I’m not a morning person, and I’ve long joked that I am allergic to exercise – and yet each weekday you’ll find me heading out for a walk first thing.
It’s been about a year now since I made it a habit, concerned that sitting in front of a computer in my home office all day wasn’t doing my body any favours.
But I’ve only recently discovered that there are many benefits not just to walking, but specifically, going for a morning walk!
I’ll be honest – once I decided I had to start exercising regularly, I thought it was important to keep it as simple as possible or I’d never start, let alone stick to it. Aqua aerobics turned out to be a bit of a fizzer, as I suffered from recurring ear infections and other problems.
So, walking it was.
And the reason I chose to do it first thing in the morning was more related to the fact that I would be out and active before my brain had figured out what was going on, and had time to complain 😉 .
But turns out that unknowingly, I was actually on to something …
5 Benefits of a Morning Walk
- Up My Gamma Game: I read recently that going for a walk stimulates gamma waves in your brain, an effect that lasts long after you return from your walk. Gamma waves (not to be confused with gamma rays) are associated with better focus, improved cognitive functioning, and feelings of wellbeing. So by going for a walk first thing each week day, I’m preparing my brain for doing my best, and having a great day at work!
- Achievers Anonymous: By going for a morning walk, I also start my day with a sense of achievement. In fact, by listening to a podcast as I pound the pavement, I am achieving something both physically and personally/professionally (depending on the podcast I am listening to). Multi-tasking at its finest!
- The Wake/Sleep Cycle: Spending time enjoying the outdoors in daylight is good for the body’s circadian rhythms, which govern our sleep patterns. Now, supposedly this should help me fall asleep more easily come night time – sadly that’s not always the case, one of those little midlife issues I’m learning to deal with.
- Getting Grounded: And we’re not talking about coffee grounds! Walking is a great way to not only connect with nature, but to bring body and mind into sync. It’s incredibly grounding – which means that I will be better able to cope with the pressures of the day.
- Fresh Air Freak: In the morning, it really is all about the fresh air! It’s the time of day when there’s less pollen about, and the air is more oxygenated (something to do with negative ions, if you’re that way inclined).
Isn’t science a wonderful thing? Not only am I strutting my stuff each morning in a bid to get healthy and active, I’m also enjoying all these other bonus benefits!
But there is one thing that is still missing … I’d love to say that one of the benefits of a morning walk for me was weight loss, but that just ain’t happening … sigh …