The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. For those of us who enjoy outdoor workouts, though, the colder temperatures and lack of sunlight can really sap our motivation to get outside. It’s a lot easier to stay indoors, snuggle up under a blanket in our PJs and binge on Netflix.
Unfortunately, if you don’t move it, you lose it. The longer—and more frequently—you stay still, the worse it is for your health. Researchers have found a lack of physical activity can contribute to a variety of health conditions and even premature death. In the U.S. alone, there are about 300,000 premature deaths each year linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Luckily, you don’t have to go outside to get a good workout. You don’t even have to belong to a gym! Here are a few ways you can get your daily dose of activity from the comfort of your own home. And, as always, don’t forget to stretch before and after to avoid serious injuries!
Jump Rope & Hula Hoop
Jumping rope is an excellent exercise that can help tone your calves while also giving a good cardio boost. Similarly, hula hooping can gently bump up your heart rate and help tone the abs, thighs, and glutes.
The cool thing about jumping rope and hula hooping is that you can do them while doing other activities, especially watching TV. So even if your plan is to Netflix and chill, getting in a few jumps here and there can really help keep you healthy. Alternate between the two for the first 5-10 minutes of every episode you’re binging a series, or if you’re watching regular TV, do them during commercial breaks.
Calisthenics are exercises where you use your own body weight to provide resistance. They’re great for both strength training and cardio. Some popular or well-known calisthenics include:
- Push ups
- Mountain climbers
There are plenty of others, but doing each of these in sets of 20 twice, with 30 second breaks in between sets, can go a long way to help you stay fit.
Water Bottle Weights
Want to do strength training but don’t want to spend the money on a set of dumbbells or a workout bench? No worries. You can make your own weights by simply filling bottles with water. Every 16 ounces of liquid is equivalent to about 1 pound of weight, so larger bottles will give you the most weight. Using these, you can do bicep curls, shoulder raises, deadlifts, and a variety of other strength-building lifts. Just be sure to use proper form to avoid injury.
Who says working out has to be serious? Dancing is actually an excellent form of exercise; it gets the heart pumping, burns calories, increase flexibility and can even strengthen core strength. Make a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs and have at it! Plus, you can do this alone or with family and friends. There’s really no excuse to not get moving!