When you wake up in the morning, activity may not be your first priority. But starting your day with a walk — whether it’s around your neighborhood or part of your commute to work or school — can provide your body with a variety of health benefits.
Here are 10 reasons why you might want to start your day by taking a few steps. There are also some tips to incorporate it seamlessly into your daily routine.
1. Boost your energy
Starting your day with a walk can give you more energy throughout the day. This is especially true if you walk outside.
Studies show that adults who walk outside for 20 minutes experience more vitality and energy than those who walk indoors for 20 minutes.
A small study found that 10 minutes of stairs was more refreshing than a cup of coffee for 18 women who were sleep-deprived.
Next time you need a morning energy boost or feel tired when you wake up, you can try taking a walk.
2. Improve your mood
There are also physical benefits of morning walk.
A walk may help:
- improve self-esteem
- boost mood
- reduce stress
- reduce anxiety
- reduce fatigue
- ease depression symptoms or reduce your risk for depression
For best results, try to walk for 20 to 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
3.Complete your physical activity for the day
One benefit of taking a morning walk is that you’ll get your fill of physical activity for the day — before any other family, work, or school obligations derail you.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults complete at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
To meet these requirements, try to complete a 30-minute walk 5 mornings a week.
4. It Can Help You Lose Weight
Morning jogging can help you meet your weight loss goals. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn up to 150 calories. With a combination of a healthy diet and strength training, you may find that you lose weight.
5. Prevent or Manage Health Conditions
Walking can provide many benefits for your health, including boosting your immunity, as well as helping you manage various health conditions.
Studies show that walking 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 19 percent. If you live with diabetes, walking may also help lower your blood sugar levels.
It may also help increase your life span and reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers.
6. Build Muscle
Walking can help strengthen the muscles in your legs. For best results, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Try switching up your routine and take stairs, go up and down hills, or walk at an incline on a treadmill.
Incorporate leg-strengthening exercises, such as squats and lunges, several times a week for more muscle tone.
7. Improve Mental Clarity
Morning walks can help improve your mental clarity and ability to focus throughout the day. A recent studyTrusted Source found that among older adults, those who started their day with a morning walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who remained sedentary.
Taking a walk can also help you think more creatively. Research shows that walking opens up a freer flow of ideas, which can help you problem solve better than sitting or remaining motionless. This especially happens when you walk outside.
The next time you have a morning meeting or brainstorming session, suggest that your co-workers go for a walk with you, if possible.
8. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Taking a walk first may help you sleep better later in the night. A small 2017 studyTrusted Source looked at adults 55 to 65 years old who were experiencing difficulty sleeping through the night or were living with mild insomnia.
Those who exercised in the morning versus evening experienced better sleep at night. More research is needed to determine why exercising in the morning may be better for sleep than exercising at night.
9. Beat the Heat
One advantage of taking a morning walk in the summer—or if you live in a climate where it’s warm year-round—is that you’ll be able to get exercise before it gets too hot outside.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you if needed. Or, plan to walk the water fountain route.
10. Make Healthy Choices Throughout the Day
Starting your day with a walk can help you make healthier choices throughout the day. After your walk, you may feel more energetic and less sleep-deprived.
When your energy dips or you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for comfort snacks or energy boosters. Jogging in the morning can motivate you to choose healthier lunches and snacks in the afternoon.