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Indoor Walking Workout for Beginners When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside

Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise which brings a plethora of health benefits. It enhances cardiovascular health, improves joint mobility, and makes it easier to maintain healthy weight.

Walking outside, with the fresh air and changing scenery, offers a mental health boost, reducing stress and improving mood. But when the weather turns cold, icy, or otherwise too harsh, the idea of stepping outside for a walk loses its appeal, and could even be dangerous.

Rather than miss out on the significant advantages walking provides, why not adapt by bringing this simple, yet effective, exercise indoors?

Here’s everything you need to know about starting a beginners indoor walking workout, ensuring that you stay active and healthy, even when the temperatures drop and being outdoors is less inviting.

Is It Good Exercise To Walk Around The House?

Walking around the house beats being sedentary and sitting all day long. It’s a form of movement that burns calories, gets the blood flowing, and provides a break from prolonged periods of sitting.

While it may not be as intensive as running or other high-intensity workouts, walking around the house still counts as physical activity and has its own set of benefits (8).

For beginners who are just starting to incorporate exercise into their daily routine, walking around the house can be a good way to ease into a more active lifestyle.

If you’re ready to embark on a weight loss journey at home, our 28-day indoor walking weight loss challenge is the perfect place to start.

Are Walk At Home Workouts Effective?

Walk at home workouts are effective for most people, especially beginners. These workouts typically involve simple and low-impact movements that mimic walking but in a confined space like your living room or bedroom.

They usually combine easy-to-follow step-by-step patterns with music to make the workout more enjoyable and engaging.

Despite its simplicity, walk at home workouts can still provide the following benefits:

Lower Disease Risk

Walking, even when done indoors, is a surprisingly effective form of exercise that significantly lowers the risk of several chronic diseases.

See also
10 Benefits Of Indoor Cycling That Will Make You Sign Up For A Class ASAP

Here’s how it works – every step you take helps in maintaining a healthy blood circulation system. This is crucial because good blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues while also getting rid of waste materials. This process plays a fundamental role in preventing heart diseases by keeping blood pressure levels in check and improving lipid profiles.

  • Heart Disease: Regular indoor walking can reduce the risk of heart disease by improving heart health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate (11).
  • Type 2 Diabetes: By aiding in weight management and improving blood glucose levels, walking lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (9).
  • Obesity: Walking burns calories, which helps in controlling weight and thus, directly impacts the risk associated with obesity and related diseases (12).
  • Bone Density: Regular walking can improve bone density and health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures (8).

BetterMe App helps you achieve your body goals with ease and efficiency by helping to choose proper meal plans and effective workouts. Start using our app and you will see good results in a short time.

Burn Calories

One might wonder how pacing around an indoor space can contribute to calorie burn. Here’s the science – every movement your body makes requires energy. The more you move, the more calories you burn.

Walking increases your metabolism by activating muscle groups in the legs, core, and arms (yes if you’re swinging them!). This activation helps in burning calories, which is essential for weight loss and maintenance (12).

Compared to a sedentary lifestyle, walking can significantly contribute to a daily caloric deficit, even if it’s just brisk walking around your home.

We’ve discussed this further in our, calories burned walking 30 minutes, blog.

Improve Cognitive Function

Walking is not just a physical activity; it has profound effects on the brain. When you walk, your heart rate increases, pumping more blood and oxygen to your brain. This enhanced blood flow stimulates the production of various hormones and growth factors that are involved in the growth of brain cells and the formation of new connections between them (6).

  • Memory Improvement: Regular walking has been shown to positively affect memory, helping with both the creation of new memory cells and the maintenance of existing ones (1).
  • Focus and Concentration: By increasing blood flow to the brain, walking helps improve the levels of focus and concentration, making it easier to tackle daily tasks (1).
  • Creativity Boost: There is evidence suggesting that walking, even indoors, can spark creativity. This could be due to the combination of increased blood flow, endorphin release, and the meditative rhythm of stepping.
See also
Indoor Exercise 101: Your Guide to Effective Workouts at Home

indoor walking workout  

Improve Mood

Ever feel a natural high after a bout of physical activity? That’s your body releasing endorphins, also known as the body’s natural painkillers. These chemicals, produced in the brain, not only help alleviate pain but also boost your mood. Walking, even indoors, triggers this release, providing a simple yet effective way to elevate spirits, especially on days when the weather or other external factors keep us inside (2).

  • Stress Reduction: Walking helps lower the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. It gives us a sense of calm, almost like meditating while moving (2).
  • Anxiety and Depression: Regular walking has been shown in studies to have a significant impact on reducing anxiety and mild to moderate depression (2). It’s a gentle, natural way to keep these common mental health challenges at bay.

