Oh, the seasonal blahs. Yes, it’s true. Winter still isn’t over. There’s no daylight when your alarm clock goes off, you’ve logged more miles than you’d like to count on the dreadmill, and — duh — it’s really cold out there.
It’s no surprise that any motivation to get outdoors and work up a sweat has gone the way of the groundhog and buried itself until spring. But don’t let the season be an excuse to stray from those resolutions and lose your workout mojo.
We’ve rounded up our favorite calorie-busting workouts that can be done indoors to get through these final weeks of winter. And who knows — you might even find a workout you’ll want to do all year long.
So, the idea of wiping out on black ice or feeling the cold breeze on your face while bike riding isn’t appealing? A spin class might be just the thing for you.
One study showed that these intense indoor cycling classes burn calories, help lower blood pressure, trim fat, and strengthen bones. Interval-based rides also strengthen your butt, thighs, calves, and even the core. No helmet necessary.
It’s never too early to dig out your swimsuit. Head to your gym or community center’s indoor pool to get in some solid swims before summer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just a few laps of this low impact exercise daily improves overall health and reduces the risk for chronic diseases. Plus, water’s buoyancy lets people with sore joints or muscles exercise far longer in water.
No need to venture outside, and no gym required for these bodyweight exercises. All you need is the resistance of your own body weight to improve strength and endurance.
Or, try using resistance bands for high intensity supersets. You’ll get your heart pumping, plus resistance, without heavy equipment taking up space.
An indoor rock climbing wall, that is. This non-traditional cardio workout really hits the mark for those who want to exercise their mental strength too.
But it’s about physical prowess as well. A research review showed that scaling indoor walls significantly increases hand grip strength and leg power. It also makes you more efficient at doing push-ups, pull-ups, and vertical jumps.
Cue bragging rights once you’ve reached the top!
Ice skating isn’t just for kids. If it’s too cold to comfortably skate on the nearest outdoor pound, head to your local indoor rink to carve up the ice.
Aside from being super fun, skating tones the legs, core, and butt, along with smaller, stabilizing muscles that assist with balance and coordination.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, at a moderate pace, ice skating also burns about 500 calories per hour (and that’s not counting bonus points for jumps and spins!).
Though barre-based workouts hit the U.S. in the ’70s, it wasn’t until the past few years that they skyrocketed in popularity — and with good reason. Their ballet-inspired moves combine elements of yoga, Pilates, and weight training to lengthen and tone muscles.
While the moves generally use just your body weight and the barre, you’ll be surprised at just how challenging the classes can be.
No barre classes nearby? Try this 15-minute workout at home or follow along with a streaming video (just substitute a chair for the barre).
Still looking to kick-start those fitness goals? A boot camp workout might be the right fit. Inspired by military training, these booty-busting sessions combine strength training moves with high intensity cardio to deliver a serious full-body workout.
While many boot camps are conducted at local parks or track fields, some have indoor options, particularly in the winter. Before committing to a longer series, consider test-driving a boot camp-inspired class at your local gym or community center first.
Make like Rocky and get to a kick-butt boxing class. A few rounds in the ring provide a full-body workout as you duck, block, and throw punches.
The winning card: Technique is more important than experience, so it’s OK to be a newbie.
Yoga puts both your mind and body through a workout. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, yoga reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, and improves strength and flexibility through various asanas (or poses).
It’s also an ideal indoor cross-training activity for more cardio-intense activities like running. Plus, there’s a style to suit just about anyone — from the novice to the experienced yogi.
What looks like martial arts in slo-mo is actually a low impact exercise with its roots in ancient China. Tai chi combines slow movements with deep breathing techniques. It’s especially good for getting your mind back into alignment.
Tai chi has a lot to offer in one gently flowing package. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it can improve cardiovascular health, reduces stress and anxiety, ease back pain, and improve balance.
Get started at a class or streaming vid to learn proper forms before you try to practice on your own.
If you want to define your core and increase flexibility, Pilates is one way to do it. Its moves, which can be modified to fit any fitness level, are designed to condition your body (with an emphasis on your core) and improve balance.
Get started with these basic Pilates moves like kicks, leg stretches, and pulls.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Take your Pilates mat skills to the Reformer, a machine that will really put your strength, balance, and coordination to the test.
