We all know that regular exercise is important for our overall health and wellbeing – and walking is one of the best ways to go about it.
Increasing your step count with a daily walk is great for decreasing your:
- blood pressure and cholesterol;
- risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes;
- and even allergy symptoms.
Not only that, walking is proven to improve your:
- balance and coordination;
- immune system;
- bone and muscle strength;
- joints and mobility;
- and energy levels.
Walking is a lot gentler on the body than jogging or running, and unlike going to the gym or exercise class, it doesn’t cost anything. Nor do you need any special equipment, other than a good pair of supportive shoes. (Not sure what that means? Check out this handy guide: What to Look for in Running Shoes.)
5 Benefits of a Morning Walk
While walking at any time of day is beneficial, it turns out there are some definite advantages to making it a part of your morning routine.
1. Fresh Air – No you’re not imagining it, the air is definitely fresher first thing! According to scientists, the air is more oxygenated, and contains less pollen.
2. Calming and Connecting – A morning walk not only helps to bring your body and mind in sync, it also helps you connect with nature. This is known in psychological circles as “grounding” and is proven to relieve stress, and create a sense of calm.
3. Set your Internal Clock – Research shows that exposure to light in the morning is essential for the functioning of your body’s internal clock. So when you get outside for your morning walk, you are kickstarting your mental, digestive, and other processes for the day, and setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep when night falls.
4 – Boost your Brain Power – As previously mentioned, getting your light fix in the great outdoors first thing kickstarts your body functions, including your mind. However a morning walk also stimulates the gamma waves in your brain, leading to better focus, clarity of thought so you are ready to deal with the problems of the day!
5 – Start your Day Right – Being able to tick off your daily exercise first thing brings a great sense of accomplishment, and can set the tone for your whole day.
So if you haven’t already – isn’t it time you discovered the benefits of a morning walk for yourself?!