Trainer-recommended walking DVDs

Take your stride inside with these four indoor walking programs

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When it’s too dark and cold, too sunny and hot or you’re just short on time, exercising in the comfort of your living room can be a lifesaver. Most walking DVDs combine stationary marching with simple low-impact moves; others require a treadmill and challenge you by modifying the speed and elevation and adding arm movements. The best on the market offer a variety of levels so you can continue to use them as your fitness improves. If you’re a beginner who’s not quite ready to exercise in public, a walking DVD can be an excellent starting point.

Here are four top-ranked DVDs to check out.

Walk On to Weight Loss

The workout
If you hate dancey fitness class routines, you’ll love this no-nonsense 50-minute walk. Lots of stationary marching interspersed with basic moves like heel digs, knee lifts, low kicks and side stepping add up to a good sweaty workout and three miles of walking.

The instructor
P.J. O’Clair is a seasoned pro who cues expertly and slips in educational tips with ease. There’s an easy banter with her class and none of those scripted jokes that become irritating after repeated viewings. Pilates guru Moira Stott provides helpful tips on posture and body alignment.

Why we love it
The music is low-key and jazzy yet invigorating.

Fast and Firm

The workout
This four-in-one workout offers the variety that regular DVD exercisers need to stay motivated. The one-mile walk combines easy-paced stationary marching with basic moves. The two-mile version is faster, and the three-mile moves at a speed-walking pace (eight minutes per kilometer or 10 minutes per mile). The four-mile walk adds upper-body toning moves using an exercise band.

The instructor
Leslie Sansone is the queen of walking and has produced over 20 walking DVDs as well as walking books, audiotapes, music and equipment.

Why we love it
A “mile meter” flashes intermittently on the screen to show the distance you’ve travelled.

Treadmoves Aerobic Cardio Blast

The workout
Kill the monotony of treadmill walking with this high-energy, full-body workout designed for all fitness levels. The workout combines basic walking, power walking and hill climbing; advanced walkers are challenged with moves like shuffles and sidestepping that require extra focus and coordination. The workout finishes with exercises using hand weights and incorporates pushups, abs and stretching, all using your treadmill.

The instructor
A row of instructors share the teaching duties. You watch and follow the instructor who’s working at your fitness level.

Why we love it
This program shows that treadmill workouts can involve more than just walking and running.

Power Walk for Weight Loss

The workout
This 40-minute class is easy to follow with its low-impact moves using optional light weights and a variety of marching patterns. There’s also a 10-minute standing abdominal routine that incorporates hand weights.

The instructor
DVD veteran Kathy Smith and her energetic team continuously offer varying exercise intensities.

Why we love it
Smith’s “matrix method” – cueing directional moves using the hands of a clock as reference points – makes following along a cinch.