Having trouble getting more steps in your busy day? Get extra time in your day, take in a beautiful sunrise and increase your step count with a morning walk! Starting your day off active can improve your mood, give you a positive outlook and leave you energized and ready for the day ahead. Here’s how!
Note: If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)!
Prepare ahead of time!
Preparing for your morning walk ahead of time is extremely important, yet easier than you think. Taking the “leg-work” out of your morning walk and removing potential obstacles to getting up and walking makes it that much easier to start you on your new healthy path. You’ll be more motivated to get up and get moving if you can just wake up and go.
- Prep your clothes: Lay out your walking clothes and shoes the night before. You won’t have to think about what to wear and track down all of your gear. Laying your clothes out also visually motivates you to get ready in the morning.
- Set out a snack: Plan out your light and healthy morning meal before going to bed. Do any prep work ahead of time, or choose an easy-to-grab snack like a banana or granola bar. You will probably want to avoid eating a large breakfast before your walk. Consider leaving out a quick snack, and then having the remainder of a light breakfast after your walk. Having a healthy breakfast ready to go allows you to eat and get going, and removes the obstacle of having to decide on your breakfast and make it.
- Go to bed early: Get to bed early the night before and set your alarm. Getting plenty of sleep can make or break your morning walk. You’ll feel more energized and focused, and it’s just easier to get up when you’ve had more sleep.
- Plan out your walking route: Knowing where you are going gives you peace of mind so you can concentrate on enjoying the fresh air and heart-healthy benefits you will be receiving. You can also visualize what you’ll see along the way which can motivate you to start your walk. If you’re not sure where to walk, create your own Route using Pacer’s Routes function or find a new one.
Why walk in the morning?
- Improve your mood: Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins in the body that makes you feel good. You don’t need to run a marathon to help free them. Walking will do just fine!
- Get more energy to start your day: Walking can help improve circulation, and the brisk morning air can wake you up and feel great! You’ll also have a sense of accomplishment knowing you got up and got a great walk, which you can carry through your day.
- Sleep better: Walking relaxes your mind as you exercise your body. Getting more active during the day (and in the morning) can help you sleep better at night. This also helps you get up earlier for your walk, reinforcing your motivation!
- Improves your memory: Recent research has shown in as little as 20-30 minutes of walking, you may slow cognitive decline as well as reduce the risk of dementia. It can help you focus on tasks and solve problems, which could be just what you need when you get to work!
- Ensure you get your 30 minutes: Health organizations like the WHO, CDC, and NHS recommend at least 30 minutes of walking per day, 5 days a week. Life can often get in the way, but not if you get that 30 minutes in at the very start of your day! Studies have shown that small amounts of walking can give unexpected benefits, and even light exercise can reduce your risk of death. This means that even a leisurely morning stroll can have some powerful health-boosting effects.
- Jumpstart your weight loss: Getting more steps means burning more calories, which can help lose weight. By choosing healthy, light breakfast options that you can grab and go can also help you avoid unnecessary breakfast calories as well!
The great thing about walking is that you can do it anywhere and anytime you choose. There’s no membership required, and it’s free. Starting your day off with a brisk walk makes you feel great, helps you get steps and puts you in a position for a great day ahead. See a beautiful sunrise, watch as your town or city wakes up, and rejuvenate your spirit. Your mind and body will thank you!
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.