Friday, July 24, 2015

Simple Life Tweak: How Walking Every Morning Improves Your Health

How Walking Every Morning Improves Your Health

My husband started a pattern of walking every morning a month ago. He began to work on his new creative projects over night and would come in and wake me up at 7am to go for a walk. It was the end of his "shift" so to speak, and a time I've always wanted to start getting up. I love the mornings, but my depression created a really bad habit of hitting snooze five to ten times every morning. It was becoming a habit I wanted to break and he unknowingly has helped me. I love this time of year. It is a lot easier to begin a simple habit such as this, because in our area the sun rises at 6 am in the Summer and it's perfect weather outside in the morning. I started sleeping with the blinds open while he worked over night so that the sun could wake me up.

Creating a simple habit of walking has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself, and here's why:
  • I have stopped being a snooze pusher, which is a habit I have hated having! 
  • I get 30 minutes of exercise every single morning before anything else in the world gets in the way. 
  • I get to see the sun rise over the mountains every morning and see the beauty in my neighborhood before there are lots of cars and people out and about. We also beat the summer heat and enjoy the cool, morning, air.
Blue sky with trees and a cloud

  • I get a date with my husband on the days we go together. This way no matter what gets in the way, we've had time with each other to talk about life, laugh, and dream together. We hold hands and really just enjoy each other's company. 
  • On the days he doesn't go with me, I still go. It's been a month now. He had a crazy schedule this week and was sick for part of it, so I just got up and went walking myself. I have now formed a habit that I intend to carry on into the winter and for the rest of my life. 
  • I am healing my depression, and healing my weakened body. I was practically immobile for the past 18 months. I was too anxious and depressed to do much, and for a lot of it, I did nothing but sit at my desk for work, sit in the car, sit on the couch, and sleep. My muscle tone and cardio endurance has completely diminished. I am tired easily, and I'm weak. My immune system is weak. This habit is actually strengthening everything and healing the damage.
  • I am no longer a night owl, and get to sleep at good hours. I go to bed around 10 or 11 pm, and wake up around 7 am. 
Snail leaving a trail
Found on my walk a few days ago.
It's not just me that should be doing this either. This is something that can benefit us all. There are SO many websites dedicated to health and fitness that specifically talk about the positive effects of walking for 30 minutes every day. Our society is so sedentary that often we are killing ourselves by not getting up and moving. Desk jobs take a lot out of us. We were designed to move, and it is our vitality that suffers when we don't. The Mayo Clinic (a site that is very trustworthy for health stats) states several benefits of regular walking, here. These are my favorite reasons listed in the article:

  • Maintains healthy weight
  • Prevents or manages a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthens bones 
  • Lifts moods
  • Improves balance and coordination
Jen Reviews also has 50 Amazing Benefits of Walking Daily on their site, if the 5 I posted above just aren't enough. (It's science guys!)

If you walk frequently, you get even more of the benefits! It's so great because most of us can walk. Running is hard and taxing on the body and although it's a great workout, most of us sedentary folk struggle with a good run because it takes a lot out of us. Try walking, instead. If you can't walk fast, just get up and move at your own pace. The benefits will come, and soon you'll be walking with a faster and more confident stride.  You'll also be happier because you know you're doing great things for yourself. 

Give it a try, the worst thing that could happen is your health will improve!

++ Do you walk regularly? What benefits have you seen in your life?

Mimosa Tree flowers and street


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