hile for some of us getting aerobic exercise outdoor in cold weather can be most enjoyable, for others it can be tough. Even if we know that the air we breath is more healthy when it’s cold outside – especially if it’s just below 0° freezing temperatures – most or us tend to have more mental resistance to go outside to exercise.
Not only do they find the weather uncomfortable, but getting ready to go out can take a long time. Instead of going through the trouble of putting on layers and layers of clothing to venture out into the cold, people often just don’t exercise.
The strange thing is that when it’s cold outside most of us also seem to have a mental resistance for indoor exercising. Nevertheless, if you don’t like exercising in cold weather, instead of exercising outdoors, one of the best ways to continue to burn the fat during winters is to do aerobic indoor exercises and just workout inside instead.
Aerobic Indoor Exercises for Cold Weather
Aerobic exercise is great for your heart, great for burning calories and great for your overall health and fitness. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy adult should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week. In other words, they recommend 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.
According to the AHA, dividing your daily exercise into two sessions still gives you the health benefits of aerobic exercise. In other words, you can just do two 15-minute bursts instead of one extended 30-minute session.
And according to our philosophy at The Bio Body, every minute you exercise is better than no minute. So, if you’re not specially motivated to exercise, just do a little bit more than you do now. If now is nothing, get in the flow with a few minutes a day. Soon you’ll find yourself doing more than you expected — which is a good thing…;)
Here are a few different aerobic exercises you can do, almost everywhere, be it in your own home, your office, in your hotel room while you’re traveling, or anywhere else…
A simple jump rope can be purchased for between $5 and $25 and can give you a hardcore workout. Jumping rope burns about twice as many calories as running. A 15-minute jump rope session will burn as many calories as half an hour of running.
The best way to jump rope is in 3-minute increments. Jump for 3 minutes, then take a 30-second break, then jump for another 3 minutes. Rinse and repeat for as long as you want to jump.
If you don’t have a rope, you can also jump with a “phantom rope.” Just make the hand motions and the jumping motions as if you had a rope. The difference with a real rope is that it makes the exercise a little bit more challenging because you need to be more precise, and it also improves your body mind coordination.
Another great way to burn calories while having fun is to dance. You can either do it on your own, or dance to a dance video.
Dancing allows you to not only move your body, but also release serotonin as you get into the music. It’s much more fun for a lot of people than running or other forms of aerobic activity.
If you have trouble letting go, try ordering a dance DVD that’ll guide you through the workout.
Kickboxing or Shadow Boxing
Throw punches or kicks while standing in place or moving in a small circle. Spar as if you were fighting an imaginary opponent. Again, there are many DVDs and YouTube videos you can use to guide you through kickboxing exercises.
What’s nice about these kind of workouts, is that you are using more muscle groups in your body compared to just jogging. They can also help with mental issues, if you feel you need to build some self-confidence, throwing punches or kicks might actually make you feel more confident.
Jumping Jacks are a great addition to any home cardio workout, and at The Bio Body we love exercises where you need no equipment and that are easy to do anywhere, anytime.
How to do Jumping Jacks?
Stand up in a straight line. Then with an explosive motion, spread your arms out horizontally and jump your legs out wide. Then jump back to your starting position. Repeat and use a timer to gauge your progress.
Try varying up the at-home aerobic exercises you do so you don’t get bored. Also, try exercise outside at least once a week to get some fresh air and sunlight.
Here’s a short video (less than a minute) from FitnessBlender that illustrates how to properly do Jumping Jacks:
Anaerobic Indoor Exercises for Cold Weather
Anaerobic exercise allows you to build muscle and increase your resting metabolic rate. While aerobic exercise is great for burning calories and fat, anaerobic exercise is what you need to build strength and muscle. Don’t worry: you won’t get bulky. But if you want to look lean and strong, you need to do anaerobic exercise.
What are some anaerobic exercises you can do in your home when it’s cold outside?
Squats are a fantastic exercise to not only build strength in your legs fast, but they also fall in the category of functional fitness. Meaning they work several muscle groups in one simple movement. They also help you build balance and a firm toned butt and thighs.
Chances are you’ve done a squat, but have you really done once correctly?
How to do the squat:
Start with your feet about shoulder width apart, perhaps slightly wider. Point your feet facing forward, just slightly pointing outwards.
Slowly lower yourself down until your thighs touch your calves. Your heel should not leave the ground at any time. Slowly raise yourself back to the starting position. Do not bounce out of the squat. Do not use momentum when you’re lowering yourself or raising yourself.
Squats are fantastic for your calves, your thighs, your knees, your butt and even your back.
You can also try squat variations, but before even grabbing a set of dumbbells watch the video from Popsugar Fitness below to make sure your form in on point. You’ll learn what the body should look and feel like during a squat and what other exercises can help you master this once correctly. But, most importantly, you’ll be saving yourself from major injury.
Most people do the push-up wrong, because they open their arms, and that way you can do more of them. However, when done properly, the push-up can be an incredibly tough workout. Using proper form, you’ll probably do less than half of what you’re used to do, but you’ll build more strength and more importantly the good posture will help you avoid possible muscle strains in your neck and shoulders.
Place your arms directly below your shoulders. Your feet should extend straight back and your body should be straight like a plank.
Lower yourself slowly. You should lower yourself until your chest and your nose is just touching the ground. Make sure your elbows go back and up, not to the side. Count to two as you lower yourself, hold for one count on the bottom then count to two on the way back up.
A proper push-up works out your arms, your chest, your back, your neck, your shoulders and your core. Here’s an excellent video on how to do a proper push-up. And if push-ups are part of your exercise routine it’s a must watch.
Here’s a video from Antranik who did a fantastic job describing why flaring the elbows is bad when you do push-ups and on how to do a proper push up instead.
Pull-ups are one of the best exercises to build both strength and toned muscle. It’s a functional fitness exercise that works many different muscle groups, from your fingers to your core. Chances are you can’t do a lot of them, and therefore they are also very effective for people that are stressed with time.
How to do a pull-up?
To do a pull-up, you’ll need an indoor pull-up bar. You can purchase one that you can fix between a door in your house or office, just be aware that you order the correct length. These pull-up bars do not need to be drilled into the house; they can just be mounted on a door frame.
Pull-ups are one of the best at-home anaerobic exercises you can do. They work out your biceps, your trapezoid muscles, your back muscles, your abdominal muscles and most other muscles in your upper body.
To do a pull-up, grasp the pull-up bar and lift yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself slowly. Don’t jerk yourself up or fall down. Again, do two counts on the way up, hold for one count and down for two counts.
Leg lifts, also called leg raises are one of the best exercises for working out the abdominal area. They’re a better choice than crunches, because crunches requires a lot of time to really get a workout. Your muscles will be more sore after 20 leg lifts than 100 crunches.
To do a leg lift, lie down on your back with your legs straight. Lift your legs up for two counts, hold for one count and lower them back down. Repeat.
If straight leg lifts are too hard, you can use bent legs to start with. Bent legs require less abdominal power to lift.
Here’s a video from Livestrong.com, where Gold’s Gym Certified Personal Trainer Amy McCauley demonstrate how to do proper leg lifts. Especially pay attention to the part where she talks about using proper form to avoid back injury.
These are a few of the anaerobic exercises you can do at home to build muscle. These exercises will help build your quads, your thighs, your back, your chest, your abs and most other parts of your body. Of course, there are many other exercises to choose from, depending on which parts of your body you want to work out.