Feeling the Burn Indoors: Tips for Working Out at Home

Making a personal vow to lose that post-Christmas weight probably doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re not one who likes running or working out in the cold or running on ice-covered paths. In fact, lousy weather is enough to convince a lot of people to postpone their vows until the spring. Of course, by then it’s too late: a winter of inactivity and overindulgence puts them right back where they were during the holidays - overweight and miserable. If you’re determined to maintain a healthy year-round routine, you’d better bundle up or find another option. For some, a gym membership is enough to see them through the cold months. But getting in the car and driving to the gym every day (or every other day) isn’t appealing to everyone, especially people who are too busy with work and family during the week. 

Fortunately, your home can provide you with a suitable workout environment when the weather keeps you penned up indoors. Your living room, den, rec room or basement will suit just fine for an impromptu home gym, offering enough space for a workout mat or some basic exercise equipment. And your cell phone, television and gaming systems will keep you connected and active with apps and online workouts. With a little thought and a rearranging of furniture, your home will prove an admirable workout venue while you’re sitting out the winter. 

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Multimedia movement:

If you have an Xbox gaming system or a Nintendo Wii, you have a potent workout resource. You can play a virtual sport, anything from tennis to golf; take part in a dance contest individually or in a group; or join in a workout class. This is legitimate physical exercise, done completely in the privacy of your home with a companion or by yourself. If you don’t have an in-home game system, you can always turn to YouTube for some easy-to-do exercise routines. If time’s a factor, there are plenty of full-body cardio workouts you can do in under 10 minutes or, if you’re into something more involved, check out one of the many body sculpting videos.

 

Built-in exercise space:

Your house has several physical features that can give you a good workout. Your stairs provide an admirable exercise space for running some laps, or for getting a good cardio workout by carrying a heavy load of laundry. Investing in a set of kettlebells or free weights can also keep you toned and trim throughout the winter. The key is to stick with it!


Meditation:

Stress is a real threat to your health during the winter. Unable to get outside, people build up aggravation without getting the exercise they need to relieve it. Meditation and meditative activity, like yoga or tai chi, are known to be effective at keeping high blood pressure under control and helping people channel their thoughts in positive ways. Yoga is a good way to build flexibility and muscle tone while concentrating on positive thoughts. All you need is a yoga mat, a few square feet and some mental discipline.
 

Bowser boot camp:

Don’t forget to work your furry friend into the fun. You and your dog can share a good workout by adding some dog-friendly activities. Try setting up an indoor obstacle course your pet can follow you through, or challenge him to some tug-o-war with his favorite towel or toy. Hide and seek is another fun and energetic way to exercise in tandem. 


Your own personal gym:

Just because you’re stuck inside this winter doesn’t mean you have to throw in the fitness towel. With a little ingenuity, you can easily transform your home into a serviceable exercise space that’ll carry you through to the spring thaw, and beyond. You might even motivate the whole family to join in. 

-Jason Lewis