10 unexpected benefits of starting the day with a walk

Presse Santé

When you wake up in the morning, moving may not be your first priority. However, starting your day with a walk, whether around your neighborhood or on your way home from work or school, can provide your body with a number of health benefits.

Here are 10 reasons why you should start your day by taking a few steps. You will also find some tips to integrate this activity into your daily routine.

1. Increase your energy

Starting the day with a walk can give you more energy throughout the day. This is especially true if you are walking in the fresh air. Studies show that adults who walk for 20 minutes outdoors have more vitality and energy than those who walk for 20 minutes indoors on a treadmill.
The next time you need a boost of energy in the morning or wake up tired, you can try walking.

2. Improve your mood

Walking in the morning also has physiological benefits.
A walk can help:

– improve self-esteem
– improve mood
– reduces stress
– reduce anxiety
– reduce fatigue
– relieve the symptoms of depression or reduce the risk of depression
For best results, try to walk for 20-30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

3. Start your physical activity for the day

One of the advantages of a morning walk is that it allows you to start your physical activity for the day, before other family, work or school obligations derail you. To stay healthy, try to get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week.
Try to take a 30-minute walk 5 mornings a week to meet these requirements.

4. It can help you lose weight

Walking in the morning can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn up to 150 calories. Combined with a healthy diet and strength training, it can help you lose weight.

5. Prevent or manage health problems

Walking can provide many health benefits, including boosting immunity, as well as preventing and managing various health conditions.
Studies show that walking 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%. If you have diabetes, walking can also help lower your blood sugar levels. It can even help increase your life expectancy and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

6. Strengthen muscles

Walking can help strengthen the leg muscles. For best results, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Try changing up your routine and walk up stairs, up and down hills, or walk on an incline treadmill. Add leg-strengthening exercises, such as squats and lunges, several times a week to increase muscle tone.

7. Improve your mental clarity

A morning walk can help improve your mental clarity and your ability to focus throughout the day. A recent study found that among older people, those who started their day with a morning walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who remained sedentary.
Walking can also help you think more creatively. Research shows that walking promotes the free flow of ideas, which can help you solve problems better than sitting or sedentary. This is especially true if you are walking in the fresh air. The next time you have a morning meeting or brainstorming session, invite your colleagues to walk with you, if possible.

8. Sleep better at night

Walking first thing in the morning can help you sleep better at night later. A small 2017 study looked at adults ages 55 to 65 who had trouble falling asleep at night or lived with mild insomnia. Those who exercised in the morning compared to the night experienced better quality sleep at night. However, more research is needed to determine why exercising in the morning may be better for sleep than exercising in the evening.

9. Avoid the heat

One of the benefits of walking in the morning in the summer, or if you live in a warm climate year-round, is that you can get some exercise before it gets too hot. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after your workout. Take a bottle of water with you, if necessary. Or plan to hike a trail with water features.

10. Make healthier choices throughout the day

Starting the day with a walk can inspire you to make healthier choices throughout the day. After his walk, he may feel more energetic and less sleep deprived. When your energy is low or you are tired, you are more likely to reach for comfort snacks or energy boosters. Walking in the morning can inspire you to choose a healthy lunch and snacks in the afternoon.

How to incorporate walking into your routine

– Prepare your clothes for the walk the night before. Leave your socks and slippers by the door so you don’t have to look for them in the morning.

– Try to set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier so you can walk at least 20 minutes in the morning. Find a nearby nature trail or just take a walk around the neighborhood.

– Find a friend or work colleague to walk with in the morning. Talking and working together can help you stay motivated.

– If you don’t have much time in the morning, consider integrating walking into your route. If you can’t walk to work, try getting off the bus a stop or two early to walk around. Or park further away from your office so you can walk from your car.

Should you walk before or after breakfast?

If you walk in the morning, you may be wondering if walking before or after breakfast is important and can help you if you have weight loss goals. Research is mixed on whether skipping breakfast boosts your metabolism or helps you lose weight faster.
Some research shows that exercising on an empty stomach (before breakfast) helps the body burn more fat. But more studies are needed. Meanwhile, it depends on your body. If you feel good taking a walk before eating, or if your stomach feels better if you don’t eat, that’s fine. You may also feel better by eating a small snack like a banana or fruit smoothie before you go for a walk.
Either way, after you work out, be sure to eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water.

Starting the day with a short walk can have many health benefits. You may feel more energized during the day, see your mood and mental clarity improve, and sleep better at night. Be sure to stretch before and after your hike, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided be a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional.

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