Walking is the most natural movement for a person, its benefits for the body are undeniable. But will walking in place be just as effective? After all, you don’t always want to go somewhere special.
From the article we will learn how to walk in place correctly, how to diversify your workouts, and whether such walking has any drawbacks.
Why walk in place
Sometimes taking a long walk is not so easy: bad weather, lack of nearby green spaces, inability to get to the gym on a treadmill, or simply having to be at home. Or, as is often the case, a person ends up losing motivation for systematic studies.
Such training is a great option for people who are too busy and do not find time to walk regularly, as well as for those who, due to health problems (colds, injuries, obesity), cannot walk for a long time. On-site walking is available at all times and can be activated between activities.
Benefit and Harm
It is unlikely that there is a serious study claiming that walking is useless or even harmful to the human body. The physiological benefits of walking, regardless of a person’s fitness level, have long been known.
What does walking do if you practice it regularly – even on the spot, even on the move:
- Heart and vascular health
Lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease are seen in all populations who take regular walks. Young and old, thin and fat, men and women all find positive health effects from regular walking.
- Disease prevention and strengthening of the immune system
Walking can also help boost the immune system and prevent diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Moderate exercise, such as walking, is believed to help with erectile dysfunction and other aspects of sex life.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Walking here offers the same benefits as running, although of course you have to train a bit longer. Another factor that affects weight loss while walking is current weight. A person with a high body fat percentage will burn more calories per mile than a pedestrian with a low body weight.
- Musculoskeletal health
Walking is an exercise with a low load on the musculoskeletal system. It helps maintain joint health, improves joint mobility and flexibility throughout life. In addition, walking improves bone density, balance and coordination.
- Mental health and mindfulness
Aerobic physical activity has a direct impact on mental health by reducing anxiety and relieving symptoms of depression. In particular, walking in the natural environment has been compared to meditation. Remember that physical and mental health are interdependent.
Read on the subject: What is a health course and why it is good for your health
As for the evil of walking on the spot, there is none. Even the harmful effects of external factors (weather, polluted air, emergencies) are excluded from indoor walking.
Rather, such activities have disadvantages compared to a regular walk on the street. So walking in place doesn’t give your brain the powerful meditative effect of regular walking. And yet walking in place is better than nothing. This can be a good start for those who have just started practicing.
Is walking in place effective for weight loss?
Walking in place can help with weight loss, even if it is less energy intensive than classic walking with movement and even more so running. A person weighing 68 kg burns about 300 kcal per hour of brisk walking. It is clear that the number of calories burned will be less for a person with less weight and vice versa. What if we walked in place?
In a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, participants who walked in place for an hour burned an average of 258 calories compared to about 304 calories for people who walked on a treadmill. The study also found that people who walked in place during commercial breaks burned about 148 calories in 25 minutes. During this time, they took 2111 steps.
The key to losing weight while walking is to increase your heart rate to 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. You can achieve this pace by varying the intensity of walking in place and adding arm strokes: the more you move, the more calories you burn.
Walking in place for more effective weight loss should be combined with diet and strength training in the gym or at home.
How to practice
Walking is one of the easiest ways to take care of your health. Nobody really needs to learn how to walk effectively, and you can walk at any stage of your life with minimal risk of injury. But since walking in place is an unpopular alternative to natural walking, you will have to be careful with your technique.
Stand up straight, chin up, eyes facing forward. Straighten your shoulders and start the familiar movement with your legs. Do not lean forward or back, keep your stomach slightly taut and raise your knees. For walking in place, the walking step is best because it forces you to pay attention to your body position and increases your heart rate.
Since walking in place is not running, landing on the heel will be correct here. When you walk forward, this movement happens naturally, but if you walk in place, you’ll need to pay extra attention when landing.
To walk normally at home, no special equipment is required. However, the process will be more pleasant if you wear suitable sportswear. Shoes should have a soft tongue and a thick heel sole for better cushioning. A roomy toe box, flexible materials and a lightweight, breathable upper complete the perfect walking shoe.
Walking in one place for a long time can be boring. Applications that give the illusion of being in the mountains or in the forest do not yet work at a sufficient level of immersion. But the good news is that you don’t have to walk around for hours.
Start with walking 5 minutes, then 10. Start with small goals, then gradually move to longer walks or at a faster pace.
Remember, if your goal is to lose weight by walking, you need to raise your heart rate to the fat burning zone. This is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.
How often to practice
The World Health Organization recommends moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It is better to practice continuously, but even exercising several times a day for 5-10 minutes will have a positive effect on health.
If you are interested in the distance covered by walking in place, about 1200 steps will equal one kilometer. If you want to measure pace and intensity, most experts consider 100 strides per minute to be fast. But the best indicator of intensity are your body’s signals: pulse, breathing, sweating.
Read more: Why walk 10,000 steps a day
Walking options on site
1. Walk in place during the commercial. During a 30-minute TV show, you can accumulate 12 minutes of activity, which is a good result.
2. Add exercises for the arms, for example with dumbbells. Doing additional exercises while marching in place will help increase calories burned, as well as tighten and tone your arms.
3. Change the rhythm and add different foot movements. To increase the intensity of your walking, vary your pace by walking at a brisk pace for two minutes, then walking at a normal pace for four minutes. The duration of the intervals can be different.
Varying the pace not only diversifies the activity, but also increases the number of calories burned. Add knee raises or kicks to increase the intensity and make the workout more interesting.
4. Add burpees. After a few minutes of walking in place, do a burpee or two. This is a great full body exercise that helps build strength and increases the intensity of your overall workout.
5. Walk with the walking platform. The walking platform, like the stairs or climbing a hill, will help you engage more muscles, get your heart rate up, and make your workout more effective. The walking platform can be used for interval training, when you walk on it for a while and then to rest, you use “flat” walking in place.
6. If you want to get more out of walking in place, add intervals of bodyweight exercises: push-ups, all kinds of planks, squats, etc. In addition, you can walk with weights by taking dumbbells, wearing a backpack or a special weight vest.
With additional exercises and accessories, there are so many options for classes that no workout will be like another, which means you won’t be bored either.
If you live in an apartment building, take the stairs. It’s twice as hard as brisk walking on level ground and 50% harder than climbing a steep incline. With such work, the optimal heart rate is reached faster, and therefore such training is more effective in losing weight and regaining good shape.
What muscles are involved
When you walk in place, your leg muscles work first, namely the front of the thigh. To a lesser extent, this exercise targets the abs, hamstrings, and hip flexors.
If you add a step platform, your calf and glute muscles are also pumped.
How is walking in place different from running in place?
Running in place is an effective workout that strengthens your cardiovascular system and burns calories without having to run through dusty city streets. Running in place works the quadriceps, calves and buttocks. And the effort when walking is concentrated on the hamstrings and buttocks.
The quadriceps and calves are stimulated less by normal walking than by running, unless walking on an incline, so running outperforms walking in terms of muscle impact.
For those who are worried about their knees and joints and therefore do not practice regular running with movement in space, you can try alternating running and walking in place, because running in place puts less strain on the musculoskeletal system.
Walking requires the least effort compared to running, so if you want to burn the most calories in the least amount of time, choose running in place: this exercise has a higher intensity than walking.
So, walking is great, and walking in place is a valid alternative to natural walking, especially if you include other types of exercise in your classes. Have fun, remember to warm up and stretch, and enjoy every workout.
Read more: Walking: types, benefits, calorie consumption