If you remember our last health tip, we went over how it is generally a good habit to track your own sleep using your smartphone. Today’s health tip is morning walks. I write this article today early in the morning. In fact, quite honestly I just got up around 45 minutes ago. Usually I would feel pretty beat and groggy, but I am fairly energetic. Energetic enough to get up and write an article, at least. Well, why aren’t I groggy then? It isn’t the coffee, let me tell you that, as I have quit drinking months ago. It is the morning walks.
Why take a walk in the morning?
There are several reasons, actually. Mine personally has nothing to do with exercise. I pretty much only walk to wake myself up in the morning. So that is point number 1.
Feel more awake
I can’t link to the scientific study right now, but I remember one saying that morning exercise can be a much better alarm clock for your body than coffee can. That is actually one of the reasons I quit caffeine so long ago, 1. because I did not want to rely on it to feel awake anymore and 2. I can feel just as awake with a brisk walk.
Like mentioned in the intro, I am writing this article at 6am in the morning, with only a morning walk to wake me up. This is part of a daily routine I have for my body and it is working out great. Feeling more awake is the primary reason I do this, but there are several other benefits that I see and enjoy.
Having that meditative and alone space for yourself early in the morning is probably my second best reason for taking them. A small walk around the block, especially this early in the morning, is not typically met by a lot of people. This gives me that space to recount my blessings and truly connect with myself. I take this time to see what I want to accomplish in the day and how I want to go about doing so. There is a peacefulness that goes with walking, and I am sure you can enjoy those benefits as well.
Get more active
If your goal this new year (happy new year 2017, by the way!) is to live a more active lifestyle, like we have been preaching here at ActiveAuthorities.com, what better way to start than quite simply the easiest way possible. There is little to no commitment to starting every day with a short walk. The walk does not even have to be physically challenging for you, as its main purpose is to simply jump-start your day. But because you are taking that 5 minute or so walk in the morning, you are more inclined to maintain good physical habits throughout your day.
The reasons to start walking, even for short periods of time, are endless. You could do it for physical health, for mental calmness, or just be like me and do it to wake up in the morning. The point is that just doing it will help you tremendously.
Once you have made up your (very small yet incredibly beneficial) commitment to walking, here are some pointers:
- Keep preparation time to a minimum. These days I do not even look at the walk as something I have to prepare for. It lasts 5 minutes, so I don’t need a water bottle or sweat towel. Sometimes, I just walk out of the house and go at it. You should also have the same easy-going mindset. If you feel you have to prepare for it, you are less likely to do it. Plus, all of that stuff is unnecessary, really, since it isn’t an exercise at all. Since it is winter time, though, I would suggest bringing at least a jacket so you are not freezing outside, but that is it.
- Bring a dog. I have been involving my pets with my active lifestyle and it has certainly boosted how much fun I have doing those activities. I do not bring the dog outside with me every morning since he can be a hassle, but when I do it is pretty enjoyable and at least he gets exercise while I start up my day. You can even bring your children to go biking (like our buddy Ralph in the header image), though this would be tougher if they have to go to school early in the day.
- Keep it short. Unless you have “walking” as an integral part of an actual exercise schedule, I would suggest keeping the walk to a short period. This is especially important for people that struggle with committing to a habit. If your walks take you a long time and you find you do not enjoy them, you are less likely to do them every morning. Keep it short, around 5 or so minutes, and you should still feel all the benefits when you come back home each morning. I even started my walks at 2 minutes a day and felt much more alert than I did prior to walking in the morning.