Here’s The Best Time Of Day To Go For A Walk

May 1, 2022


We all know that walking is highly beneficial for us, but is there a specific time we should be engaging in this activity? Turns out there is. Starting your day off with a walk, whether it’s around your neighborhood or part of your morning commute, can boast a slurry of health benefits. One benefit that might not seem particularly obvious is how our body is affected by light. Light is the principal controller for our day to night cycle, influencing everything from body temperature to metabolism and sleep. When we get a dose of light within an hour of waking, each cell and neuron can set itself appropriately. Luckily, we don’t need continuous hours of light, rather, a ten-minute walk is good enough to receive these benefits. While overcast or poor weather might deter you from doing this, know that even cloudy daylight contains more lux than indoor lighting .

3 Reasons To Get Outside In The Morning:

1. Enhances Circadian Rhythm
Most of us are familiar with the notion that bright light at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm. But what about in the morning? Our light sensitivity is at its lowest when we first rise, meaning, we need a bright burst of light to alert our brain and set our circadian rhythms during the day. Various studies have shown that how we spend the first hour of our day can either make or break our chances of getting a good night’s sleep. So how does it work exactly? The light in the morning essentially tells the layer of neurons behind our eyes that it’s time to get up, ensuring that our production of melatonin eases off and resets. However, a shock of morning light can also send cortisol throughout our bodies, which later can help us wake up and keep us energized. While I don’t advocate for intense artificial light first thing in the morning, a few minutes spent outside without sunglasses can immensely help.

Did you know that morning light can also activate our bodies to make serotonin? Serotonin, a chemical produced by our nerve cells that’s essentially responsible for making us feel good, regulates how well we sleep, later converting to melatonin, the very hormone we need to sleep soundly. While it may seem counterintuitive, an early morning walk may be the very best thing we could do to help improve our evening sleep.

2.Encourages Metabolic Health
While our circadian rhythm surely benefits from an early morning walk, so does our metabolic health. Metabolism is a process in which substances such as food are broken down and used for energy. When walking, you increase your metabolism with a higher degree of speed, endurance, and inclination. By boosting your effort when engaging in this exercise, your body increases its energy demand. Even more so, walking several times per week can effectively increase your basal metabolic rate, which is how fast your metabolism works when you’re at rest.

A 2012 study found that women who took a brisk 45-minute walk at 8 a.m. every day were more active for the rest of the day. They also happened to be less responsive to images of food. Some researchers now think we eat less after exercise due to brisk movement raising our body temperature, activating hypothalamic neurons, which help us control food intake. However, a new theory emerges that we may eat less after being active due to a hormone called growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), which our bodies produce when we’re active. Researchers are clear that GDF-15 suppresses appetite in monkeys and rodents and are now figuring out its effects on humans . Whether it’s due to heat or hormones, a morning walk seems to help inordinate feelings of hunger, further helping regulate our appetite.

3.Upholds Cardiovascular Health
The light in the morning can do more than just wake us up and help us drift to sleep. A walk in the early morning could also protect our hearts. A 2019 study suggests that bright light can protect and enhance our cardiovascular health by boosting a particular gene that strengthens blood vessels and cuts our risk of a heart attack. Researchers had already noticed the link between light and heart disease, noting a correlation between winter months and a great occurrence of heart attacks. But in this study, participants exposed to 30 minutes of intense light between 8:30 and 9 a.m. for five days straight had raised levels of a protein called PER2. This protein is essential for setting circadian rhythms, aiding in metabolism, and blood vessels. Not only that, but studies show that walking 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 19 percent. Imagine the benefits of coupling it with what we know about light from this study?

The Takeaway:
Whether you take one or multiple walks a day, aim for getting at least ten minutes of morning light to receive the maximum benefits.

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6 Tips For Upping Your Walking Game, According To Harvard Health
This Overlooked Exercise Can Improve Digestion

ウォーキングは私たちにとって非常に有益であることは誰もが知っていますが、ウォーキングに適した特定のタイミングはあるでしょうか?朝の通勤の一部であったり、ごく近所を歩くだけだとしても、散歩で一日を始めることは、健康上の利点としては明白です。特に私たちの体が光によってどのような影響を受けるかは特筆すべき点です。光は私たちの昼から夜のサイクルの主要なコントローラーであり、体温から代謝、睡眠まですべてに影響を与えます。目覚めてから1時間以内に光が当たると、細胞とニューロンは適切に設定されます。幸いなことに、連続して何時間も光に当たる必要はありません。むしろ、これらのメリットを享受するには10分間のウォーキングで十分です。悪天候の場合はスキップしたとしても、曇りの日の陽光は屋内照明よりも強いことを知っておいてください 。






朝の光は、私たちを目覚めさせ、眠りにつくのを助けるだけではありません。早朝の散歩は私たちの心臓を守ることができます。 2019年の研究は、明るい光が血管を強化する特定の遺伝子を増強することにより、心臓血管の健康を保護および強化できることを示唆しています。研究者たちは、冬の数ヶ月と心臓発作の発生との相関関係に注目し、光と心臓病の関連性にすでに着目していました。しかし、この研究では、午前8時30分から午前9時までの間に30分間の強い光に5日間連続してさらされた参加者は、PER2と呼ばれるタンパク質のレベルが上昇しました。このタンパク質は、概日リズムの設定、新陳代謝の促進、および血管に不可欠です。それだけでなく、研究によると、1日30分歩くと心臓病のリスクを19%減らすことができます。