Walking Is An Awesome Exercise Before Bed

Go walking before bed whenever you can. It has many benefits.

It’s okay to take a leisurely pace unless there’s another reason to walk faster. Fitness experts consider walking at a leisurely pace a medium to light physical activity. Brisk walking is 3 to 3.5 mph and is considered moderate physical activity. While you should avoid strenuous physical activity less than two hours before bedtime, walking at that pace isn’t going to produce nearly the same amount of cortisol as a full-out run. Cortisol, one of the stress hormones, is the problem with rigorous exercise before bed. Taking a leisurely to moderate walk before bed should be fine.

Many people have two feet, two legs, and the cardiovascular capacity to get up and move themselves a mile or two. If that’s you, go for it!

Is it humid where you are at night? Is it too hot? No problem.

The sweat that collects on your skin can be dealt with efficiently. Go in and dab it off your face with some soap and water. Then rinse and dry. A little quick pre-bed hygiene is good enough for sleep.

The walk can clear your mind, take you away from the blue light of your many computer and TV screens and help digestion.

In some places, the sun bakes you alive when you try to walk during the day. Walking before bed in the evening is, by far, the best option.

Few downsides to walking before you go to sleep

If the sun has gone down, you could be walking in the dark.

If so, maybe you want to consider a flashlight.

There could be too much traffic to do it safely.

The area could be unsafe with wandering gangs or dogs. In some places, wild animals come out.

There could be narrow, patchy sidewalks and speeding cars with drunk drivers.

You might not have anyone to walk with; depending on the area, that’s a bad idea.

Really, anything.

If you don’t feel safe in your area, would it make a difference if you took some mace, a big dog, or a friend?

Would it be worth driving somewhere else safer to enjoy a nighttime walk?

Maybe you wouldn’t have to drive far.

The ability to go for a walk at night, do it with minimal concern for personal safety, and really enjoy it is a luxury.

It might be worth it to you to figure out how to get this perk for yourself to enjoy it safely.

Lots of evening walk benefits

There’s the opportunity to get some steps in if you wear a fitness tracker or watch that stat on your phone.

If you go walking with a friend or family member, you can have a chance to have a good conversation.

Listen for birds in the trees twittering their goodnight (the Merlin app might be able to tell you what kind of bird they are).

Take a look at the night sky. Are you in a place where you can see the stars? See what phase the moon is in. See what constellations you can make out. If you’ve never tried to make them out, you should.

Getting over to a scenic place near you might be worthwhile for an evening walk. This is Tempe Town Lake, and residents walk, bike, and ride scooters along its shore before bed.

Do you know your neighborhood during the day? You should meet it at night.

Maybe say goodnight to your neighbors.

If you need to, carry a can of pepper spray, keep your eyes open, and enjoy.

The evening and night are often really, really lovely. It’s a break from the blasting sun of the day in the summer. With snow, it’s a glowing icy palace in the winter.

For further reading:

The hidden power of distraction

Swimming can help you sleep like a log

Should you sleep with your dogs?


James Cobb, RN, MSN is the founder of the Dream Recovery System, one of the top sleep blogs on the Internet as selected by Feedspot.

The Dream Recovery System includes affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, the DRS receives a portion of the money. Our opinions always remain our own. 


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