Hey Angels and Alphas,
We know that whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, it can easily become a habit for you to grab a cup of coffee when you wake up in the morning. Or later in the day, when you’re looking for a boost for your afternoon slump.
But did you know lacing up your sneakers can be a more effective strategy (and make you feel better) than drinking a cup of coffee when you need an energy boost?
Recent studies performed at the University of Georgia in Athens discovered that when people walked in a stairwell at about a moderate intensity for about 10 minutes, they felt more energized than they would when they drank 50mg of caffeine. And some other research has suggested walking for more than 20 minutes can help you feel much more energized.
Some of the best available evidence points to the fact that exercises induce changes in the neurotransmitters in your brain. Likely dopamine, serotonin, histamine, and norepinephrine are involved. Walking also promotes better blood circulating through the body, helping get more oxygen and nutrients inside your brain and muscles. This helps you feel more alert.
HERE’S WHY WALKING BEATS CAFFEINE
#1 BETTER OVERALL HEALTH
Going for a walk is much more than a quick fix to get you alert and present. It’s an effective way to manage your weight, maintain and improve your health, and burn off excess fat. Regular exercise, including an activity like walking, will help improve your mood, cardiovascular health, memory function, and alertness.
2. IT CHANGES THE SCENERY
When you get up and go out for a walk, you’re changing your environment. This is a great mental reset that can help you throughout your day. Often, when you’re tired of slumped, you might feel that you’re lacking focus or feeling tired due to the extra stress. But spending just 10 minutes walking in nature can help you de-stress better than your daily cup of coffee.
3. IT WON’T INTERFERE WITH YOUR SLEEP PATTERNS
Caffeine, especially when it’s late evening or afternoon, can actually lead to sleep disturbances. This means you’ll be exhausted and less productive the next day. Going for a walk is likely going to help you get more energy and focus, all while helping you sleep better at night. Walking also gives you the ability to get some fresh air, vitamin D from the sun, as well as regulate your circadian rhythm – another important factor in sleep quality.
4. IT HAS NO SIDE EFFECTS
A short walk won’t introduce any new substances to your body that cause any changes. Although caffeine does help you stay more alert and focused when you’re drinking it in moderation, too much of it can lead to jitters, nausea, irritability, and other negative side effects that you’ll never find after a brisk walk.
5. IT’S CALORIE-FREE
If you’re drinking coffee that isn’t black (or worse, soda) you’re starting your day off with a calorie bomb. But physical activity beats drinking beverages for a myriad of reasons and health benefits, especially if the drink you’re consuming has a lot of milk, cream, or sugar in it. Regularly drinking sweetened caffeinated beverages will cause you to gain weight. And on the other hand, walking every day can actually help you support healthy weight levels.