Support Better Sleep

Quality sleep is the foundation of good health, affecting everything from brain functions to weight management. Walking increases the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, preparing your body for a restful night (10). Here’s how stepping up your indoor walking game can turn the tide on tossing and turning:

  • Sleep Cycle Regulation: Consistent physical activity helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This makes it easier to fall asleep and enjoy deeper, more restorative sleep (10).
  • Relieves Insomnia: Research suggests that regular walkers have shorter instances of insomnia (10). By engaging in daily indoor walking, you might find it easier to drift off to dreamland.
See also
Indoor Cycling Workout Plan - A Dynamic Program for Every Rider

Improve Fitness

When we talk about fitness, we’re referring to your body’s ability to perform physical tasks, both strenuous and simple, efficiently and effectively. Walking activates almost every part of your body, making it a comprehensive workout that improves overall fitness by:

  • Cardiovascular Strength: It strengthens the heart and lungs, making everyday tasks like climbing stairs or running for a bus much easier (8).
  • Muscle Strength and Endurance: Regular walking tones the leg muscles and, by engaging the core and swinging the arms, can also help strengthen these areas, increasing endurance over time (8).
  • Stability and Balance: While not as noticeable as cardiovascular or strength benefits, walking regularly can improve your stability and balance, reducing the risk of falls as you age (8).

Read more: The 28-Day Indoor Walking Weight Loss Challenge Explained

Fit Into a Busy Schedule

We all lead incredibly hectic lives, and finding time for a comprehensive workout can feel like trying to solve a puzzle where the pieces don’t quite fit. But here’s the beauty of an indoor walking workout – it meshes seamlessly with our busy routines. 

Imagine this: while you’re on a phone call, instead of sitting, you’re pacing your room. Or, perhaps you’re walking in place during those few minutes you’re waiting for the pasta to boil. What’s happening here? Your body is sneaking in exercise without giving up a significant chunk of your time to a gym session.

Overcome Environmental Barriers to Exercise

One of the biggest hurdles to maintaining a regular exercise routine is the environment. It’s either too cold, too hot, or too rainy, and sometimes, it’s just the lack of safe or pleasant places to walk outdoors. 

Indoor walking takes away these excuses by providing a weather-proof and safe environment for you to get your steps in. Plus, it’s something you can do regardless of the air quality outside or the time of day.

indoor walking workout  

How Do Indoor Walking Workouts Work?

Indoor walking workouts work by utilizing the space within your home or other indoor locations to create a safe and efficient walking routine. Here are some tips for creating an effective indoor walking workout:

  • Find a Suitable Space: Choose a large enough area that allows you to take at least 10 steps in one direction. This could be your living room, bedroom, or even a hallway. Make sure the space is clear of any obstacles.
  • Invest in a Step Counter or Pedometer: This tool will help you keep track of your steps, motivating you to reach a daily goal. You can also use an app on your phone that tracks steps if you don’t have a pedometer.
  • Warm-up and Cool Down: As with any exercise, it’s essential to warm up your muscles before starting and then cool down afterward. You can do this by walking in place or doing some light stretching (13).
  • Mix Up Your Routine: To keep things interesting, try incorporating different movements into your indoor walking workout. This could include marching in place, side steps, or even a few lunges.
  • Take Breaks When Needed: Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. If you start feeling tired or out of breath, pause for a minute before continuing.
  • Challenge Yourself: As you become more comfortable with your indoor walking routine, challenge yourself by increasing the duration or intensity of your workout. You can also try incorporating light hand weights for an added challenge.
See also
Indoor Cycling Workout Plan - A Dynamic Program for Every Rider

Indoor Walking Workout for Beginners

This detailed indoor walking workout for beginners offers a mix of cardio, strength, and endurance training that can be tailored to individual fitness levels and goals.

Warm-Up:

  • Posture: Stand tall with shoulders back, engage core muscles, and keep a natural stride length.
  • Speed: Begin at a moderate pace to warm up the muscles gradually.
  • Variations: Include side steps, knee lifts, and arm swings to engage different muscle groups during warm-up.

Main Workout:

Power Walk:

  • Posture: Lean slightly forward, pump arms vigorously, and take longer strides.
  • Speed: Increase your pace to a brisk walk.
  • Variations: Integrate intervals of jogging in place to elevate heart rate.
See also
The 28-Day Indoor Walking Weight Loss Challenge Explained

Hill Climbs:

  • Posture: Engage core muscles, slightly lean forward, and focus on using legs to push through imaginary inclines.
  • Speed: Slow down to simulate climbing a hill.
  • Variations: Incorporate high knees or exaggerated leg lifts to intensify the workout.

