Use these simple strategies to up your calorie burn, drop the pounds, and boost the effectiveness of your walks.
By Karen Asp
There's a good reason to be a morning walker. According to a recent study in Journal of Applied Physiology, mental fatigue—a.k.a the brain drain you feel after a long day of working or dealing with family obligations—significantly affects workouts. When your mind is tired, exercise feels more difficult and you can't keep at it as long as you can when you're mentally rested. In the morning, your brain is refreshed from sleeping and not processing thoughts for hours on end, and your walks may feel easier during that time.
How to get started: Since most people become mentally fatigued during the afternoon or evening, aim to walk before you start your day. To ease into a morning routine, try leaving your walking gear and some grab-and-go fuel (like a banana) by your bed, so you'll have everything right there when your alarm rings in the a.m. If you're really not a morning person, try strolling during your lunch break, instead.