Nutrition Experts

indoor exercise ideas

I don't like to exercise outside when it's cold. How can I stay active indoors during the winter?


Good for you for not throwing in the towel and becoming a couch potato until spring.

Whatever the weather, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week (for instance, walk briskly for 30 minutes five days during the week). Kids and teens should get 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Meeting this goal—along with smart eating strategies like watching portion sizes and eating lots of fruits and veggies—helps keep extra pounds at bay throughout the year.

There are plenty of indoor options for staying active when it's cold outside. Here are a few ideas:

Walk the mall. Join legions of people who stay fit by walking at an indoor mall. Many malls open early for walkers—stop by the information booth at your local mall to check their policy. Some malls even provide walking programs that might include special rewards, giveaways and discounts.
Get some class. Check the fitness classes at your local health club, worksite wellness facility or community recreation center. You'll likely find a variety of options from aerobics to Zumba® (a fun workout based on Latin dances). You also might find an indoor track, swimming pool, strength training equipment and more.
Check out the library. You can sample a wide world of fitness activities for free via DVDs from your local library. Experiment with something new to you like "salsa–cising" or tai chi, or look for favorites like yoga, aerobics or in–home walking programs.
Dust off that fitness equipment. Do you have an exercise bike, treadmill or ski machine languishing in a corner? Give it another try. It might seem fresh and fun if you haven't used it in a while.
Tackle active indoor projects. It's true—vigorous household chores like painting walls, washing windows and cleaning rugs count toward your physical activity goals. And just think—you'll get a head start on spring cleaning, which means more time to go outside when the weather gets better!