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Temperatures in March are often unpredictable. One day, it may feel like spring, while much of the month is stormy and cold. That means that avid walkers face a dilemma: Invest in some cold-weather gear and brave the elements or find an indoor workout to get them through the rest of winter.
I am all about a walk outdoors on a crisp day, but you can still get your walk in when inclement weather or freezing temps keep you inside! I created this indoor walking plan that you can do throughout the month inside your home, apartment or even at the mall. And if the weather does happen to be playing nice, why not take it outside?
31-day indoor walking plan
This workout plan is comprised of three different walking workouts that you will alternate between throughout the month — and they only require 20 minutes each day.
The 3 walking workouts
- A basic indoor walk that you can do anywhere.
- Walking plus in interval training to get your heart rate up.
- Walking plus bodyweight strength exercises to strengthen and tone.
I love focusing on the most accessible form of exercise — walking — this time of year. Focusing on simple movement is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories and speed up your metabolism. Taking your workout into your home just might change how you think about ‚ and use — your living space.
What if your living room wasn't just a place to Netflix and chill? What if it was also a — very convenient — gym? Imagine this: A cluttered corner that you generally try to ignore could become the place where you become the best version of yourself. That kind of mindset shift could make a big difference in helping you meet your long-term health goals.
Mentally, walking itself has many benefits, too. Research shows that walking helps relieve stress and increase mindfulness.
Walking workout 1
Get moving and focus on breathing, form and clearing your head. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Pump your arms as you walk. Step one foot in front of the other mindfully, pressing down with your full foot and being cognizant of not walking on your toes or striking too hard with your heal.
If you’re feeling bored with this, try taking a different route through the house or finding an elevated surface to walk up. But make sure to keep it simple and focus on your breathing. You can also try playing some of your favorite songs and walking to the beat!
Don’t have 20 minutes? Break this down into four, five-minute chunks! Use your meals as a cue and walk for five minutes before breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. I find that a short walk before a meal helps increase mindfulness and allows my clients to be more in tune with their bodies and sometimes eat less — or at least eat a bit healthier.
Walking workout 2
20-minute fast/slow walk
This walk adds intervals: Walk for one minute around your house, at a moderate pace. Next, march in place at a quicker pace for one minute. Staying in one spot will allow you to speed things up. Repeat this, alternating between a normal walking pace through the house and then a quicker marching in-place. Do this for a total of 20 minutes.
Walking workout 3
20-minute walking & strength
This walk incorporates three simple strength-training exercises into the mix. After every speedy in-place walk, you’ll perform five squats, five modified pushups and five calf raises, before moving on to the one minute moderate pace walk around the house. Continue to alternate between the one-minute slow walk, one-minute in-place speed walk, and the strength-training circuit for a total of 20minutes.
Every other day we’ll add in strength-training exercises. These three exercises require no equipment and work your entire body, improve balance, and best of all, you can do them in your kitchen, against a wall or on the ground!
Stand straight with your feet as wide as your hips. Place your hands on your hips or clasp them in front of your chest. Bend your knees and sit back into a squat, then press down through the heels to come up to standing. You can modify this by only squatting halfway, or by doing a squat against the wall. Repeat five times.
If standard pushups are too much for you, try a modified pushup on your knees. Start on hands and knees with your knees as wide as your hips and your hands as wide as your shoulders. Then scoot your knees back about a foot, but keep your shoulders over your wrists. Pull the abs in, then bend the elbows out to the sides to lower down into a pushup. Press up to return to start. You can also do an incline pushup on a countertop or against a wall. Stand with your feet a few feet away from the counter or wall, open as wide as your hips. Place your hands on the counter or wall as wide as your shoulders and do pushups from here. Repeat five times.
Work on balance and build the muscles of your lower legs with this move. Stand tall with your feet as wide as your hips. Place your hands on your hips or lightly touching a chair or counter for balance. Shift your weight forward and come up onto your tip toes, working the calves. Return the feet down flat and rock the weight back into the heels. Repeat this five times.