How long should I walk for in the morning?


For a morning walk, especially one aimed at gaining the alertness benefits of sunlight, suggests a protocol of getting outdoors and walking. The ideal duration can depend on the brightness of the environment, but the guideline is as follows:

  • A minimum of 2 minutes
  • 10 minutes would be better
  • 30 minutes would be fantastic

If it's a very bright day, such as a clear day on a snowfield, you might only need around 60 seconds to achieve benefits. For most people, however, a 10 to 15-minute walk should ensure adequate stimulation from sunlight, enhancing mental and physical well-being 1.

Morning Sunlight

Andrew explains the importance of getting sunlight in your eyes first thing in the morning and how it can positively impact your mental and physical health. He shares the protocol for doing this, including getting outdoors and walking for at least 10 minutes, ideally without sunglasses.

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How can I include walking in my morning routine?


To incorporate walking into your morning routine effectively, recommends using it as a tool for both physiological and mental benefits. Here's how you can include it:

  1. Exercise and Movement: Begin your day with some form of exercise to raise your core body temperature which will help you feel more awake. Walking can be a light form of this exercise, which you can do while also exposing yourself to bright sunlight, an added benefit. A short walk, jog or skipping rope are examples of activities you could do 1.

  2. Optic Flow for Mental Health: Engaging in forward ambulation, such as taking a walk, allows visual or auditory flow if you have vision or hearing limitations. This helps to lower activity in the amygdala, which is associated with anxiety and fear, thereby reducing feelings of anxiety and setting a relaxed yet focused tone for the day. Aim to do this outdoors to get the benefits of sunlight and outdoor stimuli 2.

Here's a simple way to implement a morning walk:

  • Upon waking, head outside for your walk as one of the first activities after getting up.
  • It doesn't have to be long; even a short walk can provide benefits.
  • If possible, schedule your walk during a time when you can get sunlight exposure to help set your circadian rhythm.
  • Focus on the experience of moving forward and the environment around you to stimulate optic flow.

By following these guidelines from , you can make morning walks a restorative part of your daily routine.

Morning Wake-Up Routine

Andrew suggests starting your day with exercise to increase your core body temperature. This can be a light jog, skipping rope, or even a walk in the sun. He also recommends taking a cold shower after to further wake up your body.

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Could you provide more tips for creating an effective morning routine?


Creating an effective morning routine can be significantly beneficial for both your productivity and wellbeing. Here are more tips based on the insights:

  1. Awareness of Peak Focus Times: Schedule goal-oriented tasks around peak focus times, which for many are about 30 minutes, 3 hours, and 11 hours after waking up. While these times may vary due to individual circadian rhythms, they're generally linked to heightened levels of attention and motivation 1.

  2. Sunlight Exposure: Aim to view morning sunlight shortly after waking up. This has been shown to improve mood, focus, alertness, and sleep quality by helping to set your circadian rhythm 2 3.

    Peak Focus Times

    Discover the three optimal times of day to maximize focus and motivation, based on circadian rhythms and shifts in body temperature. Learn how these natural peaks can enhance your goal pursuit endeavors.

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  3. Tracking Temperature Minimum: Keep note of your wake-up time to calculate your body's temperature minimum, which can be useful for optimizing your sleep and circadian rhythm 4.

  4. Physical Activity: Engage in physical activity in the morning to increase core body temperature. Exercise can be incorporated into your routine either immediately upon waking, 3 hours after waking, or 11 hours after waking. This can be a full-blown workout or just moderate movement like walking 5.

  5. Cold Exposure: Consider taking a cold shower or a cold plunge to increase adrenaline and dopamine release, waking you up and increasing your core body temperature 6.

  6. Conquer Challenging Tasks Early: Use the natural boost in morning neurochemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine to tackle tasks with higher "limbic friction" that are generally harder to initiate 7.

  7. Flexibility in Timing: While scheduling tasks during specific times can be beneficial, allowing some flexibility within a time block can also be effective, especially when you have other constraints like work and family 1.

  8. Random Intermittent Rewards: When forming new habits, consider giving yourself rewards at milestone achievements, but do it on a random intermittent schedule. About 85% rewards to 15% non-rewards is suggested for optimal motivation and goal setting 8.

Remember, these tips are general suggestions, and you should feel free to tailor them to fit your specific needs and preferences for an effective morning routine.