By Brian Acton
If you tend to get your exercise outdoors, winter’s cold weather and slippery conditions may range from unpleasant to downright hazardous. Winter conditions can tempt you to skip your workout entirely and avoid snow, ice, wind-chill and freezing temperatures. Not so fast. There are plenty of ways you can work up a sweat indoors and avoid the cold. Here are a few ideas to keep you active while you await warmer days.
Hit Workout Machines at Home or at the Gym
If you have the space, a workout machine at home can help you burn calories without having to step out your front door. At home, you can watch TV or turn your choice of music as loud as you like. If you don’t have the space, of course, gyms have you covered. Here are a few great workout machines:
- Rowing machine: rowing machines have increased in popularity in recent years, as they provide a low impact cardio workout that exercises the entire body.
- Stationary bike: stationary bikes come in all shapes and sizes these days, including recumbent, upright and adjustable.
- Treadmill: the cornerstone of the indoor cardio workout, treadmills can support simple runs and custom workout programming.
- Weights: whether you prefer free weights or lifting machines, there’s an option to target the muscle group you want. You can go as heavy or light as you need.
- Medicine balls: medicine balls can be used in a number of workouts that target all body areas, especially your core.
- Resistance bands: basically giant rubber bands, resistance bands come in different sizes and resistance levels and can be used on their own or to help scale the difficulty of common exercises.
- Jump rope: jump ropes are fantastic workout options as they can get you into a rhythm and breaking a sweat very quickly.
Go for a Swim
If there’s a local indoor community center or member-based pool, it might be the right time to sign up and swim all winter long. Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise that helps you exercise without straining or hurting joints and muscles. And, that heated pool area is going to feel blissful when contrasted with the cold temperatures outside.
Join an Exercise Class
Belonging to a gym has many benefits during the winter months, including exercise classes. Cycling, kickboxing, and boot camp classes all offer opportunities to get an intense workout in a community setting. Working out with others also promotes a sense of accountability and can keep you coming back for the community support. If high intensity group workouts aren’t your thing, you can always find classes on yoga, Pilates, or even dance.
Bring Personal Training Home
There is a wide variety of indoor workout programs available now, from popular DVD programs like P90X to free programs available on TV or the Internet. Finding the right one for you might take some research, but usually you’ll just need a TV screen or computer monitor, some basic equipment and enough space to work out. That’s what we call a low barrier to entry.
For outdoor enthusiasts, it can be difficult to stay active when it’s too cold to venture outside. But by finding the right indoor exercise opportunities, motivating yourself to start them and then maintaining a consistent schedule, you can stay healthy and active in the winter months. You may even find something you want to work into your routine year round.