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Dec 30 2021

Indoors or outdoors for winter walks?

December 30, 2021  /   Wellness  /   2-minute read

Ask any one of our Welia Health providers and they’ll tell you that walking, whether indoors or outdoors, is a great form of exercise.

Walking just 30 minutes a day helps reduce your risk of chronic disease, strengthen bones, reduce body fat, improve cardiovascular fitness, and improve your mood. But when the snow flies, the debate of indoor vs. outdoor walking begins.

Getting out into the great outdoors

Walking outdoors has its benefits…

  • Burn more calories. When you add in the wind resistance, you’ll tend to burn a few more calories while walking outdoors.
  • Work more muscles. You’re more likely to engage more muscles for balance, stability, and ups and downs when you walk outdoors.
  • Get your vitamin D. Exposure to sunshine* promotes vitamin D production, key for building and maintaining bone, controlling infections, and reducing inflammation. *especially in the summer
  • Boost your mood. Walking in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while improving memory.

…and a few drawbacks.

  • Cold. It goes without saying that an outdoor walk in January can be brisk. Whether it’s the cold, rain, snow, winds, or summertime heat can pose challenges, or threaten motivation.
  • Safety. Anything from lack of sidewalks or the neighborhood dog can pose a safety risk.
  • Hard surfaces. Walking on concrete can be hard on the joints.

Staying indoors

Fans of indoor walking will tell you:

  • A controlled environment. A temperature-controlled environment makes indoor walking a great year-round activity. You’ll never have to worry about the weather or the ice on the sidewalk.
  • No excuses. Don’t let the weather throw you off your routine. With indoor walking, nothing can keep you from your workout.
  • Goal setting. Walking on a track is a good way to work on your pace and distance.
  • Walking groups. Turn your walks into a social event by joining a walking group.

The Welia Center features a 200-meter elevated indoor walking track, perfect for kicking off a walking routine and your 2022 resolutions. To learn about memberships, call 320.679.6200.

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