Harsh winter weather has struck again, and many people throughout the country find themselves stranded at home beneath heavy snowfall. While it may be tempting to binge watch everything on your Netflix queue and stay couch-bound to escape the cold, you should think about how hard it will be to get back into the gym after so many days of sedentary behavior. Just because you can’t easily get to the gym or go out for your regular run does not mean that you have to let yourself get out of shape before springtime comes. Even if you are not faced with extreme winter temperatures, these simple at-home workouts can help you burn serious calories and stay fit when you just can’t make it to the gym.
Being stuck indoors may inspire you to finally reach your fitness goals the old fashioned way—with pushups. While pushups are nobody’s favorite exercise, they are a time-tested way to build upper body strength and burn calories. One pushup burns about one calorie, so it is easy to keep track of how many calories you burn. Plus, pushups fall into the category of strength training, which means the burn may continue well after you are done with your workout.
If sit-ups cause you too much stress in your lower back, you can opt for the more effective ab workout of leg lifts. To perform a leg lift, lie down on the floor and cradle your hands behind your head or around your hips if you need some extra low back support. Start with your legs in the air perpendicular to your body. Lower your legs so they are hovering almost parallel to the ground. Lift your legs back to the starting position, and continue this motion, following the pace of your breath. You should feel a deep burn in your lower abdominal muscles as you burn calories about as quickly as you would doing pushups.
For a more aerobic-based workout, you might take advantage of a staircase in your house or apartment building. Walking up one flight of stairs (12 steps) 3 times daily will burn 15 calories, so running up and down the stairs for five minutes can add up quickly. If you don’t have stairs at home, use a chair to step up and step down for a comparable workout that targets your legs and glutes.
When you start to feel a little stir crazy spending so much time indoors, dancing can lift your mood as you burn 100-300 calories per hour, depending on how quickly you move. You don’t need to be a skilled dancer to feel the burn; just put on your favorite music and get moving. Dancing as you clean the house and fold laundry may also add some excitement to your home-bound routine.
Staying at home when the winter weather is severe can be enough to drive a person crazy, but modern technology can help you stay connected and take care of your health needs even when you can’t leave the house.