It’s no secret walking can be an excellent way to get in shape and shed a few inches from your waistline. Unfortunately, getting a walk in isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Whether it’s a hectic schedule, a house full of kids or foul weather, sometimes heading out for a walk can be tricky — and that’s where house walking comes in.
Here’s what you need to know about house walking and how it can help you burn calories when your other options are limited:
Instead of simply focusing on getting from point A to point B, house walkers aim to get steps in whenever possible. This might consist of a short 10-minute bout of walking stairs, walking in place or completing a 30-minute walking video in front of the TV. At the end of the day, all those 5–10-minute bouts add up and are more effective at helping you reach your weight-loss goals than if you didn’t exercise at all.
While it might not seem doable at first, house walking is easy as long as you have a basic plan. Here are a few tips you can use to get in a good walking workout from the comfort of your home:
Setting a realistic step goal gives you a specific number to shoot for by the end of the day. This provides an incentive to get up and moving when you’re falling behind. It also gives you a way to measure your steps indoors against those days when you are able to walk outside or on a treadmill.
You can also set a goal to increase your total steps each week by a 1,000, which can be a good way to progress and keep challenging yourself to improve your fitness.
These devices count steps for you and provide other data, like calories burned, which can be useful in tracking your fitness. Some fitness trackers also provide prompts when you haven’t moved in a while, making it easy to stay on track. Though the price of most fitness trackers is reasonable, most smartphones also include step counters if you’re on the fence about investing in one. Another cheaper option is a basic pedometer. It won’t provide as much data but it will count your steps.
The less you’re still, the more steps you’ll get. Go for a lap around the house every 15 minutes, walk while you dictate your grocery list to your iPhone or walk in place during your favorite TV show. Don’t stay seated for too long at any point during the day and you’ll be surprised how many additional calories you can burn.
Yes, walking in place for 30 minutes at a time or heading up the same flight of stairs can be a bit boring. One way to up the calorie burn and keep things a bit more interesting is to alternate your steps with a few different bodyweight exercises. Lunges, pushups, squats, butt kickers or sidekicks are a few different options to try. For every 3–5 minutes of in-place walking you complete, stop and do a set of 10–15 repetitions of an exercise. This circuit-type workout is great for getting your steps in and toning the rest of your body.
There are a ton of walking videos and workouts you can do at home if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas on your own. Besides walking while you multitask, here’s an example of an at-home walking interval set you can do whenever you’ve got 15–20 minutes to spare.
Set time: 6–8 minutes
Total sets: 2–4
Walk in place for 3–5 minutes. This place can be easy the first go-round, but try to pick up the pace as much as possible in the rounds that follow.
Do a set of walking lunges for one minute, alternating legs.
Walk with high-knees or do a set of butt-kickers for one minute. This should be performed at as fast of a pace as you can handle.
Complete as many burpees as you can handle in one minute.
To become more active, try setting a simple goal to increase (and track) your daily steps. Go to “Plans” in the MyFitnessPal app and choose a 28-day step plan to learn tips to boost your activity.