Interval Sprints:

  • Posture: Lean forward slightly, and drive arms back and forth vigorously.
  • Speed: Alternate between fast walking and short bursts of sprinting.
  • Variations: Increase sprint duration gradually over time to challenge endurance.

Sideways Shuffle:

  • Posture: Keep hips square, lower into a slight squat position, and step sideways.
  • Speed: Perform at a controlled pace to work on lateral movement.
  • Variations: Add resistance bands around your ankles or increase the number of repetitions for added difficulty.

Cool Down:

  • Posture: Slow down the pace, focus on breathing deeply, and gradually bring the heart rate down.
  • Variations: Include stretches for calves, hamstrings, quads, and arms to aid in muscle recovery.

Progression and Challenges Over Time:

  • Increase Pace: Gradually work on increasing the speed of the power walk and sprints.
  • Incorporate Intervals: Implement longer intervals of higher intensity workouts to boost cardiovascular endurance (5).
  • Add Resistance: Include ankle weights or incorporate handheld weights to challenge the upper body while walking.
  • Track Progress: Monitor distance covered, average speed, and heart rate to gauge improvements over time.
  • Explore Incline: Adjust the treadmill incline or find hilly routes to simulate uphill walking for added intensity.

Trying our, walking treadmill workout, could be your perfect increase in intensity for even greater results.

If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!

indoor walking workout  

FAQs

  • How Can I Do 10,000 Steps At Home?

The key to reaching 10,000 steps at home is to be creative and incorporate movement into your daily routine. Here are some ideas:

  • Pace back and forth while on the phone.
  • Use commercial breaks during TV shows to walk around or march in place.
  • Walk up and down stairs instead of taking an elevator.
  • Take a walk outside if it’s safe to do so.
  • Use a standing desk and take short walks around the house every hour.
  • Can I Lose Weight by Walking at Home?

Yes, you can lose weight by walking at home. Regular walking, combined with a healthy diet, can help you burn calories and achieve weight loss goals.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, women who walked for an hour a day lost an average of 11 pounds over the course of a year (7). Additionally, walking can also help improve metabolism and build muscle tone, leading to long-term weight loss.

  • Is Walking 10,000 Steps a Day Enough Exercise?

Walking 10,000 steps a day is considered a good amount of physical activity for most individuals (4). 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, which can be broken down into smaller increments throughout the day (3). 

Walking 10,000 steps fulfills this recommendation and provides numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and weight management.

  • How Many Minutes Walking Is 10,000 Steps?

10,000 steps is roughly equivalent to 5 miles or 8 kilometers. The time it takes to walk 10,000 steps can vary based on individual speed and stride length. On average, it takes about an hour and a half to two hours for most people to reach the recommended goal of 10,000 steps per day. However, this can be broken down into smaller increments throughout the day to make it more achievable.

  • Is Walking 1 Hour a Day Good?

Walking for an hour a day is considered a healthy level of physical activity for most individuals (4). This amount of walking can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain weight, and increase overall physical fitness.

The Bottom Line

An indoor walking workout offers a convenient and accessible way to stay physically active, especially during times when going outside may not be possible. By incorporating different variations and challenging yourself over time, you can reap the numerous benefits of walking, while remaining in the comfort of your own home.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Aerobic physical activity to improve memory and executive function in sedentary adults without cognitive impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2021,nih.gov)
  2. Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults (2018,nih.gov)
  3. How much physical activity do adults need? (2022,cdc.gov)
  4. How many steps/day are enough? for adults (2011,nih.gov)
  5. Interval training for a stronger heart (2015,nih.gov)
  6. The Beneficial Effects of Cognitive Walking Program on Improving Cognitive Function and Physical Fitness in Older Adults (2021,nih.gov)
  7. The built environment, purpose-specific walking behaviour and overweight: evidence from Wuhan metropolis in central China (2014,ij-healthgeographics.biomedcentral.com)
  8. Walking for good health (2023,betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
  9. Walking for subjects with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and joint AMD/SID/SISMES evidence-based practical guideline (2020,nih.gov)
  10. Walk to a Better Night of Sleep: Testing the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Sleep (2019,nih.gov)
  11. Walking – the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention (2011,nih.gov)
  12. Walking Programs to Promote Weight Loss among Obese and Overweight Individuals: Walking Buses for Adults (2016,nih.gov)
  13. Why Warming Up and Cooling Down is Important (2016,nih.gov)
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