6 Best Ways to Take Your Walking Indoors

Walking an Indoor Track at the Gym

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Are you taking your exercise indoors because you don't like the heat, wet, or cold outdoors? You don't have to stop walking. There are options and tactics to keep walking indoors.

The benefits of indoor walking are easier access to water and restrooms. But, a drawback is the boredom factor for treadmills and indoor tracks.


A treadmill is touted as the exercise machine most likely to be used. You don't need to learn anything new, just turn it on and hop on, adjust the speed and off you go. You may be tempted to hold onto the handrails at first, but you will get the most benefit of walking hands-free as you do outdoors.

Use your treadmill time to work on your walking posture, heel strike, and rolling through each step. With being able to control the speed and not having to navigate curbs and obstacles, this is a great opportunity to hone your walking form.

The boredom factor is high when it comes to treadmills, especially since it is often a solo activity. Audio and video on your mobile phone or tablet can come to the rescue, especially if the treadmill isn't positioned to watch TV. You can watch streaming treadmill workout videos or use an app.

When considering buying a treadmill, look at the motor power, stability, and workout features built into the treadmill. Space is also an important consideration. If you don't have a lot of room, consider a folding treadmill.

This is one piece of equipment where you usually get what you pay for, so it is best to shop for the best machine you can afford. Another good option is to look for a quality used treadmill. Then, get moving with treadmill workouts

Indoor Walking Tracks

Some gyms and health facilities have indoor walking and running tracks. As with a treadmill, these give you an opportunity to work on your walking posture and form, free from obstacles. You will need to observe their rules, such as which direction and lane to use.

It's also important to not obstruct others on the track, especially if you are walking with friends. Though, with limited space and the increasing popularity of walking and running, indoor tracks aren't the best places to walk with more than one friend.

They are, however, a great venue to challenge yourself with intervals (one lap fast, two laps slower) or time yourself to see how fast you can walk a mile. You can also keep it fun by trying to catch up to a faster walker or slower jogger who's in front of you.

Mall Walking

Most malls open early for walkers, as do some larger stores. Mall walking offers a more social atmosphere than walking on a treadmill or indoor track, and with a chance to window shop and stop at the coffee stand.

You can easily walk with friends or make new friends with the other mall walkers. Many walkers appreciate feeling more secure in the mall, away from traffic, and having access to restrooms and water.

The floors are usually underlain with concrete, so you may want to wear a more cushioned shoe than you would for a treadmill. Time your walk to finish when the stores open, especially during the holiday season when the mall will fill up fast with shoppers.

If you're looking for a faster-paced walking workout, this may not be the best venue. Many mall walkers prefer slower paces and there may be more people and obstacles like benches, plants, and kiosks to navigate as you're walking.

Video Walking Indoors

Leslie Sansone has a series of indoor walking workout videos designed for those with limited space to get a walking workout without a treadmill. All you need to do is clear a space in front of the TV or computer monitor and play the video or DVD.

You'll be led through a workout that includes marching in place along with movements like side steps, kicks, and knee lifts. It requires a bit more coordination than regular walking, but these workouts burn calories and tone muscles.

If you are training for a long walk, these videos do not substitute for training outdoors or on a treadmill as different muscles are worked.

Walk the Halls and Stairs

Make your own walking circuit at your workplace or school. Any large building has opportunities for adding steps. Wear a pedometer or fitness band and aim to increase your average daily steps by 2,000 as a start.

If you want more of a challenge, use the stairs whenever going up or down one to three floors. You may make new friends in other areas of your workplace, enjoy a networking opportunity, or even start your own walking club. You'll be more in the know about what's going on as well as getting needed activity.

Airport Walking Paths for Travelers

As an antidote to sitting on the plane, airports are adding marked walking paths in the terminal. This can help you get in your 10,000 steps on a day you are traveling by plane. Some airports that are walker-friendly include:

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport has a fitness walking trail, designated as FitFHX. The route includes seven water bottle filling stations for free chilled, filtered water.
  • Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP): There is a 1.4-mile Start! Walking path in the Lindbergh Terminal, which is Terminal 1.
  • Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): There are three walking paths at DFW, including the 0.7-mile LiveWell Walking Path in Terminal D, with many art installations to view.
  • Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): The Cardio Trail at BWI has two loops of 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) each.
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE): CLE Health Walk signs are posted on columns to lead you through routes in three different concourses.
1 Source
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  1. PR Newswire. DFW International Airport opens LiveWell walking path to promote healthy travel.

By Wendy Bumgardner
Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events.