Why walking in the morning means so much to me.
I was listening to the problogger podcast (really good for any level of blogger), about the story of Krista and her positivity blog, A Life In Progress. She mentioned something that really stuck with me: the importance of being able to breathe, think and potter. I can relate to this on so many levels. It’s why I get up an hour or two earlier than I need to for a morning walk.
Walking in the morning is time to myself, before I have to rush off to the school and put all my energy into the kids. I’m used to getting up early for kayak training, and putting my body through a lot of strain first thing in the morning. Walking still gives me a sense of achievement, but it is lower impact. It leaves me feeling relaxed rather than stressed and under pressure before 8am.
If you go for a morning walk, you’ve accomplished something with your day. It doesn’t matter what else happens, you can never feel like the day was wasted. Walking in the morning helps me feel like I owned my day; that it wasn’t just dictated by work and other commitments. Walking is something I do purely for myself. There is no end goal, and no targets.
A Morning walk for a healthy mind and body
Many people lead very sedentary lifestyles, often through no fault of their own. The early commute, combined with sitting in an office and working late hours do not leave much room for activity. In this case, any daily increase in our step count over a prolonged period has a positive long term health impact. One 30 minute walk every morning equates to over 1 million extra steps in a year!
For regular gym attendees, a morning walk is a nice low impact form of cardio to complement your program, and get you outside. Short and sharp HIIT sessions are often lauded for their fat burning properties, however low intensity exercise also has it’s place. I love this article on the wellbeing website Lust for Life. Quite a hard hitting message but it highlights the physical benefits of walking.
As a more sustainable activity walking can be continued for longer without any spike in cortisol, the stress hormone. Walking also has also the associated mental benfits of spending time in the outdoors. The scenery may not be stunning, but it is suprising how peaceful residential roads can be at 6am. Even if you live in a very built up area, give Google Maps a check. There may be green spaces closer by than you realise.
How to convince your tired self out on a walk
I don’t turn my morning walks into a power walk. I don’t have to be out for a certain time, achieve a certain number of steps or walk at a particular pace. As soon as I add these competitive targets, the walking loses it’s relaxing quality and instead becomes about watch checking. I am much less inclined to get out of bed for this than a calming stroll.
Always make sure to charge your phone/headphones the night before! I love listening to podcasts while i’m walking along. A few i’ve been listening to recently are: Problogger (educational), Walking the dog with Emily Dean (interesting conversations with popular celebrities), the Health Code (fitness and motivation) and Pretty Basic (hilarious). Search for and listen to hundreds of podcasts with the Podbean app.
Sometimes, even when the sun sun is streaming through the window, not lying in bed for an extra 40 minutes is the hardest thing. I try not to think too much when my alarm goes off. Just throw back the covers and stand up. Another strategy I use is to convince myself that there is something I really need from Tescos, so I’ve got to walk at least that far. Once i’m out, it’s easy to keep going.
Most importantly of all: DONT BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU MISS A WALK. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Give my homepage a visit and a like, and subscribe for weekly notifications. Have a wonderful week xx