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Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Walk in the morning for a better night’s sleep

So lockdown has been extended which gives us more time to focus on our habits. If you are working from home, home schooling or studying – have you ever gone a full day without leaving the house?

It can be very easily done.

This may be a ‘normal’ day for someone; wake up, get ready, turn on the computer or set out the school books, break, look over school books or more emails, feed children for the 20th time in two hours, lunch and then back to the same cycle.

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Before you know it, it’s dinner time and the evening is closing in. This may sound very familiar for a lot of people and really it’s just another version of the rat race, except this time in your own home.

A simple way to break this cycle and improve your mood, get some physical activity, and to help you sleep better at night is by going on a morning walk.

It can be on your own, with your family or one other person from another household. You could walk for five minutes or 60 minutes, fast or slow, walk or jog. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter – just get up and get out and here is a few reason why.

Movement is medicine
The body was designed to hunt, gather, run, climb, and survive. These are all done through movement, but we don’t have to go out and hunt for our own food these days. So we need to find other forms of movement to make up for this. If we don’t the body won’t function as well as it should do.

It’s done for the day
Even if you only got a 10-minute walk done first thing in the morning and nothing else for the rest of the day at least you had some form of movement.
Moving first thing in the morning means that you are less likely to keep putting it off to later and in most cases, doing nothing at all.

Kick-starts your circadian rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is like your 24-hour internal clock. It wakes with the rising sun and starts to slow down when the sun sets. If we don’t expose yourself to natural sunlight it may confuse our internal system which can have a number of side effects.

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It will help you sleep better
One of advantages of setting off your circadian rhythm with natural sunlight exposure is that it will help you sleep better at night. Getting outside first thing in the morning will help set off this timer which means as the evening draws near the body will start to slow down and get you ready for a quality night’s sleep rather than feeling bright awake because you have been indoors most of the day doing little or no movement.

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It’s a healthy habit
I recommend that you commit to walking every morning for 30 days, including the weekends. Once you make this a habit it will be as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning. If you do miss a day you will soon find out how beneficial it really is to get up and get active.

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