A 30-minute walk in the morning can change your life! Especially if you suffer from a host of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. A morning walk is easy on your joints and heart, and the fresh morning air can help calm your nerves, improve your mood, and keep you energetic and positive for the rest of the day. Just buy a pair of walking shoes and take a walk in the nearby park. Because a 30-minute morning walk is equivalent to 2 hours of gymming! But why should you walk only in the mornings? Well, here’s what science has to say…
Why Should You Walk In The Mornings?
The morning hours have the least amount of pollution in the air. Fresh air has oxygen in abundance, along with other gases. When you inhale oxygen, it gets delivered to the cells, which use it to perform all functions. When your body functions properly, the chances of you suffering from various diseases diminishes.
Secondly, the morning air is rich in negative ions and oxygen is negatively charged. So, the more the negative ions, the more the oxygen, and the better it is for you to breathe in that fresh air. These negative ions or oxygen in the air will help you feel rejuvenated and have a pleasant state of mind (1). In fact, when you go to a forest or near a beach or waterfall, the air is cooler and fresher because it is loaded with negative ions in these places. Which is why we always feel better after coming back from a vacation. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you can make it a habit of walking in the morning and inhaling as much good air as possible? Here’s how to go about it.
What You Need For A Morning Walk
- A pair of walking shoes
- Compression shorts or leggings
- Sports T-shirt
- Sports Bra
- Hair band
- A sipper
- Fitband, if you want to keep track of your heartbeat, steps taken, etc.
Now, the most important part – motivation. Check out the next section to motivate yourself every morning to get up from the bed and take a soothing morning walk. Here are 25 reasons that will get you going.
1. Lowers The Risk Of Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most predominant lifestyle-related diseases these days. But you can tame this metabolic disorder if you walk in the mornings. According to research, a 30-minute morning walk can help improve blood sugar control as well as aid the management of insulin in Type II diabetes (2). It allows the cells in the muscles to use up more glucose, helps burn body fats that are not needed, and also aids in improving the Body Mass Index (BMI). This benefits diabetics immensely.
2. Strengthens The Heart
If you are suffering from heart problems, it might not be a good idea to run. But you can walk! The American Heart Association says that brisk walking can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke (3). Studies have shown that walking every morning for about 30 minutes can help lower blood pressure. You can strengthen your heart and control blood pressure when you make morning walks a part of your daily routine (4). Morning walks can also lower triacylglycerol levels and prevent hypertension.
3. Aids Weight Loss
Obesity is one of the major causes of many deaths and diseases. And the main reason for being obese is the sedentary lifestyle that you lead. If you think you need to lose weight or your doctor has suggested that you lose weight, you can start by walking. It will be easy on your heart, and you will workout without feeling exhausted. There is nothing like a brisk walk for 30 to 40 minutes daily to help you. It helps elevate the heart rate and burn calories that are essential for weight loss. Experts say that you can lose weight healthily without changing your diet by walking every day, along with other moderate, vigorous exercises (5). Researchers have also conducted walking experiments on obese patients and found that walking can aid weight loss by reducing overall body fat and improving flexibility and muscle strength (6), (7).
4. Prevents Arthritis And Osteoporosis
Leading an inactive life has many negative effects on the body, including stiff joints. The stiffness of joints can further lead to the development of the symptoms of arthritis. Recent studies suggest that moderate, vigorous physical activity, such as walking for five days or more in a week, can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness and give you more energy (8). Moreover, women are prone to losing bone density and developing osteoporosis. Walking gently exercises the joints and strengthens them along with improving bone density (9).
5. Prevents Strokes
As mentioned earlier, brisk morning walks help in keeping the heart strong and healthy. According to research conducted by the University of South Carolina, walking briskly for half an hour five times a week helps in lowering the risk of strokes (10). Additionally, it has been shown that people who maintain a regular fitness regimen that includes brisk morning walks reduce their chances of suffering from a stroke by 40% than people who are not physically active. A brisk walk around the neighborhood is all you need to stay fit and keep strokes at bay!
