7 Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Walking in the Morning
I have a confession...
I'm not someone who likes going to the gym.
While building a healthy lifestyle has been an important habit for me, I just don't have the time or the interest in joining one of those national gym chains.
Instead, I have found that one of the best ways to improve and maintain my health is to simply focus on walking first thing in the morning.
Walking in the morning on a regular basis will result in multiple health benefits and it is sure to enhance not only physical health but also mental and emotional well-being.
If you are curious about whether an early stroll would benefit you, check out the ways this habit can benefit your lifestyle. And the interesting thing? You probably haven't thought of many of these reasons.
1. Walking gives you energy for the rest of the day.
When we take a brisk walk in the morning, we are quickly activating our body's systems. Pulse rate rapidly increases, perspiration begins to flow, and we suddenly feel a level of alertness about ourselves and our environment. Once we begin walking in the morning, this improvement in mood may last throughout the day.
In no time at all, by moving your body in the form of a morning walk, you have taken yourself from lethargy to high energy. Circulation and hormonal balance improve while your feeling of mental sharpness and general refreshment skyrocket. The trick is that by using energy to exercise, we actually become more energetic on a long-term basis.
2. Walking in the morning removes the “I’ll do it later” excuse.
One problem many of us face with exercise generally is procrastination, which can lead to total avoidance of the exercise we so desperately need to achieve better health. Walking in the morning creates a routine or a healthy habit that we will start to do without going through the endless mental process of questioning whether or not you “feel” like exercising. By walking in the morning, you get your exercise out of the way first thing in your day. You have no time for procrastination if you get out the door and do the walking soon after you wake up and start your day.
3. Walking in the morning creates a positive mindset for your other important activities.
When we actually do our walking first thing in the day and finish it while the day is still young, we feel encouraged by a sense of achievement.
We feel good about ourselves once we can check the exercise box of our “to do” list. In addition, let's not forget the feeling that exercise itself can bring. Taking a brisk walk in the morning creates an energy boost, a mental sharpness and a sort of walker's “high” that comes with all vigorous exercise.
Once the walk is over, the “can do” attitude will carry over to the other things you face throughout the day. That morning walk actually creates a positive momentum going forward.
4. Walking in the morning promotes weight loss.
When it comes to burning calories, walking is your ally in the constant battle we all face in losing and/or maintaining weight.
Although the calorie burn from walking may not be as great as running, for example, the activity of walking does steadily burn calories that will contribute to weight loss. Remember to take a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated and at peak energy levels so that you can devote as much effort as possible into your morning walk.
If you walk in the morning consistently, you will see a gradual difference in weight and body composition. The beauty of walking in the morning is that most people feel it is a workout program they can stick to in the long term.
5. Early morning exercise is good for your heart.
Walking in the morning has tremendous cardiovascular benefits. One of the greatest threats to good health is heart disease, which affects as much as 40% of the world population.
As many of us know, one of the most effective ways to avoid heart disease is to stay physically active. While many of us think that we would have to engage in more intense exercise to fight heart disease, this is absolutely not true.
Studies show that by consistently walking in the morning at a brisk pace between three to four miles per hour, we can reduce our chances of suffering from heart disease by as much as 40%.
When we do go on a brisk walk, the activity makes our hearts work a little harder, and, as a result, this essential organ becomes fitter. Studies have shown that walking lowers the risk of a second heart attack after suffering from one. Additional benefits from walking include a lowering of blood pressure from the improved blood circulation that walking provides. Walking is a fantastic way to address high blood pressure, hypertension, heart attack and stroke risk because the activity strengthens the heart and generally improves cardiovascular health.
6. Walking in the morning has social benefits.
One of the great aspects of walking is that it can be extremely social. Even though a brisk walk can be strenuous, it is usually possible to carry on a conversation with other people while walking.
Because we all share the need to stay healthy, walking is an excellent way to spend time with friends and family by doing something together that is good for everyone.
Form a walking club with designated times to get together. Remember that by promising others you will walk with them, you also increase the chances that you will follow through and make good on your promise. This way all procrastination will be squashed and you will most likely meet your exercise goals for each and every day!
7. Morning walking give you time to plan out the day.
Your morning walk will take at least 20 minutes or as much as an hour to complete. During this time, you will have the chance to collect your thoughts about the day to come.
Many people do like to use their walking time to think through what they expect to do during the day and to prioritize what needs to be accomplished. By using the time expended while walking for day planning, many people find that they get a lot more done throughout the rest of the day.
So, what do you think?
Can becoming a morning walker save you from the chore of going to the gym?
Tell me what you think in the comments section below and be sure to share this article with your friends if you think it would help.