Benefits of Morning Walks

Marshal McKenzie and Keaton Ellis shredded looking out at Lake Ontario

Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise. It provides a massive list of benefits, many more than just exercise, that you most certainly should be taking advantage of. It is easy, everyone can do it and best of all it is free. Whether you work a desk job or an active job that already requires you to move a lot, walking should still have its place in your day. 

Walking as little as 15-30 minutes, especially in the morning (my favourite time), is an amazing way to start your day. It allows you to get fresh air, some sunlight (if it’s up) and is a great way to collect your thoughts for the upcoming day. 

I almost think of it as sort of a type of meditation when done early in the morning. Streets where I am are quiet, no one is around, and you could hear a pin drop. While this may not be the case for you depending on where you live, it still feels great to get outside when it is not peak busy-ness.

Health Benefits Of Walking

-Increases cardiovascular performance and endurance.

-30 minutes of walking, five days per week can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 19%.

-One small study found that walking can lower your blood sugar.

-Reduces risk of being affected by seasonal cold and flu’s.

-Another study found that stair walking energized sleep deprived women more than a low dose of caffeine, which is pretty crazy considering caffeine is a stimulant.

-Walking 30 minutes per day was found to be sufficient in helping reduce mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

-Walking positively affects cognitive performance in creativity.

When Is The Best Time?

This question is completely subjective. People work different schedules and live different lives, therefore your free time may vary. Someone who works a common 9-5 may be inclined to go earlier in the day before work. But this would obviously not work for someone doing overnight shifts. The goal is to find the best time(s) that you can stick to and enjoy. 

Why I Enjoy Mornings Best

Personally, I am a morning person so I enjoy going with a cup of black coffee between 6-9am (depends on my work schedule that day). There is nothing better than breathing in some fresh air first thing in the morning. My focus when walking is not to work up a huge sweat and get my heart racing (otherwise I would just run), it is to focus on being present in the moment for the day ahead. I walk alone, so this alone time allows me to collect my thoughts and really nail down what it is I need to do for the day. 

Like I said though, this is up to you. You may find the same benefits I do, or not. Test out different times of the day and see what you like.

Bring Your Dog!

This one should be rather obvious if you are a dog owner… bring your pup with you! It’s always nice to have company on a walk, especially when they are enjoying it more than you! If you don’t have a dog, I suggest getting a dog (lol). In all seriousness though, you can always ask your partner or a friend if they’d like to go if you don’t want to go alone.

Tracking Your Steps

I typically recommend walking between 5,000 to 10,000 steps per day. This is a good range for the length of your walks. If this is too much for you, simply start with less and work your way up. I highly recommend using a way to track the length of your walks. iPhone’s track steps (not as accurately as other ways) but it will give you a rough count if your phone is in your pocket while walking. 

Other options include FitBit’s, Apple Watch, other smart watches, or a good ol’ reliable pedometer. There are plenty of inexpensive options, so there’s no real reason not to be tracking your steps.

Look At Is As A Pleasure, Not Exercise

Some people may love walking, others not so much. It is important to establish the proper mindset behind doing this everyday. Walking is literally the simplest and easiest exercise you can do. As such, I like to tell my clients to focus on your surroundings during your walk and learn to ENJOY the experience with nature. Know that your interaction with the Earth, society, and nature should be something to love. Our goal with walking is to burn some calories, move your body, absorb some sunlight vitamins, collect thoughts and be present in the moment, without ramping up a massive appetite like other forms of cardio such as running or HIIT.

How Can I Make Walking Harder?

The more you do something, the better you inevitably become at it. Walking is no different. After some months of typical walking, you may (or may not) want to increase the difficulty to continue progressing. This is very simple to do.

First, take a more challenging walking route. Go up hills, go through forests, go explore more. Doing this will definitely challenge you.

Second thing you can do is simply add weight to your body while walking. Grab a backpack, fill it up with heavy knickknacks around the house, and go for a walk. 

Making It A Routine

To reap the benefits of walking, especially in the morning, you must make a conscious effort to make walking a routine in your daily life. The more you skip walks, the less likely you are to go again. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure you go everyday to keep the momentum up. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, do your absolute best to push yourself to go once per day and make it a habit for you.

The Importance Of Water

This should be pretty self explanatory (and to be honest, is more of a disclaimer than anything lol!). You shouldn’t walk or exercise without sufficient hydration. Aim to drink 8, 8oz glasses of water per day. So you should be drinking nearly 64oz of water per day.

Marshal McKenzie

Marshal is the original Founder of Everfit in 2019. With over 8 years of training and nutrition knowledge, Marshal has excelled in helping thousands of people around the world transform their body and live a happier, more fulfilling life.