6. Controls Cholesterol
The body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to maintain optimum health and build cell membranes. However, there is a greater risk of heart problems when there is an excessive amount of blood lipids, especially when they are in the form of LDL cholesterol. At the same time, low amounts of HDL can also be harmful. Following an active lifestyle and including activities like walking is an excellent way to make sure the levels of cholesterol in your body are regulated (11), (12), (13).
7. Protects Against Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition that is caused by arteries that are blocked due to plaque or LDL cholesterol depositions on the arterial walls. The block occurs in the inner walls of arteries in organs such as the brain, kidneys, heart, and legs. Blood flow gets restricted, and the circulation of blood does not occur properly. Regular morning walks can protect you from this condition and make sure that blood flow and circulation are not restricted (14), (15).
8. Relieves Depression
One in ten people suffer from depression, and it is not something that you should laugh off. Depression gives rise to many other disorders and even leads to deaths in youngsters and adults. But the good news is if you can just get up and go out for a stroll, you can slowly tame the demons in your head. That’s because when you walk, the natural pain-killing endorphins flow properly throughout the body. Patients who suffer from depression found that walking fast every day for 35 to 60 minutes had a significant improvement in their condition 16. An article published in Scientific American confirms that 200 minutes of walking per week can make you feel more energetic and positive (17).
9. Fights And Protects From Cancer
According to experts, morning walks help in keeping different types of cancers at bay. They claim that many people develop cancer due to dull or hectic lifestyles. Morning walks give you the exercise that you need, better immunity, and a breath of fresh air as well. Various studies have confirmed that walking helps prevent ovarian, breast, kidney, and cervical cancers (18), (19), (20). In fact, walking can also improve sleep in cancer patients (21). To make sure that you are safe from cancer, go for a morning walk every day and keep your body and mind healthy.
10. Enhances Brain Function
Did you know that regular exercise such as walking can help protect memory and improve thinking skills (22)? Morning walks do more than just rejuvenating the body. They have the same positive effect on the mind as well. When you walk, the oxygen and blood supply to the brain are accelerated, and this, in turn, leads to an enhancement in mental alertness, brain function, and memory (23). Moreover, walking helps increase the brain volume and improves brain function in aged individuals (24). Take a regular walk every morning to keep your brain functioning properly at all times.
11. Tones The Body
Just shedding the fat is not enough if you want to look slim and toned. Walking is a great option to get a fabulously toned body without having to do strenuous exercises. A brisk morning walk can help in restoring muscle tone (25). You can tone your legs, tummy, and other parts of your body. Walking daily can also define the muscles in your calves, buttocks, and quads. Forget joining a gym! Make morning walks your way to get a perfectly toned body.
12. Lowers Risk Of Miscarriages
Expectant mothers can hugely benefit from indulging in exercises like swimming and regular walks, especially in the morning (26). Erratic hormone levels cause changes in the body, which walking can help moderate. Walking also helps prevent gestational diabetes that is quite common among pregnant women. It also provides protection against uterine contractions, which often result in spontaneous abortion, an occurrence that is caused by hormonal changes in the body.
13. Boosts The Immune System
As you have read earlier, walking improves blood circulation in the body. This has wonderful effects on the immune system. It also improves the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Walking for just 30 minutes a day strengthens the immune system and keeps you protected from various illnesses and serious diseases (27).
14. Reduces Fatigue
A brisk morning walk can make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. It can also alleviate fatigue and boost your energy levels, making you feel energized throughout the day. Moreover, walking can also reduce fatigue experienced by cancer patients (28).
15. Fights Dementia And Alzheimer’s
According to researchers, walking on a regular basis can help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Taking regular walks can reduce the risk of this condition by up to 54%. This is a common problem among the elderly, and it is best to prevent it early (29), (30), (31). So, make morning walks a part of your daily routine.
