Practical reminders, common sense approaches and clever solutions to avoid everyday challenges and live your best life.
Sometimes it's just too cold — or too hot, or too rainy — to exercise outdoors. Don't let the weather stop you from working out and keeping in shape. Most gyms make it easy to get a complete workout indoors because they provide all the equipment: ellipticals, spin classes, free weights and so on. Although it's a little harder, it's not impossible to get a good workout in just about any indoor space. To help you get started, we offer these suggestions for a simple indoor exercise routine.
Before You Begin
Just as you would when you exercise outdoors, warm up and stretch before and after your workout. It's easy to warm up by lightly jogging in place for five minutes. If you intend to exercise indoors regularly, especially for weight training, it's a good idea to research the exercises before you start and map out a routine of reps and rest periods.
Aim for 30 minutes of continuous cardio, but you don't have to do just one thing. Mix it up so the routine doesn't get stale. Here are some ideas:
- Dance: Exercise should be fun, and what's more fun than dancing? Crank up your favorite tunes and work on perfecting your moves. If you want to try out new dance styles, search YouTube; you can learn all the latest hip hop steps, some old-style rumba or even African tribal dances.
- Aerobics: Another YouTube staple, aerobics videos let you participate without having to choose a routine. Let the teacher decide and just follow along.
- Skipping: You loved it when you were a kid, and it's still fun now. If you don't have a rope, mimic the movement while holding small weights like hairbrushes. This way, you won't trip over the rope, and you won't hit the ceiling.
- Stair Climbing: Yes, you can stair climb even without stairs. Just substitute a sturdy box the height of one stair and step or hop on and off repeatedly. If you do have stairs, run up and down as much as you can but be sure to wear shoes with a solid grip so you don't fall.
Indoor Muscle Building
This one's simpler since most muscle building exercises are done indoors anyway. You don't need gym equipment either. You can build your muscles using just the weight of your own body. Here are four exercises for an all-around workout:
- Pushups: Pushups are a classic exercise for a reason. They really work to strengthen your upper body. If you're new to pushups, start by doing them with your knees on the floor until you build up your muscles.
- Yoga Crunches: These are the best for strengthening your abdominal muscles without yanking on your head, a problem that sometimes happens with more traditional crunches. Lay on your back, raise your legs to a 90-degree angle, cradle your head firmly in your hands and slowly (very slowly) move your knees toward your nose.
- Lunges: Step forward with one leg until your upper leg is parallel to the floor and your back knee is close to the ground. Push off with your front foot and return to standing. Repeat with your other leg.
- Burpees: Burpees are the one exercise you can do to benefit all your muscles; if you do enough of them and do them quickly, you'll even get a cardio workout. Squat with your hands on the floor and your knees outside your hands. Jump back into a pushup, drop to the ground, lift into a pushup again and return to the squat. Now, jump as high as you can. That's one; do as many as you can to maximize calories burned.
When you're stuck inside and itching to burn some energy, tap into these indoor exercise suggestions. Just because you can't go outside doesn't mean you can't stay in shape.