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Fitting in Exercise During the Cold Winter Months

Five tips for getting a workout at home

by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN  |  5281 views  |  6 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Do you have a difficult time fitting in exercise during the winter months? I do. It is primarily because I don't like to be cold and all the exercise I typically do is outdoors. The winter time feels more like the time to cozy up on the couch with a comfy blanket and good book. However, January is also the time for New Year's resolutions, and number one on most people's list is to get back into shape. So, if you're like me and you don't like being cold, nor do you love going to the gym, I've come up with a few simple ideas to get in some activity at home.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are two types of exercise that you can do at home. Not only are they great for stretching and strength training, they also are wonderful for relaxing your mind. You can use videos or buy a book that shows the different poses. I suggest going to a Yoga or Pilates class to make sure you are doing the movements right and to get a nice routine you can take home with you.

Resistance Bands

These are very handy little strength-training tools you can use at home or take with you when you are traveling. They are simple to use and probably the most convenient tool on the market. Real Living Nutrition has a simple resistance band routine you can use anywhere.

Jump Rope

You read that right! Jumping rope is a fast and easy way to sneak in some cardio when you are short on time and don't want to go out in the cold for a walk. You can make jumping rope a beginner, moderate, or extreme activity. (If you haven't been exercising in a while, it is safest to start off slowly.) This is also something you can do with your kids -- just make sure you have a good open space and tall ceilings so you don't break your favorite vase or light fixture.

Exercise Videos

We all probably have some exercise videos hiding in a box in our closet. There are so many of these on the market, and they can be a great way to get in your activity at home. Find ones you like and make sure the host of the video is someone you enjoy watching, otherwise it will be easy to give up on them.


Whether you and your kids own Dance Dance Revolution or you just want to hold your own competition, dancing is a fun and great way to get your heartrate up. Your kids will love this time with you and it will also make for some good laughs!

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, and a columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empowers people to make small changes s

Read more by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN

6 comments so far...

  • My problem is similar: I like the gym (the YMCA), but getting there in the cold when I'm tired from work is difficult. Your ideas for fun exercise at home might be the help I need!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 26th January 2008

  • I think if you bundle up, you can actually enjoy working out outside. I ran my first half-marathon last year and it was 36 degrees and sleeting the whole time. I figure if I could run 13 miles in that, I can run 3 miles in just about anything else.

    Working Mom to 3

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by AmyE on 17th January 2008

  • I'd also add one of those huge balance balls. You can do sit ups on it that are much more effective, push ups, and even just sitting on it while doing your work -- instead of a chair - requires a lot of effort and ab work:)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 16th January 2008

  • Love that Paula! I'll have to try that this year. :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN on 16th January 2008

  • One of my winter exercise tricks is: stairs. Our TV happens to be strategically within view of the bottom of our stairs, and I just go up and down the first step. (Or hop, to get more of a cardio effort) Or I turn on the stereo for entertainment. Family members using the stairs? No problem; I just jog in place until they go by. - Paula.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by tkd_mama on 16th January 2008

  • These are great reminders of what we can do while at home - thanks for sharing with us!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 15th January 2008