Morning Walks: How a Simple Habit Transformed My Health

Morning Walks: How a Simple Habit Transformed My Health

Getting up early was rarely the case for me. Normally, I went to bed at about 11 p.m. and would wake up on my own sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. Not anymore; now, I would wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., no matter when I went to bed. At first, I didn’t really know what to do with all this extra time, and then I became true to having a stroll in the morning. Here is what has happened to my health by adding only this simple habit.

A Spark of a New Routine

Rise Early
I was not an early riser, but rising early became the new normal. My bedtime also became earlier to fit the new wake-up time correspondingly.
Since I started waking up early, so I had time to start the day off right with a new habit: morning walks.

Changes I Wanted to Make
Having a desk job drove home the point that I really needed to get more exercise. I decided that I would take a two-mile walk each morning, thinking that perhaps this might be a good way to kick up my overall activity level each day.
My next decision was to turn this new-found morning time into something really healthy—adding a two-mile walk.

Immediate Changes

Increased Steps per Day
My daily steps were coming to be around 4,000 to 5,000 before the morning walks began. Now, after one month, I regularly clock 12,000 to 15,000 steps.
Leaving aside the first Brunswick impression, the most easily noticeable change was the drastic increase in the number of my daily steps with the commencement of the morning walks.

Positive Family Feedback
My daughter, used to check my daily steps on my Apple Watch and notice. Her approval added an extra layer of motivation.
What made me feel good was that when I started checking nightly on my Apple Watch, it showed me the increase in the daily steps. The second is the Health Improvements category.

Lower Resting Heart Rate
This trumps resting heart rate, which is one of the biggest predictors of cardiovascular health. From 55-60, mine fell to about 45—”closer to elite athlete levels.”
My heart rate was drastically reduced, which indicated that my daily walks were definitely increasing my cardiovascular efficiency.

Improved Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
High HRV refers to a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. My HRV changed from 36-40 ms to 45-55 ms.
I improved in my heart rate variability, which was an indication of better health and resilience to stress.

Improved VO2 Max
VO2 max measures aerobic fitness. From 38.5, it shifted to 42, according to my Apple Watch Sensor, indicating improved cardiovascular endurance.
There has been a tremendous improvement in my Vo2 max hence improved aerobic fitness.

Transformation of Sleep Quality

Faster Sleep Onset
I was falling asleep faster and getting deeper and REM sleep. Walking raised my sleep pressure, so by 10 p.m., I was ready for bed.
Walking helped me go to sleep quicker and enhanced the quality of my sleep to have more deep and REM sleep.

Circadian Rhythm Regulation
Getting exposition to early morning sunlight regulated my circadian rhythm, whereby I had improved sleeping.
The early morning sunlight during my walks to a large extent regulated my circadian rhythm.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Mood Enhancement
Walking released endorphins, hence reducing anxiety and depression. Generally, my mood improved; I felt more positive and energetic.
Morning walk’s endorphins lifted my mood significantly, thereby reducing anxiety and depression.

Stress Reduction
Walking became my stress reliever that gave me mental clarity and a calming effect.

Weight Management Success

Effective Weight Loss
By incorporating morning walks and reducing intake by a few hundred calories, I dropped from 200 pounds to 187 pounds within a month.
Coupled with calorie control, morning walks ensured effective and sustainable weight loss.

Making It a Sustainable Life Change
It really did not help me in the weight loss process but changed my entire lifestyle and made me far more active throughout the day.
Morning walks proved to be those catalysts through which not only gross changes but an overall active and healthier lifestyle came.

Holistic Approach Is Maintained—

Comprehensive Health Benefits
From reduced heart rates to sleeping better and elevating one’s mood, the advantages would be holistic in terms of improving various facets of my health.
The comprehensive health benefits from morning walks touched every aspect of my wellbeing.

Long-term Commitment
The ease and power of being able to walk every morning was enough to have an impact on my desire to make this a habit long-term.
The easiness and huge benefits of walking motivated me to make this activity a ritual in my life.

Conclusion: Get Up and Start Walking This Morning.

If you’re looking for a no-pressure way to get healthy, here’s your answer: Take an easy morning walk. It doesn’t require a gym membership or killing oneself at the gym; just 35 minutes a day will go a long way. Need to log more steps, lower your heart rate, sleep better, or boost your mood? A morning walk can help you hit all those targets.

Ready to enhance your wellbeing? Start your morning walk routine today and consider pursuing a Holistic Fitness Coach Certificate to guide others on their wellness journey!

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