Hey Angels and Alphas,
It’s very easy for make a habit out of reaching for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Then again in the mid-afternoon when you need some extra energy. But instead, why not try lacing up your walking shoes? Research has shown that going for a walk can be even better for you than drinking a cup of coffee in terms of getting a morning energy boost.
Here’s the science.
A group of researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens discovered that when people walked in a stairwell at low to moderate intensity for about a 5 or even 10 minutes, they felt more energized than when they straight up consumed 50mg caffeine. This is the amount in half a cup of coffee or slightly more than the amount in a regular can of soda. Other research actually showed that walking for more than 20 minutes helps people feel more energized.
Researchers noted that all the best available evidence suggests that exercise induces changes directly in the brain’s neurotransmitters, which play a role in boosting energy. Walking creates changes to brain norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and histamine.
Walking also increases blood circulation throughout the body, which helps to get more oxygen and nutrients directly to the brain and muscles, helping you to feel more alert.
But are there any specific reasons why walking might be better than a morning cup of coffee?
1. IT HELPS YOU GAIN MOMENTUM FOR THE DAY
When we get up and go for a walk, we immediately change our environment. If we do it first thing in the morning, we will create a great mental reset that will set us on the right track for the day. Often, when we feel tired or lack focus, it’s due to stress. Spending even a mere 10 minutes walking outdoors in the morning can help you de-stress better than a cup of coffee.
2. IT IMPROVES YOUR OVERALL HEALTH
Going for a walk isn’t just one of the best quick fixes to being more alert and in the moment. It’s also an effective way to maintain or even improve your health when you do is consistently enough. Regular exercise, and this includes walking, will help you feel more awake, be in a better mood, and it will also help your cardiovascular health and memory function.
3. WALKING WON’T INTERFERE WITH YOUR SLEEP
When you’re consuming caffeine, especially in the late afternoon or evening, you might be causing yourself sleep disturbances. This means you’re exhausted and less productive the next day. Instead, going for a walk is likely to help you sleep better at night, which will lead to a positive spiral of more energy and focus. Walking in the morning will also give you a chance to be outside and get exposure to light. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm, ultimately improving your sleep quality.
4. IT BURNS CALORIES
If you’re drinking regular club soda or morning coffee that isn’t black, your caffeinated beverage could easily become a sugar bomb due to all the additives. Physical activity will always beat drinking a beverage for a myriad of health benefits, especially if the coffee you are drinking is flavored with sweetener and cream. Regularly drinking sweetened caffeinated beverages will lead to weight gain, while walking is a great way to achieve the exact opposite.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
If you’re someone who feels tired either in the morning or during your mid-day slump, replacing your cup of coffee with a short, 10-minute walk will help you feel more alert. It’s an ideal way to boost your energy levels, aid weight loss, and boost your mood regardless if you have a whole day of work ahead of you or you’re on your day off.