Are you up for a 31-day challenge? Join us on the START Today Facebook group for daily tips and motivation, to connect with others following the plan, and to get real-time advice from trainer Stephanie Mansour!
With the weather getting colder, avid walkers face a dilemma: invest in some cold-weather gear and brave the elements or find an indoor workout to get us through the winter months.
I am all about a walk outdoors on a crisp day, but when inclement weather or freezing temps keep you inside it’s still possible to get that walk in. I created this indoor walking plan that you can do throughout the holiday season inside your home, apartment or even the mall!
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 first is your basic indoor walk, the second adds in interval training to get your heart rate up, and the third workout incorporates some bodyweight strength exercises.
I love focusing on the most accessible form of exercise — walking! — this time of year. Getting back to basics and focusing on simple movement is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories, speed up the metabolism, and make use of your living space to get in more steps. Mentally, walking has many benefits, too. Research shows that walking helps relieve stress and increase mindfulness. Who couldn’t use this during the holidays?
Walking workout 1: 20-minute walk
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 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!
Squat: 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.
Modified pushups: 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.
Calf raises: 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 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.