5 Indoor Workouts for Winter

indoor workoutsBaby, it’s cold outside… and who wants to trek to the gym or go for a run when it’s below freezing? Not me, for sure! But that doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds this holiday season.

There’s plenty of ways to burn some calories and keep yourself healthy during the winter months. And with a little determination and the ideas below, there’s no reason you can’t make this the first winter that you lose weight, not add it!

1. Using the stairs

If your home has a set of stairs, use it in place of a stair stepper. Of course, you need to be extra cautious and avoid actually running up and down stairs, especially on slick carpet or linoleum.

Use the railing for balance, be sure the stairs are clear before starting, and put your pets elsewhere so they don’t get in your way. Once that’s done, the stairwell makes for a great indoor aerobic workout area.

If you’re agile, take the stairs two at a time or just go at a hurried but safe pace and this will speed up your heart rate while burning plenty of calories!

2. Indoor sprints

Do you have a basement or long hallway in your home? You can do sprints from one side to the other to get your heart and lungs going and work on your leg muscles. As with stairs, be very careful on slippery carpet, stone, or linoleum; be sure you wear shoes with good grip and thick tread.

Clear a wide path and start at one end, then sprint as fast but as safely as you can to the other. When you reach the other side of the basement or hallway, don’t slide on the floor; this can easily tear ligaments in the knees or twist an ankle.

Instead, stop just a few steps short of the wall and turn around, sprinting back just as quickly. This stop-and-start motion of short sprinting is a great way to challenge your heart and lungs and tone the legs and backside.

3. Dancing

Dancing usually doesn’t take much space, and you can often find an instructional video online, through your cable company’s on-demand service, or with a DVD.

You don’t want slow dancing but something that really gets you and your partner moving, such as swing, salsa, or ballroom. Country line dancing can also be a good cardio workout, and you can try it with a partner or group, or even by yourself.

Here’s a breakdown of what some popular styles of dance will burn:

  • Hip-hop: 92.5 calories per 15 minutes
  • Salsa: 101.25 per 15 minutes
  • Ballet: 95 per 15 minutes
  • Bellydancing: 67.5 per 15 minutes
  • Country/Western: 72.5 per 15 minutes

4. Clean the house

Cleaning the house may not be your idea of a fun time, but it can actually be a great cardio workout! The key is to step up your pace and put some effort into cleaning; not only will this get your heart rate up, but it can also mean a much better cleaning job!

Pick up the pace when you sweep, mop, or run the vacuum cleaner. Get up on a step stool, safely of course, to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and corners of the room.

Be vigorous when you scrub the bathtub, floors, cabinet fronts, and the like. Remember that you’re cleaning to give yourself a workout, so really concentrate on burning some calories, not just getting rid of dust bunnies!
indoor workouts

5. In-place cardio

Cardio exercises can be done in place, meaning you can stand in one spot and get a great workout, even without machines. Go back to the classics during wintertime; jumping jacks and marching in place don’t require much room and are still as effective as any treadmill or exercise bike.

You can also increase the intensity of your workout by adding moves like burpees. To perform these, stand upright, then squat down and put your palms on the floor, just outside your knees. Straighten your legs behind you as if getting ready to do a pushup.

Come back to the squat position, and then jump back up, off the floor, raising your arms straight above your head. Repeat this move as quickly as you can for a great muscle builder and cardio move in one.

Need some more ideas? Check out our article on at home cardio exercises (videos and instructions included)!

By working hard and using these tips there’s no reason that New Years can’t be your (personal) hottest yet! Remember that it’s important to eat a healthy diet with reasonable portions, as well.

Hopefully this has given you more than a few options on how to stay in shape without heading outside during the cold weather months! Good luck, and be sure to pin this in case you need a refresher later!