Going for a daily walk can lead to various health benefits. These include, but are not limited to, increasing cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, maintaining a healthy weight and possibly losing body fat, strengthening bones and muscles, and increasing energy levels. More than physical benefits, daily walks can improve mood, cognition, memory and sleep and can reduce stress and tension. These benefits apply to general daily walks; however, there are specific benefits to going for walks in the morning.
Feeling accomplished before the day has begun
If the first thing you do in the morning is get up and go for a walk, you’re already setting yourself up for a productive day. By the time you’re eating breakfast you will have completed your workout. It’s something to feel accomplished about and one less thing to worry about fitting into your schedule. Even if you do nothing else, you will have gone for that walk for the day.
Setting habits can lead to consistency in other parts of life
Going for walks can be a great thing, but they can be even more effective for your life if you do them at the same time every day. Once you have that walk in the morning, the rest of your schedule can fall into place around that. Having an organized schedule can lead to the desire for organization in other parts of your life. Organizing those other aspects will make everything move more smoothly and cohesively.
Walking encourages a healthy sleep schedule and may cause better sleep
Another perk of going for a morning walk is getting better control of your sleep schedule. Having to get up earlier for a walk means having to get to sleep earlier too. The longer you stick with it, the more it will encourage you to get to sleep on time, so you’re fully rested for the next morning. Going for that walk also will lead to a better sleep at night. One study found that a morning workout led adults to fall asleep more quickly, stay in deep sleep longer, and wake up fewer times throughout the night.
Walking improves mood and focus & boosts energy
Working out produces endorphins which are commonly referred to as “feel good” chemicals. The nervous system releases them to cope with pain or stress. Scientists found that they act similarly to opioids in creating a euphoric feeling. Getting a 30-minute walk in might just be the perfect mood booster. Working out in the morning can lead to better focus, especially when paired with short breaks throughout the day. It can also boost energy for the day as working out causes oxygen and nutrients to travel to the heart and lungs. One study found that a 10-minute stair walk energized women more than a cup of coffee.
Get yourself an appropriate pair of shoes, find a walking buddy, listen to a podcast or a playlist, and get your mornings started off with a walk!