Walking is a highly underrated form of exercise that not only refreshes the mind and invigorates the body but also serves as a valuable low-intensity workout, particularly for those aiming to manage their weight. Whether you’re seeking a gentle fitness routine or a way to enhance your cardiovascular health, walking offers versatility and accessibility.
According to recent research from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, the timing of your daily walk can significantly impact its effectiveness. This study, based on data from 5,285 participants in America’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, identified a key window for maximising the benefits of your walk: the early morning.
The research revealed that individuals who embarked on their walks between 7AM and 9AM experienced more favourable outcomes in terms of weight management and overall health. They exhibited lower body mass indexes and waist circumferences compared to those who walked at other times of the day. Moreover, their self-reported dietary habits indicated healthier choices and reduced daily energy intake per unit of body weight.
Morning walkers, the study found, tend to adhere to natural circadian rhythms and often have more predictable schedules, making it easier to incorporate exercise into their routines. Professor Rebecca Krukowski emphasised the advantage of scheduling morning exercise to avoid distractions from emails, calls, or meetings that can interfere with fitness goals.
Furthermore, the data highlighted that even though morning walkers engaged in less overall physical activity, the quality of their exercise appeared more effective. This aligns with previous research indicating that individuals who exercise later in the day, especially night owls, are more prone to making less healthy food choices and experiencing disrupted sleep patterns.
Making an early morning walk part of your daily routine could set a positive tone for your day, promoting healthier choices and improved overall well-being. So, perhaps it’s time to consider setting your alarm a bit earlier to seize the benefits of this optimal exercise window.