Walking is great for improving your health. There are many benefits of a morning walk, especially for those dealing with lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (1). Moreover, walking is low-impact cardio that is easy on your joints and suitable for people of all age groups. A 30-minute morning walk helps improve mood, calms your nerves, allows you to breathe the fresh morning air, increases blood circulation, and keeps you energetic for the rest of the day. All you need is a pair of walking shoes to start walking in the morning. Read on to learn about the science-backed benefits of a morning walk.
In This Article
22 Morning Walk Health Benefits
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. Good For Your Heart
If you have 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. Making morning walks a part of your daily routine can strengthen the heart and control blood pressure (4). Morning walks can also lower triglyceride levels and prevent hypertension.
3. Aids 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). Obesity is a major cause of diseases caused due to a sedentary lifestyle. If you need to lose weight (or your doctor has suggested so), start walking.
Walking is easy on your heart, and you will work out without feeling exhausted. Nothing helps like a brisk walk for 30 to 40 minutes. It helps elevate the heart rate and burn calories that are essential for weight loss.
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 provide energy (8).
Moreover, women are prone to losing bone density and developing osteoporosis. Walking exercises the joints gently and strengthens them, along with improving bone density (9).
5. Reduces The Risk Of Stroke
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).
6. Controls Cholesterol Levels
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 in your regimen is an excellent way to make sure the levels of cholesterol in your body are regulated (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 is 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. May Relieve Depression
Depression affects about 264 million people (16). This mood disorder may often give rise to many other disorders in youngsters and adults. 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 with depression found that walking fast every day for 35 to 60 minutes showed a significant improvement in their condition (17). An article published in the Scientific American confirms that 200 minutes of walking per week can make you feel more energetic and positive (18).
9. May Help Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
According to experts, morning walks may 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.
10. Enhances Brain Function
Did you know that regular exercise, such as walking, can help protect memory and improve thinking skills (23)? 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 is accelerated, and this, in turn, leads to an enhancement in mental alertness, brain function, and memory (24).
Moreover, walking helps increase brain volume and improves brain function in aged individuals (25). Take a regular walk every morning to keep your brain functioning properly at all times.
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 (26).
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.
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 (27). 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
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 (28).
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 (29).
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.
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 (30). A brisk morning walk can make you feel more relaxed and calm.
15. May Reduce The Risk Of 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 (31), (32), (33). Hence, 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 ensure their health, it is a great idea to start going for brisk walks for a good 20 minutes every morning (34).
17. May Make Your Skin Glow
Dermatologists suggest that any exercise that improves blood circulation gives your skin a healthy glow (35). And there is no better exercise than walking.
Regular walking may help delay 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.
18. May Promote Healthy Hair
Walking lowers blood pressure and stress, which does wonders for the health of your hair (36), (37), (38). It promotes healthy hair growth and also prevents hair loss. To get beautiful, lustrous hair, make it a point to go for a walk every morning.
19. 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 (39). Walking also lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (40).
20. 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, you must walk in the mornings (41).
21. May Slow Down Aging
As you age, the ends or tails of the chromosomes, known as telomeres, 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, thereby slowing your aging process (42), (43).
22. 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. 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. Vitamin D is best available between 11 am to 2 pm.
- 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. But if one goes for long walks, keeping a bottle of water handy is a good idea to prevent fatigue due to dehydration.
- 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.
But why only morning walks? 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 contracting or developing diseases diminishes.
Secondly, the morning air is rich in negative ions, and oxygen is negatively charged. 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. This is why we always feel better after coming back from vacation. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you can make it a habit of walking in the morning and inhaling as much fresh 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
- A sipper
- Fitband, if you want to keep track of your heartbeat, steps taken, etc.
The benefits of a morning walk are immense. This low-intensity cardio exercise goes a long way in reducing blood sugar levels, lowering high blood pressure, improving blood circulation, minimizing the risk of heart disease and stroke, reducing body weight, and improving bone health. Besides physical benefits, a 30-minute morning walk also helps fight depression, relieve anxiety, and improve mood to enable you to start your day on a good note. Always maintain a proper posture during morning walks, and do not go for walks after a meal. Do brisk walking if your primary goal is to burn fat and lose some pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does morning walk benefit your skin?
Walking or exercising in the morning helps improves circulation. This, in turn, may help your skin glow.
Does morning walk reduce belly fat?
Morning walk is a good cardio exercise, but it is not very effective for losing belly fat. Do these exercises at home to reduce belly fat.
How long should you walk in the morning?
Walk for at least 45 minutes in the morning.
Is Morning Walk good in winter?
Yes, a morning walk is good in all seasons. Of course, do not walk in the rain or during winter without wearing warm garments if the temperature is too low.
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