Spring is in full swing and if you're like me, you want to be outside. It's beautiful out! Flowers are blooming -- and -- the pollen is blowing.
For some, pollen can really trigger the sniffles, runny noses, and itchy throats of seasonal allergies that can cause you to re-think actually going outside.
But don't completely throw in the towel on your walk, run or planned workout – just take it indoors!
Here are 5 ways to make exercising indoors more fun- and still get a challenging workout!
1. Cardio – if you have access to a treadmill, stair climber, elliptical or bike, that’s your best bet for a heart-pumping, aerobic indoor workout. Keep yourself from boredom by doing intervals (short periods of going hard paired with periods of going easy) and/or stairs (gradually bumping up the speed, incline or resistance one minute at a time, then reverse). Also cuing up a solid, upbeat playlist is key. Recent research shows the music makes exercise feel easier, plus makes us work harder and perform better.
2. Use your body – don’t have access to weights at home? No problem. You can still get a great muscle strengthening workout just using your body weight. Try: push-ups (or modified), plank, side plank, squats, lunges, hip bridges, and core exercises like sit-ups, toe touches and reverse crunches. No equipment needed! For added resistance, hold soup cans or filled water bottles.
3. Dance party! Clear some space in the living room, turn on your favorite tunes and just dance for 30 minutes or more. The time will fly and you won’t even realize you are exercising. Dance parties are fun for the entire family, so get the kids involved!
4. Use your screen- instead of lounging in front of your laptop or TV, use it to stream a workout video or play a DVD. There are an endless variety of workouts you can find online and on DVD- from yoga and pilates to dance cardio and Zumba, to boot camps and high-intensity interval training- there is something for everyone and every fitness level, often for free or at low cost.
5. Clean your house – I know, I know that may not sound like fun, but hear me out. Dusting, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, making beds… housework is an under-appreciated form of physical activity, especially if you have a large house with stairs, or are bending down to pick up toys. Plus you get the added bonus of a clean inside living space (especially when the outside is getting buried under a fine layer of pollen) - and that goes a long way to peace of mind when you’re cooped up indoors.
Remember, the best form of exercise is the one YOU enjoy and will do consistently. Indoors or out, finding ways of moving your body that you actually enjoy takes the “work” out of workout.