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No, You Don’t Have To Head Outside To Do a Walking Workout—Here Are The Bonus Benefits To Getting in Your Steps Indoors

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I recently came across trainer Sharona’s Hill’s low-impact indoor walking workout, and let me tell you: I am hooked. There is still snow on the ground in the mountain town where I live, so the high-energy music and simple workout was a needed quick fitness break and natural serotonin boost. Better yet, it was all set to Justin Bieber.

The idea is super simple: Set to a playlist of high-energy, upbeat songs, Hill leads you on an indoor walking workout that gets you to that 10,000-step goal in just 16 minutes. To keep things interesting (and high-intensity) she adds in side-to-side and back steps (think a mini lunge), exaggerated arm movements to get the whole body moving, and dances along with the music. It’s fun, light-hearted, and a really great way to break up that time at the desk or give yourself an energy boost mid-afternoon, which could explain why Hill’s videos are going viral on TikTok.

The workout is so simple and fun that it’s easy to question if you are actually getting the benefits you may find from power walking outside. But certified trainer Paizley Longino, a coach for STRIDE Fitness, says, “Just because it sounds convenient doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its benefits. Not only is this workout a much easier alternative to do on your own time, but it also has the huge benefit of allowing you to get your sweat on in a controlled environment as well.”

The upsides of indoor walking workouts you won’t get outside

“While it could be believed that indoor walking may not have the same benefits as an outdoor walk, that’s simply untrue,” Longino says. “Not only is it possible to get so much out of indoor walking, like increasing your heart rate, but you are also most likely even safer being at home by avoiding having to monitor your location, people around you, or animals.”

Plus, this workout is more than just walking in place. “Walking lunges and step ups will help you move your feet, but still focus on strength training at the same time,” says Longino, who adds that this type of quick, fun workout is great to add to your normal strength training because you’re moving your arms, tightening your core, and exaggerating your movements—think a combo of walking and dance cardio. To increase the strength training element, hold on to light two- to three-pound hand weights, or whatever meets your individual needs (for example, water bottles or wrist weights).

We aren’t completely nixing that outdoor walk, though

Even if you embrace indoor walking workouts, hitting the trails, going on a walk with friends, or getting outside should still be high on your list of activities. “Outdoor workouts will always have incredible advantages as far as environmental factors like fresh air, Vitamin D from the sun, and warding off depression symptoms, as well as organic human interaction with a sense of community,” Longino says.

Indoor walking workouts are just a great alternative when time and weather aren’t on your side, and it’s always good to have options.

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