outdoor

Your exercise routine shouldn’t have to suffer during the winter months. Here, the experts suggest some awesome indoor workout alternatives to your outdoor routine.

When the weather cools and the days get shorter, scrounging up enough energy for a cardio workout can be challenging. Plus, sweating it out in the confines of a loud, frenetic gym isn’t always appealing, especially if you’re used to exercising outdoors. Luckily, you don’t have to spend all winter trudging away on the treadmill or elliptical machine—these pro-approved indoor cardio workouts are both challenging and fun.

1. Get outside

Whether it’s a run or a hike, you can go outside (weather permitting) for some type of physical activity.

Running and hiking really just require athletic shoes, so there isn’t much of an excuse to not do this if going to the gym isn’t an option.

Running through the city can be just as revitalizing as a hike through the woods, so there’s really no excuse to not get outside, no matter where you live.

2. If you usually bike ride … Try a spin class.

While you may miss the scenery of biking in the open air, a spin class gives you the same lower body conditioning, but in a fun, upbeat, and indoor atmosphere. All spin classes are not created equal, though.

“Of course, there’s SoulCycle, but there are now a ton of different kinds of indoor spin classes, from Les Mills Sprint, which is a 30-minute HIIT class, to Flywheel, which offers more of a competitive vibe,” explains personal trainer Ramona Braganza, creator of the 3-2-1 Fitness Method. “Most are really entertaining with lights and music and motivating instructors, and many incorporate upper body strength training with hand weights as well.”

3. Planks

Planks or body braces are a great core workout and really help accomplish that flat belly goal.

They can even be done during the commercial of binge-watching television. Start holding yourself up on your forearms for 45 seconds, and if that’s too much, then shoot for 30 seconds or whatever goal you feel is attainable for you.

During the next commercial break, I recommend side planks to incorporate your entire core. Place your forearm below your shoulder, raise your hips until your body is in a straight line and hold for the goal time. If your body starts to shake, then you’re doing it right.

While these moves may seem mundane, the little movement will make a big difference for your long-term goal, and you can also break up the binge-watching during the holiday season.

4. Squats

We all want those booty gains, and squats do a body good, especially when it comes to the thighs and butt area. Not only does this move help sculpt great legs, but squats also promote muscle growth in your entire body.

Start by doing sets of 10, and then work your way up to 15. Squats can be more difficult than one would think, so don’t worry if you have to do less than you would have imagined.

It’s your end result and how your ass looks at the end of the holiday season that matters.

5. Push-ups

Push-ups might be one of the most boring and oldest moves in the book, but they should be incorporated in a work-out routine, especially if you can’t make it to the gym.

If you want to switch it up and target different muscles, try triceps push-ups. Place your hands closer to your chest, and then lower your body as far as you can go.

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