It’s no secret that walking can be a great way to get in shape and shed a few inches from your waistline. Unfortunately, making the walk isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Whether it’s a busy schedule, a house full of kids or bad weather, sometimes getting out for a walk can be tricky – that’s why family walks are so important.
Here’s what you need to know about family walks 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, the goal of the house walker is to get as many steps as possible. This might include short 10-minute bursts of taking the stairs, marching in place or completing a 30-minute walking video in front of the TV. At the end of the day, all of these 5-10 minute bursts add up to be more effective in helping you reach your weight loss goals than if you didn’t exercise at all.
While it may not seem feasible at first, house walking is easy as long as you have a basic plan in place. Here are some tips you can use to get a good walking workout in the comfort of your own home.
1 Set a step-by-step goal
Set a realistic step goal that gives you a specific number by the end of the day. This provides an incentive to get up and move when you’re behind. It also provides a way for you to measure your steps indoors versus those days when you can walk outside or on the treadmill.
You can also set a goal to increase your total steps by 1,000 per week, which can be a great way to make progress and keep challenging yourself to improve your fitness.
2 Get a fitness tracker
These devices count steps for you and provide you with other data such as calories burned, which is useful for tracking your fitness. Some fitness trackers also provide tips for when you haven’t moved in a while, making it easy to stay on track. While most fitness trackers are reasonably priced, if you’re hesitant to invest in one, most smartphones also include a step counter. Another cheaper option is a basic pedometer. It won’t provide as much data, but it will count your steps.
3 Move as much as possible.
The less stationary you are, the more steps you’ll take. Walk around the house every 15 minutes, dictating your grocery list to your iPhone as you go, or marching in place during your favorite TV show. Don’t sit for too long at any time of the day, you’ll be surprised at how many extra calories you can burn.
4 Add weight exercises to your walk.
Yes, marching in place for 30 minutes at a time or walking up the same flight of stairs can get a little boring. One way to increase the calorie burn and make things more interesting is to alternate your steps with some different bodyweight exercises. Arching, push-ups, squats, butt kicks or side kicks are a few different options to try. For every 3-5 minutes of walking in place that you complete, stop and do a set of 10-15 exercises. This circuit-type workout is great for getting your step count up and working the rest of your body.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas on your own, there are a ton of walking videos and workouts that you can do at home. In addition to multitasking while you walk, here’s an example of an at-home walking interval group you can do as long as you have 15-20 minutes of free time.
Setting time: 6-8 minutes
Total number of sets: 2-4
Walk in place for 3-5 minutes. This area can be easy for the first round, but try to pick up the pace in the later rounds.
Do a set of walking lunges for one minute, alternating between legs.
Walk with high knees or do a set of butt kicks for one minute. This should be done at a pace you can handle.
Perform as many push-ups as you can in one minute.