6 benefits of morning walks
…that will stop you hitting that snooze button!
Although Thailand has some charming locations for a morning stroll, even around parts of Bangkok, we know how difficult it can be to wake up early, especially to wake up early and exercise? However, if you’ve had the chance to go walking around Nai Harn Lake in Phuket, Lumpini Park in Bangkok or the Nong Buakhad Park in Chiang Mai early in the morning, you already know that the experience is on a whole new level, compared to walking in the midst of the heat during the day or at night with the mosquitos.
The benefits of morning walks are immediately noticeable, and at least momentarily makes you want to do it again.
The trick is, how do you make it a regular habit? To help with that, today we give you the top 6 benefits of morning walks. This might motivate you into getting up and out of your bed before the rest of the world gets moving. And best of all, these benefits apply to all, whether you’re a man or woman, young or old. So, get ready to reset your body clock and become an early riser!
For those, who are not used to waking up early and the relatively sedentary folks, who might be wondering why we’re pressing so much on the importance of morning walks. Well despite the simplicity of the act, morning walks provide substantial health benefits. And by health, we mean both physical as well as mental health. The points mentioned below will give you a clearer understanding of the benefits of morning walks…
#6: The happy pill that fights depression
Depression is a silent killer that looms in the dark and creeps up on you when you are least prepared for it. Anyone who’s ever suffered through depression knows that it is not easy to escape its clutches. And before you jump to the conclusion that it is not something you don’t have to worry with, know that 1 out every 10 people are a victims of depression.
The good news, however, is that the simple act of going for an early morning walk can help to keep depression at bay. Walking causes the body to release endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. It also gives you a sense of happiness and wellbeing.
When you add to this, the quiet of the morning, the clean, fresh oxygen and a sense of accomplishment, all traces of depression are wiped off. So, the next time you’re feeling a bit low, take an early morning walk around Bang Wad Dam or some other scenic place and see how it makes you feel good immediately.
#5: Helps to bust all your stress
You’ve probably flown to Thailand to best the stress back home. It could be work stress, family stress or lifestyle stress. A holiday sure helps release some of that stress, however, if you’re aware of the Stress Bucket Model, you’d realise that to effectively beat stress, you need more than one outlet of release. And it is possible to do that without getting worked up too much, only by going for an early morning walk.
Walking causes the body to release anabolic hormones, which brings down the body’s cortisol levels, a stress-related hormone. With the general feeling of happiness, that morning walks provide along with low cortisol levels. Early morning walks become a handy stress-busting tool that you have at your disposal.
#4: Trims down excess body fat
You may have had just a few too many Pad Thais and Mango & Sticky Rice desserts, and become a bit conscious of your body and would like to lose some of that fat hanging off your tummy area. That’s all good, but what if we told you, you could burn many calories by the simple act of taking a walk in the morning?
When you walk, hundreds of muscles, from your arms, legs and torso, get worked up. While about 35% of calorie requirement during a high-intensity workout, is burnt from fat, walking burns about 60% calories from fat. Sure, a high-intensity workout will eventually burn more calories in a single session, but regular morning walks will also help reduce your excess body fat by a significant amount.
#3: May help you fight diabetes
Do you have a history of diabetes in your family? Then you are susceptible to contracting this disease that causes many discomforts as it progresses and can even become critical. Before you get too stressed out over this, there is a simple way to fight this disease at the early stage.
Luckily, the benefits of morning walks also extends to fighting insulin type II diabetes and keeping the blood sugar level under control. This is due to the movement caused during walking that lets more glucose to be burnt by the muscles, thereby controlling diabetes. In fact, if practised from an early stage, it’ll even help bring down the blood sugar back to a reasonable level. So instead of over-stressing yourself over this condition, just wake up early and go for a walk!
#2: Keeps your heart strong and healthy
Walking is an activity that comes most naturally to us. Although it is one of the simplest exercises one could perform, the benefits of morning walks are significant. Walking increases the heart rate causing increased blood circulation in the body. This exercises the heart, keeping it healthy. Walking also causes the high-density lipoprotein levels to go up, which cuts down your chances of getting a heart attack.
Studies have shown that just half an hour of regular morning walks reduces the chances of a heart attack by 50%! So, if you wish to keep your heart healthy, keep a routine of going for morning walks.
#1: Helps you sleep like a log
Sleep is nature’s way of enforcing rest, so that the body may recover from the wear and tear it received all day. However, due to various circumstances that cause stress or elevated cortisol levels. Sometimes sleep may not come very easily. However, the simple act of going for a regular morning walk can help put a stop to this menace of sleeplessness.
Early morning walks give your body the essential physical workout needed so that at the end of the day, the body is tired and easily slips into a sound sleep. So, before you turn into a complete insomniac, take this simple step – get up early and walk!
The benefits of morning walks mentioned above are just from the top of a very long list of benefits that walking in the morning provides. This simple form of exercise that comes most naturally to us ensures a healthy body and mind. Just in case the list above was not enough, maybe the top 10 benefits of morning walks, that goes into much more details, will help convince you to get up early and enjoy a nice long brisk walk!
Krix Luther has been a personal trainer in Phuket for more then 11 years. He specialises in TRX training, weight loss, and body transformations. He also is the program co-ordinator for the new Fitness Holiday Program at the Atmanjai Detox Centre. For more information feel free to contact him here.
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