Out of the many physical activities suggested for a healthy lifestyle, a morning walk always shines at the top of the list. Many people find heavy exercise and jogging difficult, and some even lack the motivation for it. A simple and effective alternative to this is a morning walk. You do need not go to the gym or hire a personal trainer. No gear or any equipment is required for morning walks. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a nearby open area, such as a park or walking track.
A regular morning walk schedule can help you more than just lose weight; you can take care of many health problems concerning your heart, joints, mental health (depression, anxiety, nervousness), lung capacity, immune system, and body strength. As a bonus, walking regularly also helps your skin glow.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of a regular morning walk
13 Health Benefits of morning walk
#1 Reduces the risk of diabetes
A brisk walk can help you burn about 300 calories. This helps you lose body fat and use up stored sugars. The longer you walk, the more calories you will burn. With improved blood sugar levels, you can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Morning walks are also beneficial for people who already have diabetes and are looking to stabilize their sugar levels.
#2 Morning walk helps you sleep better
People dealing with restless nights of sleep and insomnia benefit very well from a regular morning walk schedule. It helps you calm your mind and utilize stored energy in your body. This helps your body stay active in the day so that you can get a sound sleep at night.
#3 Increases lung capacity
Depending on your speed and terrain, a morning walk can help your lungs to pump more oxygen. Your body muscles and tissues would need higher levels of oxygen to carry out essential enzyme reactions when walking briskly. This, in turn, increases your lung capacity. It also helps improve oxygen supply to all organs of your body.
#4 Improves brain function
Since regular brisk walking improves the circulation of blood and the flow of oxygen in the body, also reduces stress levels. With an improved supply of blood and oxygen, your brain volume enhances, which, in turn, helps improve your brain function. This is incredibly useful to prevent possible future mental health problems such as memory degeneration, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
#5 Morning walk can help deal with depression
Depression normally happens due to less production of our natural pain killer or stress balancing hormones endorphins in our body. Walking in the morning daily for at least 45 minutes can help the release and proper flow of endorphins in your body. This helps alleviate the symptoms of depression by making the person energetic, positive, and joyful. You feel less anxious and nervous, allowing you to stay more proactive.
#6 Reduces risk to your heart
If you have high blood pressure or your triglycerides levels have come to above-average levels, it’s time to take a regular walk which one can maintain both. A mild exercise form such as walking will be effective to manage the conditions as heavy exercises are restricted. A simple brisk walk every morning can help you maintain blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart stroke. Improved blood circulation reduces the strain on your heart by lowering triglyceride levels.
#7 Keeps your arteries clear
People at risk or suffering from atherosclerosis greatly benefit from regular morning walks. Atherosclerosis is a disease that occurs when the arteries in your brain, limbs, heart, kidneys, or liver get blocked with plaque or cholesterol deposits. This restricts the supply of blood and oxygen to critical organs, which can eventually lead to multiple organ failures. Regular morning walks regularly can help in reducing cholesterol levels and can prevent the deposition of plaque in arteries.
#8 Eases muscle and joint pains
Your elbows, knees, and hips are the most prone to joint pains as and when you grow older. These are often accompanied by sore muscles. You also begin to lose bone density, causing them to become weak and brittle. To deal with arthritis and osteoporosis or prevent joint pains altogether, brisk walking is highly beneficial. It gives your joints and muscles enough movement and energy that relieves the stiffness and pain in them.
#9 Reduces the risk of cancer
According to a Cancer Network oncology study, regular morning walks play a key role in maintaining healthy body weight which helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer and other endometrial cancer. The active lifestyle, improved immunity, and better blood circulation reduce the risk of forming cancerous cells.
#10 Morning walks make your skin healthier
Numerous skin problems such as acne, pimples, wrinkles, and fine lines are caused when your skin isn’t getting enough blood, and your hormone levels are haywire. Since walking in the mornings improves blood circulation and helps you use oxygen better, your skin slowly begins to glow and look healthier than before.
#11 Morning walk keeps laziness at bay
Laziness causes you to feel demotivated to do anything. Regular morning walks can help you burn stored calories and boost energy levels. This refreshes and rejuvenates your body to become active. Start with a small 30 minutes brisk walk and gradually increase your duration. If you feel unable to go for 30 minutes at a stretch, you could try taking quick breaks. Break down the 30 minutes walk into two or three laps. Allow yourself to rest for two minutes between each lap and then continue further.
#12 Lowers the risk of miscarriages
This benefit is especially for expecting mothers. Pregnancy is a time when your body undergoes numerous hormonal changes. If your body isn’t strong and healthy enough to handle the changes, your risk of miscarrying increases tremendously. Regular morning walks help manage hormone levels and also maintain a healthy weight thus reducing the chances of miscarriages.
# 13 Improves digestion
Walking requires you to use core and abdominal muscles. If you regularly walk at a brisk pace, these muscles get a good exercise, which further improves your bowel movements. Good bowel movements are key to improving digestion.
Walking and weight loss
The benefit of losing weight by walking requires special attention. You do not need to go on fad diets to lose weight. These diets help you lose weight alarmingly fast, but as soon as you go back to your normal lifestyle, there are high chances of putting on even more weight than before.
Following a moderately healthy diet and walking regularly can help you get results faster and even in the long term. Walking is simple, which is why you do not feel winded as you would if you went for heavy workouts.
Joints, especially your knees and hips, get a good workout, allowing you to become more flexible. You can then start increasing your pace and duration of walking. This will help you burn more calories. As walking on the road is not recommended because of air pollution and its prone to accidents. Your body’s management of insulin gets better with regular walking, allowing you to shed a lot of belly fat. It can also help tone and define the muscles in your legs, calves, and buttocks.
Once you develop a good habit of walking regularly for about a year, you can then try interval walking. Interval walking requires you to warm up for the first 2-3 minutes and then alternate between walking as fast as you can for 1-2 minutes and slowing down to a brisk pace for the next 1-2 minutes. This helps your body burn calories even after you’re done walking for the day.
When is the best time to walk?
While getting some exercise at any point in the day is good, choosing the best time can help you make the most out of your regimen. When it comes to walking, mornings are the best time. There is less pollution in the air, which allows you to get an adequate amount of oxygen and fresh air. The cool and fresh morning air also helps you feel more active and energized.
Distractions and schedule interruptions are fairly uncommon at the start of your day. This can help you make a habit of early morning walks easily. You won’t have to skip your walks for unforeseen circumstances, allowing you to stay regular with your schedule. However, you need to be careful about not going for brisk or fast-paced morning walks without warming up first. If your body temperature is too low, a fast-paced walk could increase your risk of muscle injuries. Make sure to stretch a bit and walk at a normal speed before beginning to walk briskly.
Walk your way to good health by developing a habit of regular morning walks. Stay consistent with your schedule and try to skip as rarely as possible. Reduce your risk of chronic diseases, improve your mood, ease muscle pains and lose weight in a healthy way. Morning walks are an amazing beginning to your day, so slip into your best pair of walking shoes, keep a small water bottle handy, and ‘healthify’ yourself.