16. Improves Lung Capacity
The oxidation reaction quotient in the cells of your body can be increased significantly with a walk. However, these reactions cause a high demand for oxygen supply that makes the lungs pump extra oxygen. This, in turn, helps the lungs improve their capacity. To keep your lungs working properly and to ensure their health, it is a great idea to start going for brisk walks for a good 20 minutes every morning (32).
17. Keeps Stress Away
Morning walks are a great way to keep stress away. Stress can have an adverse effect on your body, making you fall sick more easily and causing depression, anxiety, etc. Walking improves blood circulation to the brain and helps uplift the mood (33). A brisk morning walk can make you feel more relaxed and calm.
18. Makes Skin Glow
Dermatologists suggest that any exercise that improves blood circulation gives your skin a healthy glow (34). And there is no better exercise than walking. It helps in delaying the onset of the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Proper blood circulation also prevents pimples, acne, and other skin problems. With morning walks, you can achieve naturally radiant skin.
19. Energizes The Body
Walking every morning gives your body the energy that it needs to get through the day. It helps increase the circulation of blood and the supply of oxygen and keeps you active and alert all day.
20. Promotes Healthy Hair
Ask your doctor, and he will tell you that being active has an important role to play in good hair health. Walking helps in keeping the hormones in your body well-balanced. It also improves blood circulation, which does wonders for the health of your hair. It promotes healthy hair growth and prevents hair loss as well. To get beautiful, lustrous hair, make it a point to go for a walk every morning.
21. Lowers The Risk Of Diseases
Morning walks keep deadly diseases away. Blood circulation in your body is increased, which helps in keeping cardiovascular and other life-threatening diseases at bay. Walking also improves metabolism in muscles and helps the body function normally. So, this low-intensity exercise can take care of all your health problems.
22. Promotes Restful Sleep
The stress that you go through each day can cause insomnia. The best way to fight this is to take a walk every day. Morning walks help calm your mind, and at the end of the day, you can get a good night’s sleep and feel well-rested when you wake up. In fact, if your lifestyle is not that active and you find it difficult to fall asleep, then you must walk in the mornings (35), (36).
23. Prevents Cognitive Degeneration
According to certain studies, women over the age of 65 who walk on a regular basis are less prone to memory degeneration that is age-related when compared to those who do not walk or walk less. Walking is a great way to keep age-related mental illnesses away. The risk of chronic ailments like vascular dementia can be brought down to 70% with regular walking and staying active (37).
24. Slows Down Aging
As you age, the ends or tails of the chromosomes, known as telomeres, start to get shorter. And since chromosome is nothing but DNA, which codes for various proteins, shorter DNA would mean lesser protein.This ultimately leads to loss of function and aging. Walking is a low-intensity physical activity that helps keep all your cell functions active and your heart healthy and improves brain function and blood circulation. Since your body remains active, the shortening of the ends of the telomeres slows down. This means, your aging process slows down (38) (39).
25. Improves Overall Health
There is nothing like a morning walk every day to improve your health. Every part of your body benefits from this exercise (40). A brisk 30-minute walk can extend your lifespan by about a year.
Helpful Tips For Walking
If you are thinking of making morning walks a regular part of your daily routine, here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
- Always keep your posture straight while walking. This will help you, especially if you are trying to tone your abs.
- Early morning walks are the best as your body is energized and blood circulation is increased. You also give your body the opportunity to absorb vitamin D from the sun’s first rays.
- If you want to lose a few extra pounds, a brisk morning walk every day is just what you need. When you walk fast, you burn more calories.
- Avoid going for a walk after eating as exercising after a meal affects the flow of digestive juices, which prevents the proper breaking down of food.
- It is best not to drink too much water while taking brisk walks as it may cause harm to the respiratory system. Experts recommend keeping your body hydrated before you start your walk or 5 minutes after you are done.
- If you are just starting out on making walks a regular exercise, start at a pace that you are comfortable with and slowly build it up as the days go by. This makes sure that you do not exert your body too much right from the start.
A morning walk is a fantastic way to start your day. Once morning walks become a habit, you will start feeling better and become proactive. So, start today and walk towards good health. Take care!
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