Soft sunlight creeps through my blinds and graces my bed. Beneath my comforter, I roll over to check my phone. Ahh, it’s 6:30 am. Time to start my day.
I semi-consciously get out of bed, head to the kitchen, and boil water. I make a fresh French Press of coffee, pour it into my travel mug, and begin my day in my favorite way: a morning walk.
For some, that sounds like hell. For others, they’d find the idea to be a waste of time; opting for lifting cylindrical plates form hell on a bar across their shoulders.
But to both, I say: hear me out. An early-day stroll is more than just a walk; it’s a game-changer for your productivity, mindset, and the rest of your day.
There are a ton of health benefits of a morning walk, including:
- Prevention of Strokes
- Prevention of Arthritis
- Controls Cholesterol
- Helps with Depression
- Strengthens the Heart
- Lowers Risk of Diabetes
But those are all long-term benefits and, being a busy person, I’m sure you want to hear about the benefits of a walk for your everyday life.
Let’s talk about why a walk in the morning can set you up for an optimal day:
Walking allows you time to plan and brainstorm
Many people begin their mornings with a phone screen blaring into groggy eyes, hurrying out of bed, a morning commute, and starting work. Where is the time to think creatively? Jumpstarting your day straight into work and obligations sets yourself up for a stale routine.
Instead, a morning walk allows you time to plan your day, think up ideas, or even contemplate how your personal life is going. Planning out what you need to do in the morning will end up making you more productive throughout the day.
Walking aids in generating ideas
A Stanford study showed that walking increases one’s creativity. And since problem-solving thrives off creative thinking, a morning walk could be the solution to creating solutions at work or generating new ideas.
Both Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are well-known for holding their meetings while walking. The simple act of movement is what sparks creative thinking in our minds.
Walking creates a sense of achievement
A simple 20-minute morning walk means you got in a healthy dose of movement at the beginning of the day. This is what the scientific community likes to call small wins.
Accomplishing a task in the morning creates a sense of achievement that carries on for the rest of your day. When you start your day with an accomplishment, your self-confidence, and performance increase.
Walking energizes you, perhaps even better than coffee
To be productive throughout the day, you need to have the energy to do so. Walking in the mornings is vitalizing for the body and is said to be more energizing than a morning coffee if done for long enough.
Increasing energy at the start of the day will increase your retention and creative thinking throughout the rest of the day.
Walking allows you time to be alone
Great ideas come from a mixture of two things: movement and solitude.
A morning walk is a chance to be by yourself. Think about it: when are you ever alone with your thoughts? Work involves meetings and colleagues. Being at home means dealing with kids, significant others, or distractions like Netflix. A morning walk allows you to be completely, utterly alone.
Some of my best writing ideas came from a morning walk. I had no distractions, no one to talk to, just me, and my thoughts.
Walking improves your sleep
Our sleep quality affects everything from mood, hormone balance, stress levels, and overall physical health.
If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, a morning walk could help with that. Research suggests that a simple walk in the morning can improve the sleep of people that have trouble falling asleep. Plus, the exposure to the light early in the morning reinforces our natural circadian rhythm.
A morning walk, with its exposure to light and movement, is a double whammy in helping to aid your nighttime slumber.
A night owl is simply someone who hasn’t adjusted to the mornings; I truly believe everyone can make a morning walk happen.
And with the long list of benefits, why wouldn’t you take one? Wake up a little early and opt out of mindlessly scrolling through social media.
Your productivity and body will thank you.
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