In a few short weeks, we’ll be experiencing the darkest days of winter, with very little daylight—and even less warmth—in which to get out and take a jog, walk, or hike. It’s the time of year when workouts transition back indoors, when we renounce our tennis rackets and kayaks and mountain bikes in favor of workouts we can manage in our own living rooms.
However, that’s not to say we need to be content with decades-old aerobics videos or endless reps of sit-ups. We need to see winter as a unique opportunity to broaden our horizons and discover new, innovative, and fun ways to keep fit. By discovering a new favorite workout or experimenting with new technologies, we can keep our fitness routines fresh without ever leaving the front door. How to make it happen? Here are three great places to start.
Discover the World of Online Workouts
The world of online workouts has evolved from a few scattered classes on YouTube to sophisticated subscription-based websites that feature hundreds of on-demand classes from some of the world’s top trainers. The best websites have a monthly fee, but it’s usually far less than a gym membership, and without the hassles of scheduling or commuting.
Our favorites? Crunch Live (crunchlive.com), which has a roster of workouts that are so unique—think mixed martial arts and ballet and hip-hop—that you’ll never feel bored; Daily Burn (dailyburn.com), which features extra-tough classes led by a range of pro athletes; and FitnessGlo (fitnessglo.com), which has multi-week courses that will help you choose a workout plan and stick with it.
Learn Yoga at Home
Learning yoga at a studio can be a daunting experience. Being surrounded by yogis who can do full headstands and backbends doesn’t do much for one’s confidence, and the quick pace of many classes can lead to beginners feeling a little lost. If you’ve always wanted to learn yoga but feel too intimidated to try, consider teaching yourself right at home. A beginner’s yoga kit like this one by Gaiam includes everything you need to get off on the right foot: an alignment mat that shows you where to put your hands and feet, some accessories, and a DVD led by an internationally renowned yoga instructor. Once you’ve moved beyond a beginner’s workout, try other yoga DVDs that focus on your specific health goals, like stress relief or weight loss.
Stay Motivated with a Better Workout Machine
Home workout machines have come a long, long way from the basic stair-stepper. Today’s treadmills and cycles are often compatible with iFit, a wi-fi enabled device that lets you build your own running or cycling courses using Google Maps, and that makes the machine adjust its settings automatically to match the terrain. It also allows you to download dozens of workouts to keep your routine fresh, and play your own music through built-in speakers to keep your energy up. Mix up your routine by playing an online running or cycling workout on your laptop, and you’ve got even more motivation to build up a sweat on a cold winter day.
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