By: Lisa Payne
The countdown to the snowy, deep freeze days of winter has begun. But as the temperatures drop, succumbing to basic indoor gym workouts can be tough. (We feel ya!). So rather than swap out your seasonal conditioning like you change out the clothes in your closet, we're giving you 5 outdoor exercise ideas you can continue to do indoors throughout the winter.
Rock climbing gyms and rock climbing walls inside your gym may not come with the sun basking on your skin, but they do offer similar workout benefits. Many rock-climbing areas offer bouldering walls where rope is not needed, as well as auto-belay, top-roping and lead climbing. Better yet, rock climbing indoors is sometimes considered safer as there’s often class instruction, multi-level walls and rocks with clear hand placement to make the ascent easier. Just don't be afraid to ask for help if you're new to it.
Hiking, even on a treadmill, can burn up to 500 calories an hour. Setting your machine on inclines can offer low-impact, high-intensity workouts similar to hiking a real mountain. (The average treadmill goes up to a 15% incline and an incline trainer goes up to 30%.) Build your own indoor hike by walking at a fast pace or combining fast walking with running intervals up treadmill inclines. Sure, the views may be different, but you’ll still get a good sweat out of it!
Outdoor bootcamps often take place in a park, beach or backyard. But when you can’t get outside, take the party to the performance area of a gym. Typically done on turf, performance workouts can include the same high-intensity exercises — led pushes, box jumps, medicine ball slams, etc. — as outdoor workouts done in the grass. If you’re someone who needs the extra motivation, check your local studios to see if they offer any group classes you can partake in. (Just don’t forget to ask about intro specials!)
Whether you have an indoor spinning bike or a recumbent bike, there are thousands of cycling workouts that mimic the feel of outdoor road, trail and mountain biking. Don’t have access to one? No problem. In addition to smart cycling bikes, there are also cycling apps that can be used from your tablet or smartphone. How about that for a convenient ride?
Believe it or not, riding a wave while inside is easier than you think. Take Surfset Fitness for example, a class that uses a surfboard as a balance board for surf-inspired strength, cardio and core workout classes to the public. Or you can surf indoors with an indoor surfing simulator like Flowrider®. If either of those don’t have locations near you, consider locating a surf training facility that might have indoor simulation equipment for you to try. Surf's up!