The sun shines brightly through your window making your eyelids open up and look out at the new day. You get from the bed, stretch out a bit (in the best-case scenario), and move on to a typical brushing-teeth and washing-face routine. You stand on the ground firmly doing this activity and swing from side to side since you are not completely awake. You don’t work out in the morning because you are too busy to spend another 10-15 minutes on squats and push-ups. But you so desperately want to do at least some kind of activity to invigorate your body and prepare it for the day. Here is a simple solution for you – walking in place. It is easy, super low-impact, and calorie-burning. The best thing about it is that you are able to perform it while brushing your teeth, cooking meals, or even doing the dishes and get more benefits from it than you can imagine. Is walking in place a good exercise? The answer is definitely yes. In this article, you are going to find out the benefits of walking in place workout.
Is Walking In Place A Good Exercise For Seniors?
Physical activity should be a part of everybody’s life beginning from childhood up to elderly people. The benefits of physical activity are versatile: they manage a healthy weight, improve brain health, lower the risk of heart diseases, and make your bones and muscles stronger (4).
Children automatically get used to energetic activities. Moreover, they enjoy them, unlike adults who are focused on their jobs and other responsibilities more. Still, it is advisable for adults to move more and sit less during the day which will benefit their emotional, mental and physical state (6).
Therefore, walking in place is also a good exercise for seniors especially those who suffer from osteoarthritis or knee inflammation. It is all because it is a low-impact activity you can do inside and outside your house or in the grocery store while standing in line. It doesn’t matter what age you are, walking in place benefits people of all ages.
Seniors will not need any gym membership or equipment to stay in shape and improve their health. On top of that, a lot of seniors are prone to have to deal with high blood pressure which ends up in cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, one of the benefits of walking every day is that it lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risks of getting heart issues (8).
If you’re a senior, you can do it at your house at any time of the day. Just put on comfortable shoes and wrap yourself in the synchronized, low-speed movements. Walking 30 minutes a day can be enough to strengthen your legs and rebuild joints (9).
In case you see suspicious swellings on your legs, or you feel pain when standing on the ground then you had better stop it and reduce the time of walking on the spot. Talk to your doctor if walking in place causes pain.
Can You Lose Weight Walking In Place?
It is funny how people underestimate walking when it concerns overweight problems. For example, if your friend asks you about your workout routine and you indicate that this routine involves walking for 30 minutes every day he will laugh in your face because walking is not training for him.
To your surprise or not, walking in place is actually a good tool to burn unnecessary calories. The point is that the key to losing weight is to raise your heart rate to 70 percent while exercising at a moderate speed (5). Here walking in place weight loss is possible because it gets your heart rate up and activates your muscles.
This exercise is perfect for people with tough schedules and knee joint problems. However, every exercise needs appropriate preparation. This also concerns walking in place. Here is what you need to do, to use walking in place to lose weight:
- Put on comfortable shoes. Shoes with enough support are beneficial to your feet. You put a lot of pressure on the soles of your feet when you touch the ground, so make sure you protect them with walking shoes.
- Do a warm-up. Warm-up is beneficial for all kinds of workouts and even brisk walking. Stretch for 3-4 minutes to wake your body up.
- Add strength moves. Incorporate walking in place to your intensity workouts. Walk in place for 1-2 minutes and then switch to push-ups for example.
Do not take walking in place for granted. It is as helpful as walking on the incline or running. Of course, it burns fewer calories but when you add intense activities to it you will get amazing results.
Is Walking In Place Just As Good As Walking Outside?
Walking in place is as good as walking outside. Why? Well because you keep moving. Simple right? You get the same benefits from both of them. Once you put on walking shoes and start moving your legs you already “won the race”.
The difference here lies in the personal factors: whether or not you enjoy outside walking. If you have gotten used to your sweet home and have less desire to go outside, no problem, you can start walking in place in your favorite room. The outdoor lovers can wear comfy clothes and shoes and get outside to enjoy walking in the park or around the lake.
Very often people prefer brisk walking when they are outside. Brisk walking is about 3 miles per hour or 120 steps per minute. It is faster than a simple stroll.
Research in 2017 indicates that brisk walking can positively affect people’s lives and tends to be the most accessible way to activate their body (1).
Another great thing about brisk walking is that it is beneficial to our brain work. A study in 2014 demonstrated that older females who had a slight cognitive impairment had their hippocampus volume increased brisk walking twice a week for 6 months (3).
Obviously, it doesn’t matter where you walk – outside or in place inside. The only thing that matters is that you keep your body moving.
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How Long Should You Walk In Place For?
Every exercise has boundaries. Without them, we can get into health trouble. There is a difference between walking for 30 minutes a day and 5 hours per day, right? No matter how beneficial walking is there should be some lines.
