Indoor Exercise That Doesn’t Involve the Gym

As winter begins it becomes more challenging to get my exercise in. I prefer to exercise outdoors, but now that the days are getting short and cold, I need a plan to get my exercise indoors. The gym is an obvious default, but if you’re like me, you need something else to keep interest through the winter months. So, here’s a list of indoor exercise options that I have used or intend to try soon:

  • Take a dance class. Last winter I took a beginner belly dance class. Ballroom dancing would be even more aerobic!
  • Find a yoga or pilates studio you like going to. I’ve been reading bloggers recently who’ve had great success with Pilates – this may be the winter I try that.
  • Do a workout video in my living room. I just discovered that Netflix has a wide variety of workouts, on both DVD and streaming! I put in “pilates”, “workout” and “yoga” on the search bar and got a nice selection to last the winter.
  • Walk at the mall. Chances are you have a mall near you with acres of wide open indoor walking space, usually open to the public until 9pm. A couple of laps around the mall can take up to an hour, if it’s a big one.
  • Wii Fit and various varieties of Wii Fitness games. If you have a Wii or other game console, you probably have fitness options.
  • A set of exercise bands make a portable gym. These are great for travel, too – I once backpacked through Scotland for a month turning free time and an empty hostel room into a workout every few days.
  • I own a set of used free weights I picked up for cheap – it’s not like they wear out – so I can do a strength training routine in the living room. It’s not that I mind doing gym exercises, I just find the gym itself boring and depressing.

One of the attitudes I like to bring to exercise is a willingness to try anything once. When I was very overweight there were so many things I was afraid to try, or unable to do. I made a vow to myself that when I lost it and got to a “normal” size I wouldn’t dismiss anything without trying it. So I always give something new a try – if the choice is between not exercising because of the weather, or trying something new and intimidating, well, trying something new is good for me!

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10 Responses to “Indoor Exercise That Doesn’t Involve the Gym”

  1. Yoko Olsgaard Says:

    This is the most useful post! Just the ideas I needed! Thank you!

  2. Donna Says:

    And the advantage of ballroom dancing is that your sweetie could exercise with you 🙂

  3. lisalys Says:

    I totally hear you on the not wanting to do things when you’re overweight. I’ve lost enough now that I’m more willing to try things, but now I have to get past the “I don’t wanna do it by myself!” fear. :-> Sadly, that is almost as crippling! I keep looking at the english country dancing in palo alto, and one of these days, I’ll actually get there.

    • Laina Says:

      Oh honey, some of these options you won’t want anybody to see you doing. The first time I did a workout video in my living room…ghastly. I still don’t like anybody to see me trying yoga!

  4. lizhamillscott Says:

    I hadn’t thought about walking the mall as exercise, but it’s a great idea! And Valley Fair is certainly big enough to get me the distance I need.

    Another idea for the living room: strength-to-weight exercises that need no equipment beyond a yoga mat or a couple of blankets if you don’t have carpeting. You can get core, upper body, and lower body thoroughly strength-trained just by using your own body and Lady Gravity.

  5. Tracy Renae Cote Serros Says:

    Along the lines of dance classes… I highly recommend Zumba! It’s so much fun that you forget how hard you’re working. And you can work REALLY hard, though it’s easy to scale back if it’s too much by not getting as fully into the moves (like walking instead of jumping the steps). I just went back last night for the first time in almost a year (since just after I found out I was pregnant). I was very intimidated going in there out of shape and 25 lbs heavier, and it was hard! But I felt awesome afterwards!

  6. Low Impact Exercise « Keeping Off 200 Pounds Says:

    […] my personal feelings sometimes it really is the best option for my day- when I need to I can go and get it done. Share […]

  7. Donna Says:

    Are there any of the Netflix exercise DVD’s you particularly recommend? Especially those that are on “Play Now” rather than waiting for the DVD to come?


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