What going on 6 a.m. walks during the summer has done for me

September 13, 2022 — by Sarah Zhou
Photo by Sarah Zhou
A photo of a dreary-looking neighborhood in Saratoga from one of my walks.
It has done nothing. Let me clarify: absolutely nothing.

At the start of the summer, my mom insisted that I do some form of daily “non-cellphone related” activity with hopes I would go outside and load up on vitamin D. Of course, I told her the unharmful lie that I would go on a walk every day.

I’ve made empty promises before. It’s fine. Or so I thought.

Right when I was finally able to enjoy more than five hours of sleep per night on the first day of summer, my mom decided to wake me from my slumber at 6 a.m to follow up on my comment by dragging me out of bed and happily announcing that I could walk while she swam and shopped.

As someone who rarely pays attention to the road, merely walking on the street was ROUGH. I found crossing the street alone to be excruciatingly embarrassing — I imagine all the drivers at the front of the intersection sitting in their 4,000-pound vehicles with their foot itching to leave the brake for the accelerator thinking: Wow, isn’t it fun to have someone else’s life in my hands? Or: could she be walking ANY slower? So, you can imagine my pain as I walked toward the oncoming traffic, trying to find my way home while concurrently trying not to make eye contact with the drivers passing by. 

Plus, waking up at such an ungodly hour did nothing to increase my productivity, as my morning beauty sleep consistently dipped into my afternoons. 

You know the feeling of being in bed and not being able to fall asleep at 4 a.m., leading to a rabbit hole of thinking about the comeback to every embarrassing argument or dumb mistake you’ve ever made? Well, these thoughts usually crowd your brain when you drift off to sleep, allowing you to wake up with no recollection of the near meltdown you had the night before. Everything’s fine.

Walking in the morning, however, presented a different case. Because these thoughts intruded my mind as I strolled around, they haunted me for the rest of the day.

For instance, when I was 3, I broke my pinky after an older kid with zero self-restraint stepped on it. Well, ever since I’ve started my morning routine walks, I’ve been constantly daydreaming about stepping on ALL of that child’s fingers and toes.

According to WebMD, morning walks can help you feel better, lower the risk of diabetes, clear your mind, increase energy and even boost your mental and emotional health. But not in my case.

I hope this article has convinced you to never walk in the morning. I can attest that there are no benefits whatsoever.

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