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Morning vs. Evening Walk: Differences and Benefits
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Morning vs. Evening Walk: Differences and Benefits

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 15, 2022
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5 min

Find out the pros and cons of a morning walk vs. an evening walk. Also, learn how they affect body weight, stress, and energy levels.

morning walk vs evening walk
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Walking is a simple and enjoyable way to get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and explore new places. It’s also a low-impact activity that is easy on your joints. You get to lose weight and build your muscles. And best of all, it’s free!

Today’s article unravels the differences between a morning walk and an evening walk. We also look at the perks of walking at either time. As such, you can make an informed decision when plotting your next workout day. Stick around and find out!

What Are the Differences Between Walking in the Morning vs. Evening?

Early morning exercise increases your energy levels, helping you remain active and alert throughout the day. In contrast, evening exercise helps reduce your cortisol level, preparing your body for a good night’s rest. 

Additionally, evening walks have a higher hypotensive effect compared to morning walks. That means acute blood pressure decreases significantly after an evening walk.

Furthermore, walking in the morning also induces a 20% increase in fat burning compared to walking in the evening. This means you will be able to shed annoying body fat quickly.

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The program, which caters to people of varying ages, weights, and fitness levels, offers a targeted weight loss plan, numerous recipes, including keto desserts, nutritional tips, a private consultancy with in-house specialists, and information on health and walking gear. 

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3 Benefits of Walking in the Morning

Walking is one physical activity that comes with a lot of perks. However, certain differences exist when you walk at different times of the day. In line with that, we shall look at 3 key advantages of going for a morning walk.

#1 Increases energy

Peer-reviewed studies show that consistent exercising plays a significant role in boosting your energy levels. As such, you can walk briskly to start your day, ridding you of any energy slump and allowing you to function maximally. 

It keeps you energized and reduces fatigue while increasing your brain function. In comparison, research states that going for a short walk trumps drinking a cup of coffee when it comes to energizing you. 

You also get to enjoy nature (watch as the sun rises and the birds chirp excitedly) before the hustling and bustling begins for the day. 

#2 Burns calories

Exercising in the morning will help you achieve your weight loss goals in record time. Not only does it get your blood flowing and help you wake up, but it also burns more calories than you might think. 

One reason for this is that your body temperature is lower in the morning, so your body has to work harder to warm up. Additionally, your muscles are stiffer in the morning, which also requires more energy to move them. 

A morning walk helps increase blood flow and get your heart rate up, which can further boost your metabolism. 

Regarding how many calories you burn, a 30-minute brisk walk will burn about 150 calories in 30 minutes. When combined with a healthy diet and strength training, you can burn more calories and lose more weight relative to how much you are eating. 

#3 Cleaner air

Walking in the morning is a great way to start your day. Not only do you get some exercise, but walking in the morning gives you a chance to breathe in this clean, fresh air while you work out. 

Evidence reveals that walking in areas with intense air pollution can negate the health benefits of walking.

Regardless, the air quality is typically better in the morning, before the busyness of the day has had a chance to pollute it. As such, your cardiorespiratory system trumps from the clean air, and your organs benefit from a good supply of oxygen-rich blood.

Additionally, you will likely encounter fewer people on your walk, meaning you will have less exposure to pollution. 

3 Benefits of Walking in the Evening

Having looked at the pros of a morning walk, it is only fitting that we look into the benefits of going on a walk in the evening. Hence, here are 3 advantages of walking in the evening. 

#1 Improves sleep quality

Regular evening exercise will positively affect your sleeping habits. For starters, an evening walk helps you decompress from the day’s stress, calming you down in preparation for a good night’s rest. 

However, you should avoid walking a long distance or going past a brisk pace to avoid overworking yourself, as you may have trouble getting some sleep. 

Research shows that a lack of quality night rest poses several short-term and long-term consequences on one’s health and performance in both healthy children and adults alike. 

Short-term consequences include an increase in stress responsivity, emotional distress, negative moods, somatic symptom disorder, and reduced quality of life. It also leads to other mental health issues, such as cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, performance deficits, and behavioral disorder. 

On the other hand, long-term consequences such as dyslipidemia, heart diseases, and metabolic and weight-related health problems become prevalent. 

Overall, a simple evening walk can increase the release of melatonin by the pineal gland, helping you fall asleep faster and for longer. This result is improved blood circulation,  increased immune function, and brain performance. 

#2 Boosts digestion

One of the major benefits of evening walk practice on your body, especially a post-dinner walk, is improved digestion. Research shows that going for a walk after dinner stimulates the digestive system, causing food to pass through quicker and delivering energy faster.

Furthermore, walking in the evening can assist your digestive system in burning off extra calories consumed during the day. 

Likewise, going on a walk after eating has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, which many endurance athletes tend to suffer from. 

As a result, it blocks off gastrointestinal diseases such as peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, constipation, and colorectal cancer. However, more research is required to solidify its stance in the sports science community. 

#3 Lowers blood pressure

According to research, going on an evening walk has a net-positive effect on lowering blood pressure. This is an important factor for those suffering from hypertension, as it is linked with cardiovascular morbidity and even mortality. 

In addition, an evening workout helps with blood sugar level management. This is the most important thing for those with type 1 and 2 diabetes, as exercising post-meal can prevent sudden elevation in their blood sugar levels, allowing them to cut down on the amount of oral medication or insulin needed. 

Regardless, both effects further go to reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease. According to directives issued by the CDC, a 30-minute walk 5 days a week is all you need. 

A Word From a Coach

Walking, in general, is a good aerobic exercise for a lot of reasons. It can help you lose weight, develop your cardiorespiratory system, improve brain function, boost immune function, tone your body, etc.

When it comes to choosing between a morning or evening walk, you should make your choice based on your ability to maintain a consistent routine. The benefit of each timeline only matters if it fits perfectly into your daily schedule. 

However, it is perfectly okay to take it one step at a time. Start with a week’s worth of exercise without any schedule interruptions, and then keep building.

Conclusion

Exercising regularly is a great idea when seeking to improve overall fitness. If you decide to walk in the morning, you should be ready to make the sacrifice and wake up early to get your exercise done. 

On the other hand, if you prefer walking in the evening, you should be able to follow through with your walking routine, even if you do not feel like it.

Regardless, you should try not to let exercise become a chore. Have fun!

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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