How to Exercise By Marching or Walking in Place

Woman exercising in living room
A woman is stretching in her living room. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Marching or walking in place provides exercise to keep your heart healthy and manage your weight. Aerobic exercise, exercising "with oxygen," makes your heart and lungs more efficient, increases your energy, improves your mood, reduces stress and tones your muscles. Marching and walking in place require no specialized equipment and provide an option for at-home exercise or a means to maintain your fitness routine in a hotel room while traveling. Walking in place warms up your muscles as part of a fitness routine on the go.

Step 1

Put on walking shoes. Walking shoes protect your feet and reduce impact on your joints when you walk or march.

Step 2

Walk in place at an easy pace, swinging your arms naturally, for five minutes to warm up your muscles. Warming up pumps blood to your muscles and gradually increases your heart rate to prepare for exercise.

Step 3

Perform basic stretches before continuing your exercise session. For example, put one foot on a low stool or sturdy chair and reach for your toes to stretch your hamstrings. Perform this stretch twice for each leg. Reach toward the ceiling, alternating hands to stretch your sides and shoulders.

Step 4

Walk in place at a moderate pace. Your exercise level should allow you to carry on a conversation. If you begin to feel any strain or feel winded, slow down. Swing your arms naturally, relax your jaw and shoulders, stand up straight and keep your hands and elbows loose.

Step 5

Achieve aerobic benefits from marching or walking in place by exercising at 65 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. After 10 minutes of exercise, take your pulse by pressing your fingers to your wrist or neck and counting the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply the number of beats by four to arrive at the number of heartbeats per minute.

Step 6

To calculate your target heart rate, arrive at your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Age 30 subtracted from 220 = 190 maximum heart rate. Multiply your maximum heart rate by .65 and then by .85 to determine your target heart rate range for using walking or marching in place for aerobic exercise.

Step 7

Monitor your heart rate as you march or walk in place to check that you are in your target heart rate range. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each session for aerobic benefits. For weight loss, exercise for more than 30 minutes each session when you become fit enough to do so.

Step 8

Increase your exercise intensity by marching, if you are fit enough. If you've been sedentary or are out of shape, stick to walking in place until you become more fit. To march in place, lift your knees with each step and raise the opposite hand to chest level, as though you're leading a marching band. Swing your arms with gusto to increase the intensity.

Step 9

Cool down from your marching or walking in place exercise session by walking slowly for three to five minutes after completing your planned exercise time. This helps your heat rate and breathing to return to normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Walking shoes

  • Watch or clock with a second hand

Tip

Walk on carpet or grass to reduce the impact on your joints; and if you have any difficulties with balance, walk in place near a counter or couch that you can hold onto. Play music to help you keep a rhythmic pace and wear a pedometer to count your steps. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. If you are obese or suffer from arthritis or mobility issues, walk in place in a swimming pool.

Warning

Consult with your doctor about medical concerns.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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