Students are on their way back to school, the days are getting a little bit shorter and before we know it summer will be over. While you may be preparing to mourn the death of sun soaked workouts done in a t-shirt and shorts, there’s no need to give up your routine altogether. Indoor workouts don’t have to mean trudging along on a treadmill (unless you want them to). Check out our six tips for safely bringing your workouts indoors and enjoying them all winter long.
Try a New Type of Gym
If you’re dreading the thought of plugging away on the treadmill or fighting for the free weights you need at your “traditional” local gym, you might want to consider skipping on a membership altogether. You don’t need a membership to a traditional gym (or any gym, for that matter) to stay in shape through the winter. But new types of gyms that are becoming increasingly popular are great options to consider—climbing gyms, spinning studios, boxing centers, cross fit boxes, the list goes on—these interesting options will keep you fit and they’re anything but boring.
Join an Indoor Sports League
Up for a little team competition? Indoor leagues are great when it comes to staying social and staying in shape. Popular sports you can play indoors include soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey and tons more. A little bit of research and asking around should help you find a league in your area.
Download an App
From yoga instruction to personal training, at this point you can find pretty much anything in your app store. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of apps that offer customizable workouts, training plans, progress tracking and supportive communities, all at your fingertips and ready whenever you want to use them. A few popular options include Couch-to-5K, Nike Training Club and FitStar Personal Trainer, but you can find plenty more on a quick search.
Maybe you do, in fact, like the idea of heading to a traditional gym so you can continue your training plan. That’s a fine idea if you’ve been periodically training in the gym over the summer, but if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym since March, you should transition wisely to avoid injury. Running outside is different than running on a treadmill and if you try to resume your same rigorous mileage on the treadmill you could suffer injury. Experts suggest focusing at first on acclimating—pay attention to effort (read: heart rate and perceived exertion) over mileage and time. Scale back your workouts and gradually build up to make a safe transition, the same goes for strength training if you haven’t used that equipment in a while.
Plan It Out
Maybe you spent the summer enjoying a hodgepodge of random physical activity—a day in the pool, a morning of tennis, an impromptu trail run or a weekend hike—and that was how you stayed fit. But come winter chances are those random fitness opportunities will be few and far between. Though that realization can be disappointing, it just means you now have the opportunity to plan. If you’ll be joining a gym, now is the best time to set some goals for the coming months and if you won’t be joining a gym, it’s a good time to think about what you’ll be doing fitness-wise this winter.
Make a Great Playlist
Working out in the great outdoors rarely requires a set of headphones, so maybe you haven’t used them all that much in the past few months. Come winter, though, your headphones and music become an invaluable asset and a key motivational tool. Spend some time making an amazing workout playlist and it’ll make indoor workouts that much more exciting.