Want to Lose Weight and Feel Great? Enjoy a Morning Walk!
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise to promote weight loss and overall good health.
Here are 5 good reasons why:
1) Walking elevates your heart rate.
Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to elevate your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and burn calories. In order to reap the greatest health benefits, you need to walk briskly – not just stroll along slowly. Starting out at a slower pace is a good idea, to allow the body to warm up and avoid injury. Then gradually increase your speed so you are moving along at a nice pace, not quite running but definitely hustling a little bit.
If you can’t sustain a rapid pace for long, it’s okay to vary your speed so you walk at a slower pace, then a faster pace for two or three minutes at a time. The slower periods will allow you some time to catch your breath and relax your muscles somewhat, while the faster pace periods will challenge you and help you get into better shape.
2) Walking helps you tone and build lean muscle.
While walking is not typically a “weight building” exercise, it IS a form of resistance exercise because you are propelling your own body weight forward and forcing your leg and hip muscles to work harder, which does ultimately build some lean muscle. All over lower body toning is also a welcome benefit from daily walking.
3) Walking boosts your energy.
A brisk walk first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to wake up your body and generate some great energy to carry you through the rest of the day.
See: 3 ways to Boost Your Energy and Lose Weight
4) Walking clears your mind.
Most of us have very cluttered minds that are constantly swirling with all kinds of thoughts and stimulus from outside influences. Taking a brisk walk forces you to focus on the very simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again until the walk is finished. While you can focus on other things at the same time, the very act of walking seems to have a calming effect on the mind. If you want to intensify this effect, do your best to stay fully present while you walk. Avoid letting your mind wander onto other things and instead keep bringing your attention back to the feel of your body moving and your immediate surroundings. Even better, avoid listening to music while you walk and instead just enjoy the peace and quiet, especially if you walk in a natural setting like a park or wooded trails.
5) Walking relieves stress.
If you commit to taking a brisk morning walk each and every day, you’ll notice something interesting over time: you feel less stressed most of the time. Even if you typically don’t feel stressed in the mornings, just taking a walk seems to prevent stress from building up within you as the day goes on. If you do happen to feel stressed later in the day, take another walk! Brisk walking is a fantastic way to burn off excess tension and return to a nice, calm state again.