If there is one physical activity that offers ample health benefits without asking for much effort, it would be a morning walk. Unlike vigorous exercises like strength training and HIIT, this cardio exercise is gentle. The best part – walking neither requires a personal trainer nor any fancy gear or equipment. Science says that a regular walk scheduled in the morning can reduce the risk of diabetes, improves brain health, and fosters immunity. Read on to have a gist of some of the scientific benefits of walking.
Health Benefits of Morning Walk
If you are wondering what are the benefits of morning walk, scroll down to know the answer. Some of the major morning walking benefits includes:
1. Less Risk of Diabetes
Walking involves burning calories after your body loses stored sugars. This eventually improves blood glucose levels and lowers the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. If you are a diabetic, you can also engage in a regular morning walk to stabilize your glucose levels.
2. Enhanced Immunity
According to Harvard Health, walking boosts immune function and can safeguard you from cold and flu. Studies have indicated that people who engage in 20 minutes of walking every day, 5 days a week have 43% fewer sick days as compared to those who exercise once a week.
3. Reduced Depression
A person tends to suffer from depression if there is not an optimal production of endorphins in his or her body. Having a morning walk for at least 45 minutes can boost the flow of endorphins and eventually ease the symptoms of depression. A few studies have shown that regular walk improves mood by releasing serotonin which boosts mood and dopamine which lowers stress levels.
4. Better Sleep
If you are coping with insomnia or have uneven sleeping patterns, a morning walk can come to your rescue. Walking utilizes stored energy and lets your stay active during the day so you can sleep without any difficulties during nighttime. This claim is also supported by a small 2017 study that states that adults can engage in better sleeping after morning walk.
5. Better Brain Health
Walking is beneficial for brain health too. Regular walking improves the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain that eventually improves its working. Better brain function also means the better cognitive ability and fewer risks of mental disorders like dementia. Science also testifies this fact through a study that found that morning walk improves mental clarity and cognitive function.
6. Increased Lung Capacity
Depending on your terrain and pace, routinely walk can increase lung capacity. This allows your lungs to pump more oxygen to the organs and carry out bodily functions optimally.
7. Reduced Risk of Heart Problems
If you are struggling with blood pressure problems, a gentle physical activity like walking can help. Frequent walks to a park will help you maintain optimal levels of blood pressure and subsequently reduce the risks of stroke. Studies show that walking for half an hour every day reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease by 19%. Regular morning walks also take the edge of cholesterol deposits in your organs and prevent certain organ failures.
8. Healthy Joints
Joints in the knee and hips are susceptible to pain. And as you age, sore muscles often accompany this joint pain. This leads to weak joints and eventually problems like arthritis and osteoporosis. Fortunately, regular morning walks can be your saviour. The form of light cardio exercise allows your joints to move and compress to get joint fluid. This eventually transports more nutrients and oxygen to the joints and relieves their pain or stiffness.
9. Reduced Risk of Cancer
According to science, maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of certain cancers. And to achieve and maintain optimal weight, physical activities like walking along with a good diet and healthy lifestyle practices go a long way.
10. Healthy & Youthful Skin
No doubt ageing is inevitable, better circulation in the skin cells can delay those signs of ageing such as wrinkles. Improved blood circulation also gives your skin a plump look and youthful glow. Since walks in the morning boosts circulation, your skin slows starts to look better than before.
11. Boosts Energy
There is no doubt in the fact that a physical workout boosts energy levels. To rejuvenate your body and stay proactive through the day, start with a brisk walk for half an hour each day. A small study states that just 10 minutes of stair walking is more energizing than coffee. It’s better to walk outdoors and during the early morning since night walk benefits aren’t known.
12. Better Digestion
Walking utilizes your abdominal muscles which eventually improves your bowel movements and digestion. If you want regularly, you will also have fewer gastronomical problems like gas and bloating.
13. Less Risk of Miscarriages
If you are an expecting mother, regular morning walks can benefit you greatly. Walking improves both your physical and mental health which is crucial during pregnancy to reduce the chances of miscarriages.
Walking and Weight Loss
If you are thinking is walking good for weight loss, let us tell you that a regular morning walk can help you achieve your weight loss goals easily and effectively. Walking benefits for weight loss is evident from research that claims that walking at a moderate pace for half an hour can help burn up to 150 calories. If you want to lose weight faster, combine walking with strength training and a healthy diet. Even if you don’t settle for fad diets or heavy workouts, simply walking will let you shed that extra fat from your body.
Since walking utilizes a wide range of muscles, it can tone your entire body in no time. For best results, try interval walking. Start with warm-up by walking at a slow pace for a minute. Then increase your pace and walk as fast as possible for 2-3 minutes and then slow down by walking briskly for the next minute.
The Best Time to Walk
Although walk at any point iinn the day is beneficial for your health, do it during the early morning to reap maximum benefits. Early morning is the time when the sun has just arisen and air pollution levels are the least. The fresh morning air allows you to breathe in a good amount of oxygen. What more? There are fewer distractions or noise pollution at the start of the day. Follow these tips to make the most of your walking regimen:
- Wear activewear and running shoes before starting the activity each day.
- Warm-up before you begin to reduce the risk of muscle injuries.
- It’s good to wear reflective clothing and accessories, especially during winters when there is fuzz around.
- Exercise before breakfast and take a protein bar or smoothie post walking session.
- Take a water bottle along with you to stay hydrated during the session.
- Create a fun playlist to keep walking sessions interesting.
- Stay consistent with your morning walk schedule. You can take a rest for a day to restore your muscles.
- If you have health conditions, talk to your doctor before you decide to take up any exercise.