Winter has arrived in South Africa and with it the need to stay warm and snuggly, drink lots of hot chocolate, coffee and tea, and eat a lot! Often our desire to exercise in winter really dips, hence the need to get into shape for summer, but it is possible to keep on keeping on! Here are a few indoor exercises you can do aside from going to the gym, although that is a great option too, and most of them are cheap and require little to no equipment:
Exercise DVDs or videos
I love them! I use them all year round because I generally get quite bored while exercising, but watching something (in this case other people exercising), and the fitness instructor shouting encouragement, helps a lot with that. Plus I am in the privacy of my own home, so if I do something embarrassing (I suck at Zumba!), I am the only one who knows about it. But If you have enough space, doing it with a friend could be fun too! If you don’t own an exercise DVD, they aren’t too expensive, but alternatively, you can try youtube. I quite like the BeFit videos. You can do dance, aerobics, boot camp type stuff, whatever strikes your fancy.
Good old calisthenics
That would be star jumps, squats, push ups, pull ups, sit ups, etc. Those often cost absolutely nothing. You can try doing 20 each a day, or doing 3 sets of 10, or 2 sets of 15, it depends on your level of fitness and what you are trying to achieve. You can do calisthenics as a high intensity training session too, e.g. do as many lunges, push ups, situps and donkey kicks as you can for a minute each, then rest for 30 seconds to a minute, and go again. These are actually so versatile, you can make your own workouts to suit your needs, and they all use your own body weight. For pull ups you may need a pull up bar, these aren’t too expensive, but push ups work well too. To increase the intensity, you can add more reps, an extra set, or lessen your rest times, you can even use weights (e.g, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell while doing a squat), this can be a little more expensive though. A skipping rope (and actually using it for its intended purpose) also does wonders for your cardio workout.
Cleaning the house
Anyone who has properly cleaned a house or even a flat, will tell you that it is truly a workout. No jokes. Try doing it in a quick and efficient manner, voila!
Exercising during the ad breaks
For when you are extra lazy or believe in multitasking. During the ad breaks, try jogging on the spot, or doing tricep dips using the couch or squats.
Playing with the kids
Yip, as all parents will tell you, this too can be a great workout!
These are all cost effective ways to exercise indoors where its warm and cozy during winter. If you still prefer braving the cold outside, many sports shops stock great winter exercise apparel, plus the activity will naturally warm you. Just take care to put something warm on after your workout, or going back indoors so that you don’t catch a cold. Have fun and stay healthy this winter 🙂