Fitting walks in on weekdays into your daily schedule can be a bit of a juggling experience. It is best to try and stick to a particular time, if at all possible, but obviously this is not always possible. So let’s take a look at morning walks versus evening walks.
So which is best – morning walks or evening walks? Most people find that walking in the morning is preferential to walking in the evening, and appears to have most benefits. However everybody is different, so it is important to look at the pros and cons in context to your own life.
Morning walks – pros and cons
Whilst most people seem to prefer walking in the mornings, there are both pros and cons to doing so.
Pros for walking in the morning
Here are some of the pros for walking in the morning:
- If you are up really early then you cannot beat a beautiful landscape with the sun rising on the horizon. This really is one of the best sights that you can ever experience, the dawning of a new day, and gives you a feeling of new beginnings. Perfect for the spirit.
- Another point here for mother nature – listening to morning birdsong. When the birds wake up and call to each other, the sound can be like music to your ears. It’s no wonder that you can buy recordings of birdsong.
- Pollution levels are at their lowest, and as such the air that you will be breathing will be the freshest air for the day. That fresh air working through your blood system will aid your organs, and set you up for a good day, particularly energy-wise.
- Blood pressure will be lowered by about 10% for the remainder of the day, which will make you calmer and more relaxed during your working day.
- Even though it will be hours before you go to sleep, walking in the morning will improve your sleeping patterns, so you will feel refreshed to start again in the morning.
- It will be quieter with fewer people around, as most people will be hitting their snooze button and trying to get the most amount of sleep they can before heading off for work. But this won’t be good quality sleep, and they won’t be feeling as good as you who is out walking.
- In summer months, it will be cooler walking in the morning as the sun hasn’t risen fully, so you will feel fresher.
Cons for walking in the morning
And here are some cons for walking in the morning:
- Your muscles will be cold, and thus you will take longer to warm them up for peak performance.
- If you are working in the morning, you may not have the time to walk for as long or as far as you would like to before having to get ready for work.
- In winter months it will be dark and cold, and you will have to be very self disciplined to roll out of bed early.
Evening walks – pros and cons
Pros for walking in the evening
Here are some pros for walking in the evening:
- A walk in the evening offers the chance of witnessing a beautiful sunset, which can be as exhilarating as a sunrise in the morning.
- Taking an evening walk, after a busy day at work, can help relax you ready for bed. Stress levels can be brought down, thus enabling a calmer you to settle down for a good night’s sleep.
- If you’ve been over indulgent with your calories during the day, then an evening walk can help your digestion system work to burn them off.
- Your muscles, which have been working all day, are all warmed up and ready for action. It’s always good to remember to stretch those muscles though.
- Because your muscles are warmed up, you will feel more powerful and able to walk further, faster and for longer.
- If you’ve been scrunched up in front of a computer screen all day, going for an evening walk will help your spine and muscles get back into place by reducing tension.
Cons for walking in the evening
And here are some cons for walking in the evening:
- Pollution levels are at their highest point, with a days worth of cars, lorries and motorbikes having been travelling all day.
- If you are eating a heavy dinner, you will need to wait for a couple of hours before setting off for a walk. However, you can cut that time down with a lighter meal.
- Alternatively, you may go for a walk as soon as you get home, but this will push back the time that you eat. Which may not leave enough time to digest properly before going to bed.
- In winter especially, but also in spring and autumn, you may find that you are walking in the dark, which brings in added safety issues that you would want to consider.
Working out what is best for you
The most important factor in deciding whether a morning walk or evening walk is best for you, is how it fits in with your lifestyle. It’s no good reading these pros and cons and deciding you are going to walk in the morning if it doesn’t actually fit in with your day.
For example, you may have a high powered job that involves a commute, but you are expected to be there early as you have tasks you need to complete before other staff arrive. Because of this you finish on time. In this scenario it would be almost impossible to fit a morning walk into your schedule too, and so you should adopt an evening walk practice.
Alternatively, you may work locally, and not required to start till 9.00, but often do some overtime or socialise with your colleagues after work. Whilst you don’t have a long distance to travel home, the fact that you can’t commit to a walk after work with confidence, and that if you get up a little earlier you can easily fit a walk in the morning, the choice becomes easy.
Whatever you choose, a morning walk or evening walk, you need to select the choice that best suits you and you can commit to regularly.
Conclusion : Which is best, a morning or evening walk
Whilst many people prefer a morning walk, you need to find out what is best for yourself. Does a morning walk fit into your schedule best? Or perhaps your work hours dictate that actually, you will benefit more from walking in the evening. As a reminder, here are the pros and cons for each.
Take a look at this post on keeping cool whilst walking during the summer heat.
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