Fitness Smart Watch

Walking has become a widely embraced and effortlessly accessible form of exercise, requiring no gym memberships or equipment—just a pair of legs ready to stride. However, the art of walking entails a nuanced understanding of when and how to walk to maximize its benefits. Dr. Michael Mosley, host of the BBC science program "Just One Thing," delves into these intricacies in his podcast, exploring the optimal ways to make the most of your walks.

When to Walk: Unveiling the Magic of Morning Strolls


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While walking at any time of the day contributes positively to your well-being, research suggests that morning walks offer unique additional advantages. Beyond exercise, walking is intertwined with exposure to light, making the natural light during mornings particularly beneficial. Dr. Mosley explains that morning light aids in resetting the body's internal biological clock, signaling when to sleep and wake. Embarking on a morning walk signals the commencement of the day, preparing the body for a smooth transition into sleep when bedtime arrives.

Morning walks not only align the body's circadian rhythm but also contribute to the reduction of melatonin, a hormone that aids sleep. Exposure to natural light in the morning keeps you energized and alert throughout the day. Studies indicate that insufficient exposure to natural light during the day, especially in the morning, may contribute to difficulty falling asleep at night. Incorporating morning walks into your routine can positively impact sleep quality, prevent mid-night awakenings, and promote deeper, more restful sleep.

If you're not an early riser, fear not. Walking within two hours of waking up provides similar benefits. Whether you're a night owl or an early bird, the key is to walk shortly after waking up to reap the rewards.

The Importance of Pacing: Brisk Walks for Longevity

Understanding the optimal time for walking leads to the question: does the pace matter? According to Professor Marie Murphy from the University of Ulster, brisk walking contributes to longevity. Research analyzing extensive data on walking, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer-related mortality reveals that increasing your step count reduces the risk of cancer-related deaths.

When it comes to cardiovascular health, brisk walking offers superior protection. Walking the same number of steps at a brisk pace can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 10-20%. Identifying a brisk walking pace involves recognizing when your heart rate accelerates, your body warms up, and your breathing becomes faster than normal. At this pace, you can still hold a conversation but singing becomes challenging. While individual speeds may vary, finding your brisk walking rhythm is key.

Pre or Post-Meal Walks: The Ideal Timing Unveiled

Determining the optimal time for a morning walk raises the question of whether it's better before or after breakfast. Professor Murphy notes that research findings on this matter vary. Some evidence suggests that walking before breakfast may be more favorable for weight loss and glycemic control, while post-meal walks aid in breaking down and processing fats and sugars.

Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences, but both Professor Murphy and Dr. Mosley recommend having a small meal before embarking on a morning walk. Morning walks, as previously established, offer maximum benefits to the body.

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Duration: Unlocking the Exercise Benefits of Walking

Having established the ideal timing and pace, the next question arises: how long should one walk for optimal exercise benefits? Professor Murphy recommends the current standard of 30 minutes of daily exercise. If completing a 30-minute brisk walk in the morning proves challenging, breaking it into two or three sessions throughout the day remains an effective alternative.

Contrary to many other forms of exercise, walking offers flexibility, making it adaptable to multiple sessions. Professor Murphy suggests that the act of walking, especially for those working from home, can enhance metabolism and provide a burst of activity amidst periods of prolonged sitting.

In conclusion, walking, particularly brisk walking, stands as a flexible and accessible means to improve physical and mental well-being. If you're considering a simple yet impactful change to enhance your health, why not give walking a try? And remember, pick up the pace!

When walking, the BP Doctor smart watch can be said to be your good partner. It can monitor your steps and heart rate, etc. It will also sound an alarm when your heart rate exceeds the normal value.