes.
Brisk Walking for at least 150 min per week is a very effective way to prevent T2D.
11. It Reduces Muscle And Joint Pain
Morning Walking can also help reduce muscle and joint pain, particularly in older adults. Walking can help improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness, which can help reduce the risk of developing arthritis and other joint-related conditions. Walking can also help strengthen muscles and improve overall physical fitness, which can contribute to reduced muscle and joint pain.
12. Morning Walk for Glowing Skin
A morning walk improves lymphatic drainage, which helps flush out waste products from skin cells, making your skin brighter and more radiant. The increased oxygen supply to skin tissues also boosts natural collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin. The increase in growth hormones during walking further promotes healthier skin.
Additionally, sweating during your walk helps flush out toxins from the body, promoting clear and healthy skin.
Exposure to sunlight in the morning also gives you Vitamin D which is essential for skin health.
13. Prevents Stroke Risk
Since walking lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels and helps clear artery blockages, it significantly reduces your risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Studies have found that people who exercise regularly have up to a 27% lower risk of deadly and debilitating strokes compared to their sedentary peers.
SHOULD YOU WALK BEFORE OR AFTER BREAKFAST?
Whether you should walk before or after breakfast depends on your personal preference and goals.
Walking before breakfast, also known as fasted cardio, has been shown to have some potential benefits. When you exercise before eating, your body burns stored fat for energy instead of the food you just consumed. This can lead to increased fat-burning and weight loss. In addition, some studies have suggested that fasted cardio may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, walking after breakfast can also be beneficial. It can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide energy for the rest of the day. Walking after a meal can also aid in digestion and reduce bloating.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to make walking a regular part of your routine, regardless of whether you do it before or after breakfast. Choose a time that works best for you and stick with it. Consistency is key to achieving your fitness goals.
PRO TIPS TO MAKE MORNING WALK EASIER
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your morning walk:
- Plan your route ahead of time. Choose a route that you enjoy and that will help you meet your fitness goals. Consider factors such as terrain, distance, and safety.
- Dress appropriately for the weather and the time of day. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that will allow you to move freely. Wear reflective clothing or accessories to increase your visibility if it’s dark outside.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water before and after your walk, and bring water with you if you’ll be walking for an extended period of time.
- Warm up before you start walking. Do some light stretching or walking in place to get your muscles warmed up and ready to exercise.
- Start slow and gradually increase your pace. If you’re new to Walking, start with a shorter distance or a slower pace and gradually increase your speed and distance over time.
- Pay attention to your posture. Stand up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and engage your core muscles to maintain good posture while walking.
- Listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort or pain while walking, slow down or take a break if needed. Don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re just starting out.
- Enjoy the scenery and the benefits of being outdoors. Take the time to appreciate the beauty of nature and the fresh air around you, and use your walk as a time to clear your mind and reduce stress.
A morning walk is more than just a way to get your day started; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature and invest in your well-being. The mental clarity and physical benefits of a brisk stroll set the stage for meaningful moments, so start small and develop a routine that works for you. After all, there’s no better way to greet the sunrise than with the enhancing power of a morning walk.