Keeping up a walking routine when the weather turns cold isn’t easy. We don’t all have space for a treadmill in the house–or in the budget. And bundling up in cold weather gear to walk in freezing cold, snow, and ice isn’t really an attractive option.
Staying active in the winter months is a good goal to have. And I’m happy to report that it is possible to get in a daily walk even when the weather turns nasty. Trainer Stephanie Mansour created a 31-day indoor walking plan that you can do throughout the winter months. This workout plan is incredibly versatile and was designed to be done inside your home, your apartment, or even while shopping at your local big-box retailer.
Mansour told Today that getting back to the basics and focusing on the simple movement of walking is an effective way to raise your heart rate, burn some calories, and speed up your metabolism. But the benefits go beyond the physical. There’s been research that indicates walking is great for your mental health—it’s a great stress reliever and it can increase mindfulness.
Workout #1: Basic 20-Minute Indoor Walk
For the basic indoor walk, Mansour said to get moving and focus on breathing and form. Start by walking through your house while breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Pump your arms while you walk and mindfully step one foot in front of the other. Press down with your full foot instead of walking on your toes or striking hard with your heels.
Tips And Tricks:
- If you get bored, try a different route through the house or find an elevated surface to walk up. If you have the option, change up the location and hit a local mall or even your closest Walmart or Target.
- If you don’t have a full 20 minutes, break up your walk into four, five-minute chunks throughout the day. Mansour also suggested using meals as cues, walking before breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.
Workout #2: 20-Minute Fast/Slow Walk
For the second workout, you’ll add some intervals to increase the heart rate and add an extra challenge. Start with a one-minute walk around the house at a moderate pace. Next, march in place for one minute at a quicker pace. Continue to repeat this for a total of 20 minutes, alternating between a one-minute normal walking pace and a one-minute quicker march in place.
Tips And Tricks
- Similarly to the first workout, if you get bored, you can try a different route through the house. You can also find an elevated surface to walk up for an additional challenge.
Workout #3: 20-Minute Walk With Strength Training
For the third workout, Mansour said to add a little bit of strength training in your daily walk for a full-body workout. This will add to the fast/slow walk from workout two. You’ll start with your one-minute moderately paced walk, followed by a minute of quickly marching in place. Then, you’ll perform five squats, five pushups, and five calf raises.
For 20 minutes, continue alternating between the one-minute walk, the one-minute speed walk in place, and the strength training circuit.
Tips And Tricks:
- When doing squats, stand with your feet as wide as your hips, clasp your hands in front of your chest, bend your knees, and sit back into the squat. When standing back up, press down through the heels. For a modification, do your squats against a wall.
- If a standard push-up is too much, do a modified push-up on your knees or do an incline push-up against a countertop or wall.
- Calf raises will work on balance and build your lower leg muscles. For a modification, lightly touch a counter to help with your balance.