Once again Old Man Winter is rearing his ugly head, driving us back indoors. But after we've put away our roller blades and running shoes, how can we compensate for five months of seclusion and still stay in shape?
Whether you�re an avid fitness buff, or just starting out, there�s no reason to get on the fast track to Fatsville just because a little nip is in the air. Let�s take a quick look at some indoor workout options (and associated costs) that will keep you fit as a fiddle until spring thaw.
Option One - 20-Minute Dumbbell Drill
A set of adjustable dumbbells can supply you with all you need to perform five or six resistance exercises in rapid succession. Doing sets light weight and high reps with a minute or less in between keeps heart and breathing rate elevated, while at the same time strengthening and toning.
If you�ve never lifted weights, start slowly, but be prepared for impressive and long lasting results. Even when the weather warms up, you�ll probably opt to stick with this one. For more information on how to create the perfect indoor program, click here
When on the road or away from home, you can substitute with movements that use only bodyweight (IE: Push Ups, Lunges, Leg Raises) or resistance bands (great low cost alternative to free weights).
$25 to $100 depending upon individual needs
Option Two - Exercise Ball
Also known as the Swiss Ball, this handy and inexpensive item lends itself to a variety of needs and different modes of exercise. Serving as a platform for multiple abdominal and core exercises, this inflatable ball also makes an excellent adjunct to many dumbbell movements and lower body work.
The key to the ball�s success lies in its ability to recruit large amounts of core stabilizer muscles, necessary for balance during a typical ball-movement. This also leads to a greater overall caloric burn.
Be sure to select the correct size ball for your height (see chart below).
BALL SIZING GUIDE
��������User Height������������Ball Diameter
Under 4' 10"���������������������16"
4� 11� to 5� 4"���������������������21"
5� 5� to 5� 11"���������������������25"
��Over 6� 0��������������������������29"
With correct sized ball you should be able to sit (back straight) on top of the ball, feet flat on the floor, and knees bent at 90 degrees. If ball is too large, under inflate to decrease diameter.
$30 to $60 depending upon size and special features
Option Three - Jump Rope
If you like short and intense exercise the jump rope is for you. While it won�t achieve the same overall toning effect of resistance training, jumping rope will build lower body muscle, overall endurance and burn lots of body fat.
When jumping indoors, you�ll need a space with an eight or nine foot ceiling height, and approximately five or six feet in front of you, as well as behind you. Start slowly, counting jumps, and rest when out of breath. Do short sets of 25 to 50 jumps and gradually build up to 10 or 15-minute sessions.
- 10 minutes of jumping is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging/brisk walking
- Initially jump without rope, simulate wrist/arm movement, feet together
- Jump only enough to clear the rope
- Do not double-jump (jumping twice on each rotation)
- Vary routine, try new steps
- Keep relaxed, breathe normally
- Wear sneakers with a thick base
- For correct rope length, stand in middle of rope pulling handles up to chest
$5 to $20 depending upon special features
Option Four - Stationary Bike
Whether or not you�re an outdoor cyclist, the stationary bike offers many benefits over other home fitness equipment. It can be inexpensive, takes up little space, and it provides a workout that's totally non-impact. Bicycle riding has been a common pastime and mode of exercise for over a hundred, and is a naturally enjoyable activity. You can set down this compact machine in front of a television and put in half an hour while you watch your favorite program.
To combat boredom and create variety most stationary bikes come with a menu of challenging programs that lead you through a host of intensity options. A built in heart rate monitor helps you keep tabs on your progress.
To get the most out of your workout and avoid an overuse injury, be sure to adjust seat height. The distance from the top of the seat to the top of the bottom pedal should be the length of your inseam (from crotch to heal) with your knee straight, but not fully locked. There should be no swaying of the hips as you pedal.
From less than $200 to thousands of dollars for some of the more sophisticated models
Option Five - Treadmill
Brisk walking or jogging on the treadmill stands alone as the most adhered to of all indoor exercise programs. We were built to walk, and the human body responds well to a properly orchestrated walking or jogging program. When choosing a motorized treadmill, adequate belt width and length, as well as horsepower are most important. Like the stationary bike, most treadmills come with multiple programming options and built-in heart rate monitor. Some of the newer models also fold up to save space.
Whether your preference is very gentle or very intense exercise, it�s important to monitor heart rate and stay within your individual target heart rate range to get the best results. Remember that slow, gentle exercise needs to be sustained for a longer period of time than short and intense work.
Starting at about $300, the cost of a treadmill can run into thousands of dollars on the more sophisticated models
Don�t let a little cold weather put the freeze on fat burning. Whatever indoor exercise option you choose, remember to be consistent. Work out three or four days per week for at least 20 minutes, and you�ll be ready for swimsuit season all year long.
Keep that hot body all winter long. Get an exclusive Custom Workout Program created by author and fitness expert, Michael Stefano. Start today: CLICK HERE
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