Itís heating up where I live. Summer has just officially started, but it has been hot for a few weeks now. Last year, I wore myself out with walking in the heat five or six days a week. This summer, I am moving my walking inside when the temperature exceeds reasonable, as it often does here in Memphis in the summer. The heat versus humidity debate may rage on for some people, but it is a moot point for meóit is miserable outside! Plus, we have had some air quality issues lately; so indoor walking just seems to make better sense.
You may choose inside walking for other reasons--perhaps it is too cold or too dark or raining. Or, perhaps you live where it is dangerous to walk outside--because of crime or hazardous roads. Or, maybe you just need a plan for walking no matter where you are. So, what are the options for indoor walking?
Join a gym: They often have both treadmills and walking tracks indoors. Plus, you can do other activities at the gym. There are great opportunities for walkers to cross-train by swimming, using the elliptical machines or stationary bikes, take an aerobics or dance class and strength train. Walking can still be your favorite and main form of exercise, but you get to experiment with other activities in a gym without the expense of buying the equipment yourself. Expect to pay from $25 USD and up per month, depending on the gym and your location. (Thatís the cost of two nice lunches out, or a couple of t-shirts or less than one pedicure)
Buy your own treadmill: If you cannot afford a good one, save up. There is a big difference in quality in treadmills and while I am all for saving money, even the cheap ones cost around $500 USD and good ones are several thousand dollars. Go to a gym and walk a few times on a good treadmill so you will know what they feel like before you buy. (Most gyms have day passes or trial programs.) And, definitely walk on any treadmill you are considering. If you are in the market, check out craigslist or other local sources for used ones. Once you know the model you want, you can probably find someone who is selling theirs and used is always cheaper. Often people buy fitness equipment and end up never using it or they choose another activity, or move or whateveróso you get a good deal.
Mall walking: Mall walking is a great way to move your walking inside. Malls are huge and have plenty of room for you to get in a good workout. In fact, it is a good idea to circle the mall once or twice before you shop just to get in a few extra steps. Some malls have walking programs where they open earlier and let walkers walk before shoppers can come in, lessening your chance of bumping into others.
Walking DVDs: Leslie SansoneLeslie Sansone is the guru of indoor walking programs. You can walk in your living room while watching her programs on your dvd or vcr player. Sansoneís programs are easy and work for anyone able to walk, plus she has harder versions for regular walkers who need a backup plan. Many people walk to programs indoors as their regular exercise and it is a great idea.
So, if you have to move indoors due to heat or cold or crime or whatever, try these ideas to find your own preferred inside walking program.
If you are also trying to shed a few pounds, try Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds - Super Fat Burning - 3 Miles
For treadmill or track walking, I always use my iPod. Try the newer, more portable Apple iPod Shuffle to jazz, rock, country or disco up your walks!