Team AckoSept 12, 2023
Walking is one of the most common forms of physical activity and exercise. It can be done by anyone, anywhere, free of cost, without any special equipment. That's what makes it an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages. This article highlights the numerous health benefits of a Morning Walk.
Walking is a form of cardiovascular activity popularly referred to as "cardio". These are activities that induce aerobic metabolism in your body. Your lungs expand more, your heart beats faster, and your muscles become more equipped to make use of the incoming oxygen.
Cardiovascular exercise essentially makes your inner organs work more. The more your heart pumps blood, the more your lungs expand and contract, and the more efficient they become as organs.
You are strengthening your heart, lungs, and circulatory system into being efficient for a longer time by doing cardio exercises. Brisk walking is one of the easiest ways to introduce a form of exercise in your life. Even people with limitations because of which they cannot do intense weight-bearing exercises can walk and gain associated benefits.
Walking in the morning is one of the best ways to incorporate it as an activity in your every day schedule. It not only energises you to face the rigours of your day physically but also boosts your mental health.
7 health benefits of taking a Morning Walk are as follows.
1. It greatly improves physical health and decreases the incidence of diseases
Any form of cardiovascular exercise promotes good heart health. It helps you build stronger muscles, can contribute to reducing weight, and is one of the best ways to decrease the incidence of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and Increased Cholesterol Levels. Several studies have shown that by increasing your daily walking by 30% (nearly 2000 steps), you can decrease the incidence of heart disease and hypertension.
2. It is a mood booster
Taking a walk in the fresh air is one of the most refreshing activities. It is also recommended for people who have depression or other psychological problems.
This is attributed to the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that stimulate the sensation of euphoria or happiness. Cardiovascular exercises have also shown an increase in the activity of serotonin and dopamine. The next time you're feeling burned out or low, taking a walk in nature may help turn your mood around.
3. It improves brain health
Regular cardiovascular exercise helps maintain and enhance cognitive functions of the brain like memory, concentration, analytical thinking, etc. This is especially noted in elderly people. Regular walking helps combat the effects of ageing on cognition and promotes better neurological health. Studies have shown a decreased incidence of dementia and Alzheimers in elderly populations who walk regularly compared to those with decreased exercise.
4. Walking helps you sleep better
Brisk walking and other cardiovascular exercises when done regularly promote the body’s circadian rhythm, which is your inner biological clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles lasting 24 hours.
By regularising your sleep-wake cycle, you get better sleep and the best benefits from that period of rest. It also promotes the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that is involved in the timing of your circadian rhythm.
5. Walking is a great way to control blood sugar levels in Diabetics
Cardiovascular exercise is recommended by the American Diabetic Association as an essential component in the treatment of diabetes. Not only is an exercise like brisk walking helpful in controlling glycemic levels in diabetics, but it is also a preventative measure. It can delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Even in type 1 diabetes (which is genetic), it improves insulin sensitivity.
Exercise activates the muscles and cells to utilise glucose and store it, thereby reducing blood glucose levels. Also, Insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and its uptake by tissues, is directly impacted by exercise.
It must be noted that regularity in exercising is essential in diabetes management to maintain long-term control of blood sugar levels, in addition to a diabetic diet and proper compliance to medications (if prescribed).
6. A Morning Walk is an excellent way to increase Vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our daily functioning. It plays an important role in calcium metabolism and bone health. It is also an immune modulator. A deficiency of Vitamin D can result in conditions like rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, where bones become soft, weak, fragile, and more prone to fractures.
Unfortunately, a large proportion of the population is deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally synthesised by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. The best time for exposure is in the morning (from sunrise to 8 am), and just prior to sunset. A Morning Walk is helpful in ensuring you get an adequate amount of sun exposure.
7. It helps your joints and muscles
Brisk walking helps to tone the muscles of your leg and abdomen, increasing their bulk and strength. The movements made during brisk walking help squish the cartilage in your joints together, and this helps in the delivery of more oxygen and nutrition to the joint tissues. The movements of brisk walking, especially in the calf muscles, act to enable a pumping mechanism. This promotes better flow of blood back to the heart through the veins and decreases the risk of forming blood clots.
Here are some points to be aware of before incorporating walking as an exercise in your daily routine.
Although walking is low-impact, it still works your muscles and joints. This means before you start walking it is extremely important to invest in a good pair of walking shoes.
While walking, it is a good idea to listen to a podcast you enjoy or make a playlist that keeps you motivated.
Drink enough water before and after your walk. It is very important to stay hydrated, especially if you are new to exercise.
A warm-up and a cool-down is advisable if you plan brisk walks.
A lot of people do not go for Morning Walks because they don’t have parks or open spaces nearby. This is especially the case in larger cities. In such cases, walking on a treadmill is a convenient option. Although taking a walk in nature has numerous added benefits, walking on the treadmill is an effective alternative.
Brisk walking is an easy and accessible form of exercise.
If you are looking to lose weight walking is a great place to start. Talk to your doctor in case you have any pre-existing condition to find out if it is an appropriate form of exercise for you.
A sedentary lifestyle can result in numerous health risks over time. If you have a job in which you have to sit for long hours, a Morning Walk can help you start the day on just the right active note!
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.
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