Unleash the kid in you and hop onto the nearest trampoline. This bouncy childhood favorite is a fitness craze, and not just because it’s super fun.
One study showed that jumping on a trampoline 3 times per week improves strength and aerobic capacity, making you fitter for whatever other workouts you want to try.
And thanks to the trampoline’s low impact cushioning, your joints are protected as you jump up and down. Try a local trampoline class, or visit a trampoline park to bust an aerial move.
This gym class staple is polarizing, we know. You either love it or hate it, but you can’t argue that it’s a good way to get moving with a group of friends who don’t have it out for you.
Dodgeball delivers a surprisingly good cardio workout, letting your body move in all planes of motion as you duck and fly over your opponent’s strikes.
After a few vigorous games, you might find yourself more sore than expected — but hopefully not from a ball to the forehead (ouch!). Use a soft ball and take it easy on your opponents to prevent injuries.
If you haven’t tried plyometrics, get ready for an intense workout with seemingly simple moves. According to a research review, plyometric workouts incorporate explosive movements like tuck jumps, jumping jacks, and single-leg hops to improve cardio endurance, agility, and strength.
Just remember: Our bodies adapt to challenging workouts faster than you’d think, so be sure to keep switching up your plyo routine.
No need to wait until summer to make like Mike (or LeBron). According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, engaging in a game of indoor hoops can burn nearly 600 calories per hour.
One study showed that running full-court can also improve your athletic endurance, not to mention your balance and coordination, as you play hard and put up some shots.
And while a full-on 5 vs. 5 game is always fun, you only need one other person to get the stakes up (and earn those bragging rights). What’s not to love?
Don’t relegate soccer to a warm weather-only sport. When it’s too cold to get outdoors, indoor soccer is a solid option for kicking out your frustrations and working up a sweat.
And the benefits are worth it: Soccer is really good cardio, plus some sneaky core work with every pass, shot, and corner kick. A research review showed that the world’s favorite sport can also improve oxygen uptake (a measure of cardiovascular fitness). Score!
It’s a full-body workout, a stress reducer, a self-defense class, and a flexibility workshop all in one. No, this isn’t a magic pill. It’s the power of kickboxing.
Combining karate-style kicking with boxing punches, kickboxing brings the best of both worlds to give your upper and lower body a kick-ass workout.
One study showed that just 5 weeks of kickboxing classes 3 times per week builds upper body muscle strength, aerobic conditioning, flexibility, speed, and agility. In other words, this workout packs a real punch (or kick).
YouTube is full of killer kickboxing workouts too.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, kickboxing also burns about 720 calories an hour for excellent weight loss potential. And if you’re ever in a situation where you need to throw a punch or two, kickboxing’s got you covered.
Who knew swinging cast iron could reap such huge benefits in so little time? If you want to combine strength training and cardio workouts into one effective, calorie-blasting workout, pick up a kettlebell.
A 2012 study showed that swinging a kettlebell improves muscle strength and endurance.
Ready to get saved by the bell? Check out this full-body kettlebell workout for any fitness level to get you started.
Turns out those rowers at the gym are onto something. Row, row, row your boat (or rowing machine), and you’ll squeeze aerobic and resistance training into one efficient workout, according to a 2013 study.
Each stroke combines a leg press, a dead lift, and a row (how’s that for a full-body workout?). And though you’re stationary, since all the muscles are working at once, your heart rate shoots up just as fast.
The resistance is created by how hard you push or pull, so the intensity level is up to you. Not up for rowing solo? Join a crew, or a rowing class at your local gym.
Check out these tips on the right way to use a rowing machine to help you get adjusted when you first start.
Using your own body weight to perform challenging moves, all while suspended from different angles? Welcome to TRX.
A favorite among Navy SEALs, the portable suspension trainer works the whole body, including the core, and it does it all while you battle against gravity.
Exercises can be modified depending on your fitness level, making it a worthwhile workout. If you’re not ready to purchase your own TRX system, check out local gyms for TRX classes and trainers.
A little nip in the air is no reason to abandon your workout routine. Once winter sets in, just take your training session inside (with a mask during COVID-19, of course!).
You’ve got tons of options at your local gym or at home to tone your muscles and increase your aerobic stamina. Find the workout that suits you best, gather the equipment you need, and get ready to sweat through the cold season.