Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Otuebo Harrison
Walking is a simple yet powerful form of exercise that can have numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health. It’s a low-impact activity that can be done almost anywhere, and it doesn’t require any special equipment or gym membership. But for many people, incorporating walking into their daily routine can be a challenge. Whether it’s finding the time, staying motivated, or simply knowing where to start, there are many factors that can make it difficult to make walking a regular habit. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for making walking a part of your routine and reaping the many benefits it has to offer.
Boost Your Energy Levels
Starting your day with a walk is a great way to get your blood flowing and oxygen circulating throughout your body, which can help increase your energy levels and help you feel more alert and focused. Even a short 10-15 minute walk can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day.
Improve Your Mood
Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that can help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. By starting your day with a walk, you’ll set a positive tone for the rest of your day and be better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way. Walking outdoors in nature can be especially mood-boosting and calming.
Increase Your Productivity
Walking can help improve your cognitive function and mental clarity, which can help increase your productivity and focus throughout the day. Additionally, taking a break from work to go for a walk can help you recharge and come back to your tasks with a fresh perspective. You may find that you’re able to think more creatively and solve problems more effectively after a morning walk.
Support Weight Loss
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that can help burn calories and support weight loss. By incorporating a morning walk into your routine, you’ll start your day off on a healthy note and set yourself up for success in achieving your weight loss goals. If you have trouble fitting in exercise later in the day, starting with a morning walk can help ensure you get your workout in.
Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health by getting your heart rate up and strengthening your heart and lungs. Regular walking has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic illnesses. By starting your day with a walk, you’ll be taking a proactive step towards protecting your heart health.
Provide Time for Reflection
Starting your day with a walk can provide you with some quiet time to reflect, set intentions for the day, and clear your mind. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall mental health and wellbeing. You may find that you’re able to approach your day with more mindfulness and intention after taking some time to reflect during your morning walk.
Here are some tips for making walking a part of your routine:
Set a goal
Setting a goal can be a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable. Start with a realistic goal, such as walking for 10-15 minutes each morning, and gradually increase the duration or frequency as you get more comfortable.
Make it enjoyable
Find ways to make your walking routine enjoyable, such as listening to music or a podcast, walking with a friend or pet, or exploring new routes in your neighborhood or local park.
Schedule it in
Treat your walking routine as you would any other appointment or commitment. Schedule it in your calendar or planner and stick to it as much as possible.
If you’re new to walking or exercise, start small and gradually build up. Even a short 5-10 minute walk can have benefits, and you can gradually increase the duration or intensity as you get more comfortable.
Make it a habit
Consistency is key when it comes to making walking a part of your routine. Try to walk at the same time each day or on specific days of the week to help establish a habit.
Mix it up
To prevent boredom or plateauing, mix up your walking routine by varying the pace, distance, or terrain. You can also try incorporating other forms of exercise, such as yoga or strength training, to complement your walking routine.
Keep track of progress
Tracking your progress can be a great way to stay motivated and see how far you’ve come. Use a fitness app or wearable device to track your steps or distance, or simply jot down your progress in a journal.
Remember, walking is a simple and accessible form of exercise that can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. By making walking a part of your routine, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing and set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling day ahead.
Should You Walk Before or After Breakfast
Both before and after breakfast can be good times to start walking, depending on your personal preference and schedule. Here are some considerations for each:
Walking Before Breakfast
If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your insulin sensitivity, walking before breakfast may be beneficial. This is because your body has been fasting overnight, and a morning walk can help jumpstart your metabolism and burn stored fat. Walking before breakfast may also help regulate your appetite and reduce cravings throughout the day.
Walking After Breakfast
If you have a busy morning routine or prefer to eat breakfast first thing, walking after breakfast may be a better option. This can help you digest your food and stabilize your blood sugar levels before exercising. Walking after breakfast can also be a great way to start your day on a positive note and provide a mental boost to help you tackle your tasks.
Ultimately, the best time to start walking is the time that works best for your schedule and allows you to be consistent with your routine. If you have trouble fitting in a morning walk, try incorporating shorter walks throughout the day or walking after dinner as a way to unwind and promote better sleep. The most important thing is to find a time that works for you and stick with it to reap the many benefits of walking.
In conclusion, starting your day with a walk is a simple yet effective way to boost your overall health and productivity. By incorporating a morning walk into your routine, you can enjoy the numerous benefits of exercise and set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling day ahead. Whether you prefer a solo walk or enjoy walking with a friend or pet, there are many ways to make a morning walk a regular part of your routine.