Benefits of Morning Walks
Author: Gabby Gamino, LVN, Manager
When you wake up in the morning, movement might not be your first priority. But starting your day with a walk — whether it’s around your neighborhood or part of your commute to work or school — can offer your body a number of health benefits.
Here are 5 reasons why you may want to start your day by taking some steps. There are also a few tips to seamlessly work it into your daily routine.
- Improves mood: A walk in the morning can help improve self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, afternoon fatigue, and ease depression. Try walking 20 to 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
- Boosts energy: Studies have shown that adults who walked 20 minutes outdoors experience more vitality and energy than those who walked 20 minutes indoors. If weather permits, try walking outside which will boost your energy throughout the day. Studies have also shown that walking 10 minutes of stairs was more energizing than a cup of coffee!
- Better sleep: Walking first may help you sleep better at night later. A small 2017 study observed older adults aged 55 to 65 who were experiencing difficulty falling asleep at night or were living with mild insomnia. Those who exercised in the morning versus the evening experienced better sleep quality at night. More research is needed to determine why exercising in the morning may be better for sleep than exercising at night, though.
- Strengthens muscles: Walking may help strengthen the muscles in your legs. For best results, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Try to change up your routine and climb stairs, walk up and down hills, or walk at an incline on the treadmill. Add in leg-strengthening exercises like squats and lunges several times a week for more muscle tone.
- Improves mental clarity: A morning walk may help improve your mental clarity and ability to focus throughout the day. A recent study found that amongst older adults, those who started their days with a morning walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who remained sedentary.
Starting your day with a short walk can offer a number of health benefits. You may feel more energized throughout the day, see your mood and mental clarity improve, and sleep better at night. Be sure to stretch before and after your walk and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
If you have more questions, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.