On average, adults should engage themselves in at least 160 minutes of moderate physical activity or 85 minutes of intense activity. The main benefits of them are lowered risk of premature death and cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis (2).
If you want to get the benefits of walking in place, then you should start slow and gradually raise your time. Here is a simple 7-week walking in place plan you can stick to every day:
|Week||Minutes per day||Number of days|
By adding high-intensity workouts to your walking in place routine you will burn more calories and strengthen your body.
Is Walking In Place As Good As Walking On A Treadmill?
People often compare walking in place and on a treadmill. Above we mentioned the similarities between outdoor walking and walking in place. Here the situation is going to be a little bit different.
If we talk about weight loss then walking on the treadmill can help you lose more calories. On average, a person who walks in place for one hour burns 260 calories while a treadmill walk burns 306 calories. Plus, you can use different inclines on treadmills that put more pressure on your legs, upper body, and core. Hence you are losing more calories.
However, it doesn’t mean you should trek to the nearest gym to buy a membership or even purchase the treadmill to our house.
You still can burn more calories by walking in place if you add some high-intensity activities to it. Full-body workouts at home + walking in place create a perfect duet for your body shape and strength.
The only disadvantage of walking in a place is that for some people it gets kind of boring. No worries, you can spice it up with your habits. Instead of watching your favorite TV show on the couch you can stand up and walk for 5-10 minutes in place. The time will pass quickly since you join energetic actions with emotional ones. If you’d like to get the most out of the walking-in-place workout you can:
- Dress in comfortable clothes. Jeans or suede pants are going to restrict you during in-place walking. Wear a stretchy sweat suit and walking shoes.
- Swing your arms. By this, you train your legs and arms simultaneously.
- Keep a heart rate monitor by your side. Make sure your heart rate increases during the walking for bigger progress.
- Add burpees as a bonus. After 3 or 4 minutes of walking, you can perform burpees which is the perfect total-body activity.
Overall, walking in place can be as good as a treadmill walk. Treadmill walk can burn more calories but you can make it up for it by adding intensity workouts to a walking in place routine.
Do Steps Around The House Count?
As we have learned walking in place has a whole bunch of benefits:
- It’s low-impact
- It’s free of charge
- It can be performed anywhere
- It cuts off calories
- It doesn’t require equipment
You might be wondering whether steps around the house count and you can be sure that it totally counts. And yes, there are kinds of people who hesitate to move further from their territory but still find it dull to walk in place inside the room. Thus, they move around the house enjoying the view.
When you walk around the house it means that you move and when you move your heart pumps faster, your blood pressure lowers down and your bones become stronger. The advantage of walking around the house is that it won’t get boring so quickly.
However, if you got used to your territory and are too lazy to amble to the center of the city or another place you can jazz up your walking by
- Listening to a podcast. It is so great to combine sport with fruitful information. There are a lot of scientific and engaging podcasts. While you are going to be listening to them you won’t notice the time and minutes passing by.
- Walking around with your pet. Fun time with your pet is going to bring you positive emotions. Plus, you will be walking all the time which benefits your overall state.
- Listening to music. Walk around your house and bounce to your favorite songs. You will not only move more actively but automatically go ahead with dancing moves which raise the heart rate and lift up your mood.
In addition, if you walk at least 6 hours per week you reduce the risk of mortality chances to 35 percent (7).
Clearly, steps around the house count because they demand some body movements. They invigorate your body, strengthen your bones and give you more chances for a longer life.
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The Bottom Line
Walking in place is a low-impact activity that can be done everywhere. It requires no equipment and still gives you amazing results. If you are curious whether walking in place is a good exercise then you can look at its benefits.
Walking in place is great for both younger and senior people. This activity helps you burn calories. If you implement high-intensity training to in place walking, you will lose more weight.
Walking in place reduces blood pressure, improves bone strength, activates muscles, and reduces the risks of mortality to 35 percent.
You can do in-place walking every day anywhere you would love to – inside your house, in the grocery store, or in the park. It is as effective as walking outside or on the treadmill.
For effective walking in place, you need to prepare comfortable clothing and shoes, a heart rate monitor (if you want to observe your heart pumps), and a positive mood. You can jazz up your walks with burpees, arm moves, podcasts, or favorite music.
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!
- 10 minutes brisk walking each day in mid-life for health benefits and towards achieving physical activity recommendations (2017, publishing.service.gov.uk)
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008, health.gov)
- Aerobic Exercise Increases Hippocampal Volume in Older Women with Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 6-Month Randomized Controlled Trial (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Benefits of Physical Activity (2022, cdc.gov)
- Exercise intensity: How to measure it (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, cdc.gov)
- Under 2 hours of walking per week may considerably prolong life (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Walking Helps Lower Blood Pressure (2008, webmd.com)
- Walking to Ease Knee Pain (2016, webmd.com)