Are you taking your exercise indoors because you don't like the heat, wet or cold? You don't have to stop walking. There are options and tactics to keep walking indoors. The benefits of indoor walking are easier access to water and restrooms. A drawback is the boredom factor for treadmills and indoors tracks. It may be time to invest in an iPod if those are your choices.
TreadmillA treadmill is touted as the most-likely-to-be-used exercise machine. You don't need to learn anything new, just turn it on and hop on, adjust the speed and off you go. You may be tempted to hold onto the handrails at first, but you will get the most benefit walking hands-free as you do outdoors. Use your treadmill time to work on your walking posture, heel strike, rolling through each step. Being able to control the speed and not having to navigate curbs and obstacles, this is a great opportunity to hone your walking form. The boredom factor is high when it comes to treadmills, especially since it is often a solo activity. Audio and video on your mobile phone or tablet can come to the rescue, especially if the treadmill isn't positioned to watch TV.
Before You Buy a Treadmill
Indoors TracksSome gyms and health facilities have indoors walking and running tracks. As with a treadmill, these give you an opportunity to work on your walking posture and form, free from obstacles. You will need to observe their rules, such as which direction and lane to use, and not to obstruct others on the track.
Mall WalkingMost malls open early for walkers, as do some larger stores. Circling the mall offers a more social atmosphere than walking on a treadmill or indoors track, and with a chance to window shop and stop at the coffee stand. You can easily walk with friends or make new friends with the other mall walkers. The floors are usually underlain with concrete, so you may want to wear a more cushioned shoe than you would for a treadmill. Time your walk to finish when the stores open, especially during the holiday season when the mall will fill up fast with shoppers.
Video WalkingLeslie Sansone has a series of indoors walking workout videos designed for those with limited space to get a walking workout without a treadmill. All you need to do is clear a space in front of the TV or computer monitor and play the video or DVD to be led through a workout. These workouts burn calories and tone muscles. If you are training for a long walk, these videos do not substitute for training outdoors or on a treadmill as different muscles are worked.
Indoors Walking Videos
Walk the Halls and StairsMake your own walking circuit at your workplace or school. Any large building has opportunities for adding steps. Wear a step-counting pedometer, and aim to increase your average daily steps by 2,000 as a start. Use the stairs whenever going up or down 1 to 3 floors. You may make new friends in other areas of your workplace -- a networking opportunity –- or even form your own walking club.
Top Picks for Pedometers
Starting a Walking Club