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Indoor Activities That Keep Exercise Fun and Effective During Winter Months


Winter is on its way and as you know, there are countless excuses for laziness that can be found among the dropping temperatures and dark mornings of these months. In previous years, you may have used every excuse in the book until January 1st crept up and you realized that the extra 10 pounds on your waist could use a resolution. This year, it is time to turn your chocolate-indulging, couch-sitting winter into a season of exercise and fun and save that resolution for something less cliché. Try some of these great indoor exercises, perfect for fall and winter, and watch the excuses melt away. Whether you want to venture from the warmth of your own home or not, these exercises will help keep you in shape all winter long.

Video Games

Yes, video games can get you in shape! However, pay careful attention to the disclaimer. You must let go of the games that require nothing more than a reclining chair and some button-pushing. There are many game consoles that promote exercise, even while you are in front of the TV. Wii Fit, for example, is a great means for playing competitive games while improving strength, balance, coordination, and even cardio fitness.

Dance Dance Revolution is another great video game option you can play to dance off the pounds. DDR not only works on your foot-eye coordination, but it keeps your body in constant, vigorous motion. The better you get, the more you sweat!

For a more traditional family game, play a few rounds of Twister to improve your flexibility and balance.

In-Home, Equipment-Free Exercise

The best part about staying in shape is that it can be done for free. If you must watch your favorite primetime show, switch from push-ups to jumping jacks to crunches on every commercial break. When you are doing a little work around the house or cooking dinner, jog in place.

There is no better place to let loose and dance than in the privacy of your own home. Turn on some music and pull out your best moves. Dancing is great for a full body workout, reducing stress, and increasing energy levels!

Multi-level homes provide a built-in cardio and strength training machine: the stairs. Running, or walking, up and down the stairs will be a guaranteed heart-pumper. You can also use the steps for calf raises and arm dips.

Of course, you can always bring the fitness classes from your gym into your home through the convenience of DVDs and videos. Pilates and yoga are great forms of exercise to take up during winter months. There are thousands of DVDs and online videos that will get your heart pumping, and help you make sure that you are using the correct form for your strength-training moves.

Home Gym Equipment

When you have the conveniences of your gym in your own home, there can be no more excuses. Fancy equipment such as treadmills, elliptical, and stationary bikes are a plus, but are not necessary. If machines like these do not fit into your budget, a simple mat, ball, jump rope, dumbbell set, or resistance band will do the trick. Strength and flexibility training will be easier with these accessories, not to mention more effective. For smaller budgets or space capacities, there are mini versions of stationary bikes that allow you to maintain a cardio workout while reading, watching TV, or working at your desk. They are easily portable too.

A case of the winter blues is no longer an acceptable excuse to sit on the couch all day. Take advantage of these simple exercises that will maintain your summer tone from the comfort of your own home. Of course, you can always head to your local gym to workout, take fitness classes, shoot hoops, or swim laps. The key for every exercise is to maximize use of your entire body, and lifting chocolates from the bag to your mouth doesn't count!

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