Increased energy, better immunity and a happier mood? There are plenty of reasons to get those steps in first thing.
There is a mounting body of research showing that time out in green spaces can help to reduce stress. An early morning walk is a highly effective way to boost feelings of calmness, particularly ahead of a busy work day. These practices help you tune in and connect to yourself, which supports resiliency. If we can find moments to tune out from the world and be with ourselves, we will be better off in the hours to come in our day.
Do you have trouble drifting off at night? Believe it or not, going for a morning walk could be the life hack you’re looking for. It’s the timing of your morning walk that can really boost the quality of your shuteye, because catching those early morning rays balances your natural body clock. “Exposure to natural daylight particularly early in the day can help reset your body’s 24-hour clock, regulating the sleep/wake cycle that helps to optimise your sleep, mood and even appetite.
Making healthy decisions
Research show that getting decent sleep makes us more likely to maintain a healthy weight, since we’re not craving as much energy from meals and snacks, so the fact that morning walks can help us sleep better really is a win-win. And, did you also know that exercising in the AM can also curb food cravings? According to a research published in 2012 found that women experienced less of an attraction to photos of food when they had completed a 45-minute brisk morning walk and more activity throughout the rest of the day**. Perhaps it’s because we’re more energized and in a better frame of mind after an early workout, so we’re less susceptible to emotional eating?
A calm mind
Exercise releases feelgood hormones in your body, which are natural mood boosters. If you’re not up for a spin or gym session with the larks, walking is a gentle way to ease you into the day. You never know, getting outside for some fresh air in a green space might even make you smile before coffee.
Taking a walk at any time of day is always a surefire way to blow away the cobwebs, yet morning walks are thought to be particularly good for clearing brain fog. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that older adults who began their days with a walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who were inactive first thing. Even more reason to get up and out as we get older.
Beginning your morning on the right note helps to set the overall tone for the day ahead. So, starting your mornings with exercise, fresh air, connecting with nature and getting some head space is sure to have those positive vibes flowing into the afternoon and beyond. What’s more is that, done regularly, you will be creating a healthy morning ritual for yourself that will really benefit your overall health in the long term. There’s no deliberation about whether you can fit in a walk later in the day, and fewer distractions, when you just automatically get up and go.