Longer summer days with balmy evenings are perfect for after dinner walks

July 5, 2017  by Dr. Suki Munsell

Russell and I recently resumed evening walks and love the benefits. We suggested to Simone and Thorsten Kopitzki, students and Harbor Point neighbors, that they try after dinner walks.  “Walking every night is a good way to balance my stressful office work,” Simone said. “I’ve improved my balance and my fitness. I’m less short on breath than I was before. Being overweight, walking is not stressful on my body, and I’ve lost weight.”

Boosting your metabolism is one of the many benefits of walks after dinner.Gastric emptying of the meal is accelerated leading to better digestion and better sleep. Even a 15-minute walk lowers blood levels of fat and enhances blood circulation. Blood sugar, which can spike after a meal, gets used up through activity. Bowels move better helping you eliminate more frequently and regularly. Plan the length of your walks accordingly!

Walking morning, noon or night yields great results. Adding a second exercise session in the evening, especially Dynamic Walking, rebalances your bodymind and erases stress from he day. Add 3 minutes of barre stretches when you return, the best dessert for a good night’s sleep.

Early evening is a magical time to walk. Follow the sun as it dips over the horizon. Watch the clouds shimmer in luminous light. Listen to the hush spread as it mutes the day. . Smell the night blooming planets call their insect lovers. Watch the stars and planets wink on and the silvery moon gain in brilliance. Walking in the evening is like a meditation, a time for peace and contentment.

The hardest part of the evening walking is getting off the cozy couch or turning off the TV or computer (whose blue light decreases the melatonin production you need for falling asleep). Set your intention and prepare. A partner or a dog helps (even a neighbors’s dog), and so does reminding yourself how much better you will feel and sleep. So Just Do It – give yourself the luxury of winding down, of intimate time, alone or with another, and with nature. Wait to walk at least 45 minutes after dinner. Then drink some water, dress for comfort, be safe, and delight in the night.