If the weather makes it hard to get out and walk, you can still get your steps and burn calories by getting your cardio in at home. Doing cardio exercises at home ensures that you are able to get your 30-minutes of activity even during the cold and snow of winter. An at-home walking workout can be your secret weapon to hit 10,000 steps per day, or to burn off some stubborn winter fat.
Getting in a good cardio workout at home may seem like a daunting task when you are first starting out. With a few simple exercises, however, you can put together a fun workout routine that burns calories, builds strength and helps you lose weight. This at-home walking routine can include our favorite cardio exercise – walking – but you can also add in fun and challenging moves as well. You can use these tips and moves right away, at home or anywhere else, with no equipment required!
Note: If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)!
Walking In Place
Walking is great for your health, but can you still get steps if you’re stuck at home? Yes! Walking is an ideal low-impact exercise that can help you lose weight and reduce your stress and anxiety. However, most people don’t realize they can get in an amazing walking cardio session from the comfort of their own home. Not only can it be an entertaining workout by incorporating some clever twists, but as long as you have enough room it will be your go-to workout when you can’t head outdoors.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of walking in place at home.
Vary The Pace
To spruce things up you can add pace variations to your walking in place. Instead of maintaining a consistent, brisk pace for the entire workout, add some intervals. One way to start is to walk at a fast pace for one minute and a slow pace for two minutes, then repeat. The intervals can be adjusted to fit your needs. You can even get in a walking workout like this while walking in place!
For this workout, all you need is some space and your favorite TV show. Start walking around the room or in place whenever there is a commercial break. You might be able to get in a total of 12 minutes of cardio during a 30-minute TV show, or 24 minutes of cardio during a one-hour show. If you’re watching on a streaming service with no commercials, take a 5-minute walk in between episodes, or take a walking break midway through the episode.
Slow-Walk Your Favorite Show
You don’t have to only stick to commercials. If you’ve ever watched a tense sporting event, you may have found yourself cheering, jumping or pacing without even thinking about it. You can do this for your favorite shows and do a bit of activity as well! Try standing or slowly walk-in place while watching your favorite show. Even if you’re walking at half or a quarter or your regular pace, 30 minutes or an hour of slow walking can really add up. Walking at a fast, brisk pace might make it hard to pay attention to an exciting show, but you can try that too if you like!
If you want to accomplish some chores and get those steps in, add some physical activity to a boring cleaning job. You can add a bit of activity and more movement by making things a little less convenient while doing household chores. Don’t bring all of the cleaning supplies into each room – instead, walk over and grab each item separately. Turn on some fast music and clean the house to the beat. With these simple tricks, not only will your house be spotless but the extra calorie burn will make for a great workout.
Jogging In Place
You don’t need to be a fitness expert to be able to jog in place. Jogging in place is ideal for to get your heart-rate up, burn some calories, and still do it in the confinement of their own home. All that’s required is enough space where you can mimic that cyclical motion of lifting your knees as if you were running. Make the time fly by incorporating intervals where you alternate jogging for a minute at full speed, then taking a break by walking for 2 minutes. You can also alternate the intervals however you like.
Jogging in place is a great way to get some extra steps when you have a few minutes of free time during the day. If you’re feeling energetic, jog in place instead of walk in place during commercials or other breaks.
If your house, apartment building or office has stairs, walking up and down stairs can get you some intense exercise and a great strength workout for your legs. A quick stroll up and down the stairs helps to tone your legs, core, and glutes, burn more calories than regular walking, and give you something else to do besides walking in place. Here are a few ways you can spice up stair walking.
If your stairway is long enough (and safe enough), see how many rounds of walking you can do and see if you can beat a previous record. Set a timer and see how many times you can go up and down the stairs. Alternate your speeds by going up quickly and down slowly, or whatever works for you. If your stairs are slippery or don’t have great footing, this is one activity you’ll probably want to skip for your home.
If your body and experience allow for it, incorporate some pushups into this routine. With your toes on the ground, and your hands firmly placed on the stairs, lower down so your chest almost touches the stair. Not only is this a great chest and shoulder workout, and it can work core muscles as well!
As long as your stairs are secure, another great workout that combines cardio and toning is by taking 2 steps at a time and making your stair walking into a series of walking lunges. These stair lunges are great for toning all the muscles in your legs.
Hallway Walking and Body Weight Exercises
If you live in an apartment building or if you’re stuck at the office, use the hallways to your advantage to get some extra steps. If you’re limited in space but have a hallway available, you can still get in your steps and get in a good workout. Grab some headphones, turn on some music or a fun podcast, and start taking laps up and down the hallway. This type of moderate physical activity has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, even if done for short bursts of time. To make this routine more challenging, add in some total-body exercises like power walking to not only increase your heart rate but tone your body from head to toe.
Try Some Basic Bodyweight Exercises
In addition to your steps, you can add in some basic bodyweight exercises to get some extra calorie burn and build strength. A great way to do this is to try Pacer’s bodyweight workouts, which use videos to show you how to perform every movement. Here are a few movements to try.
Bodyweight squats are easy to do, and you can work them into breaks in your walking routine. You’ll help to strengthen your legs, as well as burn some extra calories.
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your hands straight out in front of you. You can also perform this move by crossing your arms so that each hand is on the opposite shoulder. Slowly sit downwards like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Make sure your head stays facing forward and your lower back is not rounded. As you lower your body, try to bend at the knees keeping your thighs parallel to the floor, with your knees over your ankle. Keeping your weight back into your heels, push your body up and return to the starting position.
While doing your at-home walking routine, drop to the ground and get in a few pushups. Whether you can do one or 20, pushups help to work your upper body, chest and shoulders.
Start on the ground and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your arms and legs straight. Slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Pause for a second and then push yourself back up. Make sure to keep your elbows in towards your body, and don’t flare them outwards as you lower yourself.
Incorporating jumping jacks into your walking routine is the perfect addition of heart-pumping cardio and a side of resistance training. Jumping jacks are an amazing exercise to do to tone the whole body.
Begin by standing upright with your legs together and your arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly as you jump into the air. As you are jumping, stretch your arms out over your head and make sure your legs are spread to about shoulder-width apart. From there, jump back to the original position and repeat.
Workout or Walking Videos
There are many guided walking or workout videos that you can do at home with no equipment required. Of course, we’re partial to our Pacer bodyweight workouts, but there are others that you can try.
You’ll want to find a coach or trainer that you like, as you’ll be listening to their voice for the entire workout. Make sure to choose a video that matches your desired intensity level and experience level as well!
Tracking your steps
As long as you have your phone on your body – in your hand, in a pocket, in a bag or on an armband, Pacer can still track your steps. Step tracking still works even if you’re walking in place – so long as your phone can register the movement. It’s still a great idea to get more active even if you can’t get all of your steps tracked, however. If you find it inconvenient to carry your phone, you can always manually add your estimated steps back.
With a little motivation, some creativity, and a few dedicated moves, not only will you transform your fitness routine into a calorie-torching cardio regimen, but you will also tone your whole body in the process. The best part- you will do all of this, and get your daily recommended steps, all from the comfort of your own home!
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.
How to Lose Weight by Walking in Place in Your Bedroom. (2019). By Shannon Sukovaty. Livestrong
Spring Cleaning Calorie Burn. (ND). By WebMD Archives. WebMD
Is Jogging in Place Beneficial?. (ND ). By John Shea. FitDay Blog
Step it up: 7 quick stair exercises to do at home. (2018) By Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic