While it might be more fun to go on walks in your neighborhood or through the park, not every one has access to safe environments for cardio workouts. Traffic, air pollution, weather, and more can all play factors in whether or not you can do your walking workout outside. Well, the great thing about cario walking workouts is that you do not necessarily have to do them in areas with a lot of space! Seriously! You do not need a track or a long stretch of hallway to get your workout in. In fact, you could probably do just fine with the area in your living room.
There a few different methods of achieving a good cardio walking workout in, given that you do not have too much space. The easiest way to get a long walk in is to use a treadmill. There are many different workouts you can do on a treadmill. If you have a more technologically advanced treadmill, there might even be pre-programmed workouts on the treadmill. By using a treadmill, you can cover a lot of mileage without leaving the comfort of your home. You could even watch a movie or catch the news while you do your workout! Treadmills are also great because you can even get some incline into your day and pretend like you are going up a hill. You can truly mimic an outdoor walk (minus all of the outdoor elements) by using a treadmill.
Another way you do a cardio walking workout is by walking in place. You could start just by walking in place and gradually add more to the workout. Use some music, or something else to motivate you to keep a nice pace, and get into that walking rhythm. You should be standing tall, with your shoulders back and your abdominals engaged. Also, be sure to be aware of your arms! Your arms should be swinging with each step and they should be held at a 90 degree angle, close to your sides. After walking in place to warm yourself up, do another type of walk for a few minutes.
One idea you could use is to do the “one step forward, one step backward” step. Essentially, you step forward with one foot, bring the other one up to match, and then step backwards, leading with the foot that stepped forward first. Repeat this step for some time and then switch the leading foot. There should be some pop and rhythm while you do this workout. Once you have done that one, it is time to step to the side. Pick a foot, take a step in that direction, and have the other foot meet the leading foot by tapping it on the ground, right next to the leading foot. Using a seamless transition, take the foot that was just following, turn it into the leading foot, and step out to the other side. The bigger your step, the more effective your workout will be!
There are a lot of other walk-in-place exercises you can do to get a cardio walking workout in without actually needing too much space. For example, here is a quick video that demonstrates some of the steps that I mentioned above! Do not use space as an excuse for not getting a workout in!
(Photo courtesy of Sanja Gjenero)