The Monday Grind – Realize the Potential of a Simple Morning Walk

green walk light symbolEvery Monday it’s the same thing for most of us. Waking up late, maneuvering in the Starbucks store to grab coffee, fighting through the daily traffic to work, and of course, being overwhelm with tons of work to be finished before Monday Night Football.  Sounds like you? It’s the typical Monday Grind as one of my colleagues best describes it.

But what if you can change at least one thing in your Monday Grind or even your daily pattern to make your life run better in the long-term? No, I am not saying getting more good karma by letting a law firm’s intern behind you in the Starbucks line to order her firm’s 20 coffees before you (though, good karma is still good to do).

But maybe waking up early for a brisk 20-minute walk around the neighborhood in morning and perhaps even reading me on or every week? Okay, I understand the latter is a stretch, but waking up a little bit early to exercise shouldn’t be, and it will go a long way to improve and maintain your health, as you get older.

For example, a recent study in Neurology ( Los Angeles Times’ coverage on the study) shows that for individuals who walk roughly 6-9 miles (~72 blocks) a week retain more memory. Weird right? I mean it’s common knowledge that older you get, the less you can retain (minus the few exceptions), but if walking can really influence your brain’s volume of gray matter to help retain more memory when you are older, then why not include walking or physical activity now into your weekly cycle?

It will be easy to add it your weekly lifestyle now when you are younger, than it would be when you are 80, where who knows if you’ll have the energy or mental-will to do so then.

So you might be saying “memory, who cares” right? To that I say, retaining your memory is a huge benefit when you are in your late 70s, and something not to take for granted. First, you’ll be able to retain simple information like your friend’s name, how you like your coffee, foods like you – just to name a few. Plus, you can still live mostly independent, as you will need less assistance from others, especially if you need to take pills regularly. Lastly, its your memory! We can’t live without it – simple task and actions would be way too difficult to do. Imagine if you can’t remember your precious granddaughter’s name? It may not mean much to you, but come on, she might not be so understanding when she ask, how come grand daddy can’t remember me? Does he not love me?

So during this week’s Monday Grind when you are slaving away – see if you can incorporate a little more exercising to your mornings whether it’s a morning walk with a light reading of Hive Health Media, Healthy Men Today, or just a simple morning walk. It will go a long way, so to speak.

Until next time.

Live well and be well,

Sonny Patel (on Twitter)

Sonny Patel, MPH

Sonny has received his Master of Public Health emphasis in Global Health Leadership at the USC Keck School of Medicine. He has his Bachelor of Arts in Molecular and Cell Biology emphasis in Cell and Development Biology with a minor in Theater and Performance Studies at University of California, Berkeley. He is the Editor-in-Chief for, a site dedicated on covering the latest topics affecting men, boys, families and everyone surrounding them.

4 thoughts on “The Monday Grind – Realize the Potential of a Simple Morning Walk

  • October 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    For the office folks like me, taking that 20 minute break to walk around the office is not only relaxing but as seen in Sonny’s blog a great for my memory. A great tip for those who are not consistent is to enlist a coworker to walk with you at a fix time everyday. This will help create that routine which will eventually become second nature.

  • October 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I try to walk more during the day to keep my metabolism up. You’re right Doug, it’s also a great way to clear your mind.

  • October 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    As a personal trainer, I sometimes get so wrapped up in my fancy-schmancy training programs that I forget that something as simple as “going for a walk” can have profound effects on our health.

    In addition to the beneficial effect on memory, my evening walks help me clear my mind of the day’s events and to help shake down my dinner.

  • October 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Starting your day with a walk will improve every aspect of that day. I love getting the dog out for a walk first thing and I know the days that I say “too busy” I end up regretting it.

    For those of us that spend a large part of each day at the keyboard it is so important to use those larger muscle groups – helps with weight loss to.

    Getting out for a morning walk has benefits far beyond the obvious. I hadn’t heard about the improved memory – but I’ll take that one too. I just love out it refreshes my mind and blows away the cobwebs.


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