Indoor Walking Can Help Manage Weight

It’s incredible to think that our country spans an entire continent! Temperatures can vary wildly because of the different landscapes and proximity to water. While we’re sitting pretty in the mid-60s and low-70s here in San Diego, we know some of you are sweltering! We are thinking of you!

For some of us, it’s the perfect time of year to get outside and exercise in the sunshine! The weather is gorgeous and mild. We haven’t hit the hot days yet! But others are hiding from the brutal heat inside.

Exercising outdoors in high temperatures can put you at risk for dehydration and heat stroke. If it’s not safe to get outside, you don’t have to give up on your health goals!

Walking indoors can help you reach your health goals. People often cite 10,000 steps a day as a basic goal. But that’s not true for everyone. People with kidney concerns who walk 7,000 to 12,000 steps daily have a higher quality of life. That averages out to 10,000 steps. But that number originally came from an ad campaign to sell pedometers in 1964. There was no science behind the claim then. After compiling different studies, the European Society of Cardiology recommends just under 4,000 steps as the minimum to stay healthy and live longer.

For goals like losing weight, 10,000 steps can be beneficial. Depending upon body weight and walking speed, 10,000 steps can burn between 250 and 600 calories. You can walk around your home, go to an indoor shopping center or walk in place while watching TV.

Medicare Part C often covers gym memberships. That can allow you access to treadmills and other equipment that would help you convert your usual outdoor exercise into a routine you can do in an air-conditioned space.  

Walking can help your health in many ways. “Walking increases your energy expenditure from baseline, helping to create a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss,” said Mike Masi, a certified personal trainer. “Additionally, walking may reduce stress for some people and lower cortisol levels.”

Consistently elevated cortisol levels can increase abdominal fat, a higher risk for chronic diseases and blood sugar concerns.

Walking continually for 30 minutes daily can be a beneficial way to hit your walking goal for the week. That might mean lapping your home, walking up and down your stairs or heading to the mall to get your steps in. You don’t have to be training to climb Mount Everest to be healthy. Adding more movement to your day and staying consistent can help you stay healthy and manage your weight all summer!  

Banner image: Magda Ehlers via Pexels

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