Baby, it’s cold outside, and you might not feel up to bundling up and braving the cooler temperatures with wind, snow and ice just around the corner. The good news is that there are many exercises that you can do indoors to stay in great shape, lose weight and keep your heart healthy. You don’t even need a pricey gym membership to exercise indoors this winter; many workouts can be done at home.
If you have any exercise equipment in your home, dust it off and bring it to an easily accessible part of your home. Keeping your treadmill in the basement might not work out well during the winter, when it is likely to feel cold, damp and uninviting. Bring it into the living room so you can jog while watching television or enjoying a flickering fire in your fireplace. Even a small trampoline, called a rebounder, can help you stay in shape this winter. Set it up in the family room and bounce or jog in place to your favorite music, or to the morning news.
Aerobics videos are a great way to keep in shape while not stepping foot outdoors. Be sure to wear a supportive pair of shoes and loose clothing. You can borrow these from the library or from your DVD-rental company so that you don’t get bored with the same videos over and over again. Look for ones that are for all-over conditioning, as well as those which help you to tone specific areas of the body.
If you have a video game console with an exercise program, you can go bowling, run a marathon, take up boxing or perfect your hula hoop technique in the privacy of your own home. Because these exercises are fun and engaging, they may be a particularly good option if you find it hard to find an exercise program that you enjoy.
Keeping your house clean may also give you the added benefit of keeping your muscles toned. The weekly chores that you do anyway can be modified slightly to give you a heart-pumping workout at the same time. Do squats and deep knee-bends while folding laundry. Scrub the floor on your hands and knees, and push your vacuum cleaner with gusto. While this is not the same as getting in a full workout, the minutes do add up, and the calories will still get burned.
Use your own body as resistance. Come up with a fun routine of exercises, including jumping jacks, squats, crunches, pushups and others. Put on a pair of sneakers and make a deal with yourself to jog during the commercials of your favorite television shows. Even better, exercise during the show and rest during the commercials.
Finally, get your family involved. Build an obstacle course with your children, or challenge them to a dance contest. This helps them to get some of their energy out, particularly on the long, cold days of winter when even they don’t want to go outside.
Don’t use winter’s cold, bitter weather as an excuse to avoid exercise. You’ll appreciate your extra efforts in the spring, when you’re ready to shed some of your heavy clothing once again. You can enjoy a fitter, firmer body as well as more energy and better heart health by staying active this winter.