During winter, the thought of going outside to exercise is daunting to many of us. So we've put together six of our favourite indoor exercises to keep you active without having to brave the cold!
- Whittle down your waistline with a hula-hoop. They're inexpensive and just as much fun as they were when you were a kid. They'll strengthen your lower back muscles as well as tone your tummy muscles. 30 minutes of hula hooping could help you burn 200 calories (all without leaving your living room!).
- Jump for Joy. Jumping rope tones muscles and burns a lot of Calories. For beginning jumpers, the rope should be long enough to reach from your armpits to the floor when the rope is folded in half. Start out slowly, jumping thirty hops, just clearing the rope, and adding a minute to the routine each week. Another option is to jump on a mini-trampoline, which can yield similar results with less effort and less shock to the knees. With either choice you are sure to see great results, and have a lot of fun.
- Stairway to Fitness. Climbing the stairs 20-30 minutes a day can shape up calves, thighs and glutes as well as increase stamina. Just be sure that the flight is at least 10 stairs, otherwise you may want to increase the minutes by an extra 10 or so. Listening to music on an iPod can make any exercise more enjoyable, and before you know it your workout is over!
- Create your own routine. There's nothing worse than joining a gym and dreading the day your trainer lists every exercise you despise. So why not make up your own! Mix together squats, lunges, sit ups, power walking - whatever takes your fancy. Start with a low number of reps such as 12 of each, and keep repeating until you are tired. Everyone's fitness levels are different as are people's free time. If you have a spare ten minutes then see how many you can do. Every little bit counts!
- Beef up your house-cleaning routine. You're probably thinking, "What does cleaning have to do with exercise?" Well, plenty. Get out your duster and clear those cobwebs out of every corner, ceiling to floor. Dust or wipe every surface. Wash the windows, if you can. Wipe down those kitchen cabinets. Sweep, mop, and vacuum the floors. Use a cleaning cloth while crawling to clean around the perimeter of your rooms. Cleaning can be great exercise, and the best part is you end up with a lovely clean house to enjoy at the end!
- Jumping jacks. Simple and classic cardio workout for indoors. Why not see how many jumping jacks you can do in a row? Just make sure you have enough room to swing your arms so you don't knock anything over!