Walking is one of the healthiest practices anyone can develop. Not only is walking a low-impact exercise safe for every age and fitness level, but it benefits the entire body and promotes life-long health. Starting a new habit can be tricky, though. Work eats up the majority of your day, and family responsibilities can keep you busy the rest of the time, especially in the evening when kids are home from school.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that taking time to care for yourself is selfish. By making small changes to improve your fitness habits, you can operate at a higher capacity the rest of the day. This allows you to give your family and employer the support they need.
Morning is one of the best times to exercise. It’s great for not only your physical health, but also your fitness habits and mental stability. What makes walking in the morning so effective, and how can the time of day impact your results?
What If I Can’t Walk in the Morning?
While morning walks have some serious advantages, but you shouldn’t give up if your mornings are too busy for exercise. Many do walk in the morning, and they enjoy special benefits, but daytime and evening walkers also enjoy unique benefits.
Different times of day provide different advantages. If you’re organized enough, you may want to try varying your walking schedule, at least until you know what time of day you like best. This takes strong discipline, however, and it’s easiest to make walking a habit if you exercise during a specific time every day.
The Best Perks for Morning Walkers
Studies repeatedly show that walkers who schedule their exercise in the early morning are most likely to turn their daily walks into a habit. Morning and evening routines are easier to establish than daytime habits. However, many walkers are simply too tired after a day’s work to force themselves out of the house again for an evening walk. Morning walks, on the other hand, become part of the waking process, just like breakfast, bathing, and grooming. Most people depend on these routines in order to function when they are only half awake. The enervating experience of a morning walk helps them wake up faster, making it a pleasant experience rather than a chore. This positive reinforcement helps walkers discipline themselves so they can turn their routine into a regular habit.
It may also be easier to schedule a walking group early in the morning, before most businesses open. Walking with others can reinforce walking habits and provide additional benefits for mental and physical health. Walking with others often encourages you to keep a faster pace, and by surrounding yourself with other walkers, you create an automatic support group.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some doctors believe exercising can give your body a similar boost by waking up your muscles and metabolism early in the day. It’s important to match input with output, and a fast walk can help your body get more out of a hearty breakfast than it would otherwise. This kind of pairing helps your metabolism, which may help you lose weight overall. Since your metabolism also affects your energy levels, a morning walk can help you stay awake and focused throughout the day.
While it may still rain, snow, or sleet in the morning, the temperature is more predictable. Walking early in the morning during the winter will be a challenge, and it’s important to wear appropriate clothing that will insulate from the cold and wick away sweat. Clothes that become damp easily will make it easy hypothermia to set in. No matter how warm you may feel when you exercise, the cold can literally freeze your sweaty clothes to your skin if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, most modern workout attire takes these concerns into consideration during development.
Walking during the morning in the summer allows you to avoid the worst of the summer heat and get the most out of your routine without compromising your health. Heavy exertion during the hottest hours of the day can lead to heat stroke, dehydration, and other serious problems. Mornings are cooler. They have far more predictable temperatures, especially before sunrise, and they are by far the safest hours to walk outdoors.
The early morning inspires contemplation and calm. Everyone enjoys a beautiful sunrise and the peaceful moments before the world wakes up and rush hour begins. The cool hours before dawn are a favorite of morning walkers. Many use their daily walks as a kind of meditation to center themselves before a busy workday. Even though you’re never truly the only person awake, sometimes it feels like you are, especially if you walk before sunrise. Watching the natural progression of night to day helps many refocus and wake up mentally. Many walkers listen to music as they walk. However, taking advantage of this quiet time may provide greater benefits. Many studies demonstrate the positive effects of silence for the human brain. In a world where we’re surrounded by noise, quiet time is a rare treat.
It’s alright if you can’t take a walk in the morning, but you can’t deny the benefits of this habit. Many walkers worry about their motivation and schedule when they’re considering a new fitness habit, and exercise is always a daunting practice. Morning walks give you benefits that improve the rest of your day, such as mindfulness. The jumpstart morning exercise provides your metabolism helps manage your weight. Walking in the morning may speed your progress toward fitness goals. Without that calm moment in the morning, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the stresses of the day.
The benefits are endless. Morning may not be your favorite time to walk. Many people hate mornings. They design their morning routines around speed to compensate for sluggishness. A walk may not sound like fun when the alarm goes off, but the habit can turn your morning into the foundation of a tremendously more productive day.