Thursday, March 15, 2018

Walking in the Wee Hours


Shall we walk? 

I have recently taken to walking in the wee hours again. Even though I’m not nursing a recovering suture seam (ugh, remember last summer?), I’m utilizing walking and all its benefits... simply for my own well being.

How seriously do you take the act of walking? Have you ever gotten in the routine of starting the day (often before the sun rises) in your walking shoes? Read on...I'll share a few reasons why walking in the wee hours has numerous benefits....


1. The price is right.
First of all, if the price is right, the deal is real. Walking is essentially a free sport because most of us already own suitable shoes. For me, I prefer to wear running shoes that have already shown me some love...in other words, shoes that are on their way to retirement. I have a different foot strike walking (heel strike) than I do when running (mid-foot strike). I don't want to alter my "newer" running shoes, so I keep them for running and utilize the "older" shoes for walking. There's less impact when walking, so it has never been a problem (if I was a competitive walker, that would be a different scenario).
got the shoes....
2. The location is convenient.
Walking in the wee hours, usually when it's still dark, keeps me close to home. I do most of these walks on my own, so I don't want to wander too far from home in the dark. The city block where I live is about 1/2 mile in circumference...so two laps nets me a mile. There's a smaller block across the street, which nets a mile after three laps. Usually, I alternate walking laps around the two blocks, and often times switch directions so it's (somewhat) interesting and goes quickly.
the hill across the street from my front door
3. The tranquility is plentiful. 
There's something about the dark of the early morning that is so incredibly peaceful. The stars seem to shine a little brighter. In the winter, the snow takes on a mysterious glow. In the summer, the sky slowly brightens. The air is crisp. The traffic is non-existent. It's just me and the sleeping world around me.
ahhhh, done before the sunrise...
4. The wake-up is real.
The early morning air is cool and will wake you up better than a steaming cup of coffee. When running, we usually know to dress as if the weather is 10-15 degrees warmer. When walking, it's best to dress for whatever your weather app is telling you. You will warm up some, but not quite to the extent you would if you were running. And if the wind is blowing? You will feel it no matter what direction you're walking.
yes, you will feel the wind
5. The calorie burn gets a boost. 
Most of us have heard of fasted-state running (hitting the road with no new food/fuel in your system). It works the same for walking! Granted, you won't burn as many calories as running (though power walking is very comparable), but you will be burning calories, none the less. With no food to tap into, your body will naturally turn to stored fat for its fuel source. You will not notice an instant reduction in inches, but over the course of time you probably will see (and feel) a difference...all for doing something as simple as walking!

So, those are just five things to consider. Walking, often times, is an activity many of us take for granted...and it's right there, available almost any time and can be done almost anywhere. Why not take advantage of it?

Have you ever done any early morning walking? Would you prefer to stay inside or head outside? Or would you rather sleep in?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0.  

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21 comments:

  1. If Im getting outside early in the morning then I will probably be running. The few times I walked on a rest day this winter Ive done it on the treadmill (unless the weather is nice and I can go later in the day). Maybe that will change in the summer. It just seems like a lot of work to bundle up to get outside for a walk! I also feel like I have so many other workouts to do when Im not running that it feels like I don't have time for walking. Although I know these are just a lot of excuses!

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    1. Some days, I'm actually running, too (or playing on my stairway). I'm trying to get outside on the mornings when I don't have running or stair-climbing on the roster, though. It does my body and mind well!

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  2. Sounds pretty nice. Especially if I could walk WITH a steaming cup of coffee!

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    1. ha ha...well, I'm not coordinated enough to walk with a hot beverage. I'd be scalded and scorched all over ;-)

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  3. I do those run/walk intervals and I admit to enjoying my little walk breaks!

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    1. I hear ya! I don't do my walk breaks as scheduled (?) intervals, but do them on occasion (as needed) if I'm racing. I don't think those breaks really affect my finish time because they're short and usually give me a great energy boost.

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  4. I usually only walk when I’m not feeling the run. And I rarely go out in the dark alone. You make it sound great though!

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    1. The dark definitely is not for everyone. I live in a pretty quiet and safe town, so I'm never concerned for my safety. I just enjoy being outside every morning (well, most every morning), but I'm not a daily runner...so walking it is ;-)

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  5. My mom tried to recommend I walk my miles when I was sick, but I knew I didn't trust myself. If I got outside in good weather, I'd want to run. I do my workouts during the week after work, when I'm hopefully more awake than in the morning, and if I'm stressed from work, I can channel that energy into the workout.

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    1. That's the beauty of running (or walking), everyone has their own way that works for them ;-)

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  6. I get up at 5am to get in my workout. The only way to go for me

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    1. I do some workouts in the afternoon or evening (strength work or an occasional run), but I really enjoy getting it all done first thing and having the entire day for other things.

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  7. I've been walking lately too and I don't know if it's because I'm so use to running or what but walking has made my feet and calves hurt. (maybe i'm doing it wrong.haha). But seriously, there is a method to speed walking and it's all about the hips!

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    1. Speed walking definitely has a different "form" than running. When I was doing all my walking last summer, I did get to a point (when my mileage was high) where a lot of muscles hurt that had never hurt before...from walking LOL

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  8. Unless the weather is bad, I'm always out walking with the dogs. Of course the weather is often bad, but we definitely walk more often than we don't.

    However, I have to somewhat tailor it to them -- in the summer, if it's hot, it does have to be very early in the morning. And deep in the winter, IF we can get out, it tends to be a bit after lunch -- because by 4:30 it's dark!

    It's easier to walk them now that it's light longer, and that means hopefully I'll get Mr. Judy walking during the week again -- sometime. But it's often too cold for them in the morning -- today, for instance, I ran in the morning & we just got back from our walk (it's 2 pm).

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    1. Max will gladly go for a walk whenever he sees us grab his leash. He's small enough, he doesn't seem to get winded very easily. When it's hot, we just walk nice and easy, when it's cold, he does his business and practically sprints back to the house

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  9. I still love walking, I always have and some days a walk feels so good. I do love seeing the stars and moon especially on a clear dark morning!

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    1. Oh yes! The stars and moon look incredible!

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  10. I don't walk very much but I should. It's much more relaxing than running. Haha. I just can't wait for it to be warmer.

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    1. You and I both...this recent cold snap is DUMB.

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  11. I do a tonnn of walking (to/from work and in the hospital, haha), so I'm totally with you on this! :]! I can't wait til the weather warms up a bit more!

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