By Dylan Foster
Photo Credit: Pexels
Spring may have officially arrived, but plenty of communities are still dealing with blustery winter weather, and may continue to well into the months when we usually welcome warmer temperatures. For lots of folks, this means that their beloved outdoor exercise routines are going to have to stay on hold for a while longer.
Not to worry, though. There are plenty of ways to keep your exercise routine on track when you’re stuck indoors, not to mention a few great reasons for staying the course.
For starters, exercising will help you boost your mood. According to a study published in Sports Medicine Magazine, exercising lifts your spirit. So whether you’re suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression or just struggling with the doldrums that winter brought about, exercise can be a great cure.
Speaking of cures, if your love connection is needing a little fixer upper, working out with your partner also has proven to have plenty of relationship perks. Instead of lounging on the couch binging on Netflix, take an opportunity to get each other moving. When you work together toward a common fitness goal, you associate those positive achievement goals with your partner, which helps you build a stronger connection.
“When you do something in coordination with someone, then it actually increases feelings of likeness and closeness to that person. So when you run in tandem, there’s this nice sense of harmony physically that then can translate to feelings of harmony and connection,” says Theresa DiDonato, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland.
Similarly, getting active with your children is a great way to bond with them, and can easily be done indoors. Younger kids will love having an indoor scavenger hunt or relay race, and tweens and teens will love hosting an indoor dance party with their friends when the weather is foul.
Whether you’re working out with your partner, family or on your own, don’t be dissuaded by not being able to head to a gym or an aerobics class to get in your exercise. You can get a great workout indoors from the comfort of your home. Here’s how:
Use your phone
Instead of that extra half hour, or likely hour plus, you spend surfing social media, take back some of that time exploring the latest and greatest fitness apps. Downloading a fitness app will get you motivated to get moving, and some even put you in touch with a workout community that you can network with for exercise tips and encouragement. There are plenty of exercise plans you can access online for guidance.
Plug into your TV
While a glance at a dreary skyline or a frigid temperature on the thermometer makes it easy to want to hide under the covers and start a “Game of Thrones” marathon, avoid the temptation. Instead, use your television to pop in a workout DVD. If you have a smart television, you’ll even be able to locate free yoga, aerobic and other exercise classes on your YouTube app.
Create a home gym
Even when the weather turns warm again, you’ll love having a home gym space set aside for exercise on rainy days when you can’t get in an outdoor walk or run, or when other activities prevent a trip to your exercise class. Here are some items you can purchase for a well-rounded workout:
- Aerobic training - jump ropes, stationary bike, step platform
- Strength training - resistance bands, kettlebells, free weights, bench, stability ball
Don’t forget that there are plenty of great exercise tools all around your home. You just have to be looking for them. For example, the stairs are a great way to get in a good cardio workout without heading to the gym. You can run up and down them for an intense heart booster or walk up and down them for some more mild cardio.
Working out in the great outdoors is a fun way to get your fitness on track, but there’s no need to cancel your workout when the weather doesn’t cooperate. With a few pieces of basic equipment, gadgets like your television, and motivated fitness buddies, you’ll be an unstoppable fitness force — rain or shine.