HEALTH

The Timing of Walking Exercise Which is a Two-Edged Sword

Earlier it was three-edged. I had to mould two of them to sound less dystopian.

In Photo: Me. Credits: Ravi Shankar

You already know the numerous benefits of walking as a mild exercise.

It regulates the secretion of feel-good hormones in your body. It is also a bare minimum step towards maintaining an active lifestyle if your work demands you to be sedentary af in front of a monitor.

Finding the time to reap the benefits of exercise depend on your lifestyle factors. Like:

  • How often can you leave your room?
  • Do you have access to natural scenery around you? Yes, some folks don’t!

When to do walking and the apparent health benefits of the timing can help you decide whether the below system is a fit for you.

Like workouts in the evening or morning, your living environment is a deciding factor if you can include the routine I am about to share.

#1. Improve your metabolism.

Even when my lunch is not heavy, I feel sleepy after my meal. It’s a common phenomenon because of the digestion process.

After eating, your body directs most of its energy for digestion. That’s why you feel sleepy, especially after a heavy meal.

Taking a 15-minute walk post-lunch helps with the digestion process as it juggles the food in the stomach. It significantly reduces the chance you’ll doze off at work. If you’re napping right now, stand up and move!

I am a superfan of naps, but not at the wrong time! Once I got my beard trimmed while I was dream-napping.

The exact opposite of lethargy occurs after walking. You come back to work with an active mind, ready to carry the momentum you built from walking.

A live example: I wrote this article after a 30-minute walk post-lunch.

#2. Organise your thoughts.

On average, we generate around 6000 thoughts per day. Paying attention to each one of them is not worth your time.

You are not your thoughts. You are an observer of your thoughts.

While walking, we see thoughts for what they really are: random ideas the mind generates.

Some ideas are helpful. Some lie on the ultimate trash spectrum. Walking helps you allow the stream of thoughts to flow and clear your head.

Your creativity also flies if you walk in nature [ because I didn’t press it earlier ]. You come back to work with an open mind looking for problems to solve.

Life throws more problems at problem solvers. Win-win!

Find your timing.

Whenever I put on my walking shoes after lunch, my flatmates [ used to ] ask, “where you goin’ sport?”.

I am dying to say, “To capture writing ideas”.

But since I don’t want to engage in small-talk-gone-long-pro-max, I reply “walking” and then return with a fresh mind to seize the second half of the day.

As a bonus, I create the first draft for my Medium article after walking when I don’t finish it early in the morning.

The two-edged sword I showed doesn’t have to work around lunchtime only.

You will see similar effects at dinner time. But since most peeps I know have light dinner and heavy lunch, I went with the default option as lunch.

Also, if you’re a night owl ( no judgment ), you’re probably rising from the dead at lunchtime.

To experience the positives for yourself, see how the timing affects your creativity. The unique benefit you will experience is the meditative effect of organising your thoughts as a step towards mental well-being.

For extra benefits, disconnect from the internet while walking. You’ll become more self-aware.

If you want to receive more stories like this, my lifelong learning newsletter is for you.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy with writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, PC gaming, or playing 8-ball pool. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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