When cold weather comes to town, our exercise routines often go out the door. Exercising outside in pleasant weather isn’t too hard to muster up the motivation to do. Walking, swimming, or playing badminton are all pastimes that seem more like fun than work.
But when the temperatures aren’t ideal for being out and about, our exercise routines have to move inside. And unless you have a nice home gym set, it can be easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do to keep up the same level of activity.
You may feel that you need to purchase specialized equipment to help you exercise inside, which would be an expense and a hassle. But there are plenty of things you can do indoors to keep yourself moving without having to purchase a thing.
Dancing is one of the most enjoyable indoor exercise activities. The easiest thing to do is just to start playing music of your choice and moving around to it. I enjoy playing music while I clean the house or cook. It puts an extra spring in my step and makes me more likely to move briskly while working.
If you want more structure than impromptu activities provide, you can watch dance-based exercise videos. If you don’t own any, there’s no need to make a purchase. YouTube has plenty of free videos you can view, like this Free Easy Dance Exercises for Senior Adults that comes on Hawaii public television.
Lifting Milk Jugs
Feel like you need some strength training but don’t have a set of weights? Milk jug lifting is cheap and highly flexible. If you can find two empty milk jugs, then clean them out to use for lifting.
You control the weight of the jugs by filling them with water. This makes the poundage easily adjustable. All you have to do is put in more water to make them heavier or pour water out to make them lighter.
Water bottles can also be used as dumbbells. This article on Livestrong gives good tips on how to work out with both types of homemade weights.
Cleaning the House
Cleaning the house sounds like a chore and not an exercise plan. But if you set a routine and make some modifications to your movements, it can become a regular part of your exercise program.
First, set a routine, just as you would with any other exercise. Consider what types of chores use what types of muscles. Try to rotate the kinds of activities you are doing, giving the parts of your body you just used a rest day in between.
One day you might want to do chores like sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping, which use the big muscles in your arms, legs, and back. These activities also get your heart rate up if you are moving briskly. It would be like doing a strengthening and cardio exercise.
Another day you could do exercises that work on flexibility and balance. Use window and mirror washing to practice extending your reach. When folding laundry, put your clothes on one side and your folding surface on the other, so you have to twist back and forth (Let’s do the twist!) at the waist to bring the clothes from the basket to the table. Just remember to use safe techniques when lifting heavy items such as laundry baskets.
If you do want to add an affordable, compact piece of exercise equipment to your routine, ILA has a Pedal Exerciser that mimics the movements of a bicycle while taking up less than half the space of a stationary bike.