If you find it harder to work out when the weather turns chilly, you’re not alone.
Many people struggle to maintain their exercise regime through winter. In fact, weather plays a big role in people’s willingness to exercise, which is why it’s important to find indoor exercises you enjoy!
According to a recent survey, conducted by The Journal Of Health & Science, many people avoid exercising outdoors in summer or winter if it’s too hot or too cold, and rain was listed as the biggest deterrent against heading outdoors.
But the good news is, there are plenty of fun, effective indoor exercises you can do that’ll help you stay trim and toned – come rain or shine!
Why you should find indoor exercises you enjoy
We know that exercise is crucial to good health and the evidence keeps mounting. According to a South African Medical journal study, a sedentary lifestyle can shorten our lifespan by almost two years.
To really reap the benefits of regular exercise, the National Department of Health recommends, as a minimum, we should be doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.
Key benefits of exercise
• It can help you lose and maintain an ideal weight
• It boosts feel-good hormones, while reducing high levels of stress hormones
• It can lower your chances of developing a host of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and health issues associated with obesity
• It promotes an overall healthy body – as muscles, bones, organs and cells respond well to exercise
• It boosts your energy levels and ability to deal with life’s daily challenges
• It boosts blood flow to the brain and every major muscle and organ in the body
And the truth is, you don’t have to abandon your exercise regime in winter. There are so many great indoor exercises you can do, aimed at core strength, stability, flexibility, strength and fat burning. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites;
For strength and fitness
Online cardio and strength training classes
Try classes streamed over the Internet, which you can do in your lounge. Usually, these work with live classes streamed from the studios of trainers straight to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
You can find everything from Tabata, cardio, strength training and HIIT classes at Fitnessblender.com. It’s run by fitness trainers Kelli and Daniel, so you can choose whether to follow a male or female, as well as the time and intensity of the class.
Kelli also runs fabulous Pilates classes, focusing on core strength and flexibility. Whether you’re a beginner or at an advanced level, each class has high and low intensity modifications, making it the ideal way to exercise no matter where you’re at.
For flexibility, strength and toning
Wave good-bye to bingo wings
Samantha Clayton, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness at Herbalife, has devised this easy at-home workout for toning those arms by working your triceps—the muscles at the back of your arms.
“Sit in your chair and place your hands on the seat next to you,” Samantha explains. “Now, place your feet out in front of you, keeping your thighs parallel to the floor.
“Lower out of the chair and, as you bend your arms, your elbows should go behind you, supporting your body weight. Finish this move by pushing back up to the starting position.”
Watch how it’s done here:
Online yoga, barre and Pilates classes
Practicing mindful activities like yoga and Pilates regularly develops inner awareness, which has a positive impact on your body image, eating patterns and daily activities, say Harvard researchers.
It also offers a retreat from today’s frantic pace and has loads of benefits if you practice first thing in the morning, midday, or just before bed.
Looking for specific yoga or Pilates classes? Join Yogaia + Manduka. Classes are streamed live through the app (for Android or iOS). If you sign in, you get access to limited yoga and Pilates classes to trial before you become a member, where you’ll have unlimited access to the online studio.
Choose your instructor and class style – ranging from Barre classes to Vinyasa flow classes and Pilates express classes. You also have the chance to participate in a two-way real time class (if you don’t record classes) which allows your instructor to see you and guide you. The great thing is, no one else can see you except your instructor.
For a fun cardio burn
Hailed as one of the best full body exercises you can do, rebounding is an ideal indoor exercise and we love it! Why? Because it’s fun, simple and time-efficient, and all you need is a mini trampoline (plus a set of optional dumbbells and resistance bands) to get a great resistance and cardio-type workout. Studies have shown that bouncing on a trampoline for just two minutes has the same whole body affect as;
• 6 minutes of running
• 10 minutes of swimming
• 22 minutes of power walking
It’s also low impact, so if you’re recovering from an injury or suffer from joint aches and pains, rebounding is safe!
Have a rebounder, but not sure how to use it? Wellness expert Lisa Raleigh has just developed over 50 downloadable rebounding workouts.
At the gym
Pound classes at Virgin Active
Our metabolisms tend to slow down from our late 30s. Kick yours back into gear with Pound classes, a fun, dance-inspired, cardio session at Virgin Active using light-weighted Ripstix to drum and pound the ground as you move.
Plus, trying something new that’s fun to do, like moving rhythmically to a beat, is sustainable and will have long-term, positive effects on your body, mood, memory and sleep patterns.
What to expect in a pound class
• The instructor focuses on full-body movements using the Ripstix for maximum calorie burn
• The sound of striking sticks motivates everyone to work together to create a harmonious beat
• Classes are 45-minutes and designed to tone and strengthen all major muscle groups while getting your heart rate up
• Expect to burn up to 500 calories per class
Aqua classes at Planet Fitness
Start doing exercise in water and you’ll benefit from natural resistance with virtually no impact, according to research conducted by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
For those with arthritis, it improves the use of affected joints without worsening the symptoms and the calming effect of the water has also been found to reduce depression and anxiety. Plus, it offers a full body exercise with toning and cardio benefits.
The good news is, you can exercise in water throughout winter thanks to aqua classes at most gyms. Planet Fitness offers three types of aqua classes, namely Aqua Attack, Aqua Zumba and Aqua Extreme.
Both Aqua Zumba and Aqua Extreme classes incorporate high intensity moves to challenge your body and get your heart rate up.
Plus the pool is heated and it’s all indoors, so not need to worry about the chilly weather.