Indoor Exercise Ideas to Get You Through the Winter

Staying in shape can be difficult during the winter, but here are several indoor exercises to get you through.

Life typically slows down in the winter. The temperature drops, and the days get shorter, which can make it easy to cut corners in your regular fitness routine. The colder, shorter days make it less desirable to work out outside, but there are plenty of ways to maintain your exercise routine throughout the winter months.

Maintaining Fitness Year Round

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Regular exercise improves overall health and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and other chronic diseases. Physical activity can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight, improve balance and prevent falls, strengthen bones and muscles, and increase cardiovascular capacity. 

It’s important to maintain your fitness routine year-round, and your routine doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive to be effective. The following options listed can fit any lifestyle, any budget, any fitness style, and any schedule.

Indoor Exercise Ideas

Winter can be a tough time of year for people who are short on time, don’t want to go out in the cold, or simply don’t want to leave their houses if they don’t have to, but there are several convenient and inexpensive options for exercising indoors during the cold winter months.

  • Walking
    Walking is a great form of exercise. It’s free and you can do it anywhere. Find a place where there is a large area you can find a clear path, such as a mall or indoor track. If you work in a large facility, it can be easy to work out during your lunch break by walking the inside of your office building from end to end.
  • Indoor Sports
    If you are used to playing sports like basketball and tennis outdoors in warm weather, try the indoor version. Check out community sports complexes to see if they offer leagues or open play.
  • Indoor pool
    Pools and warm weather seem to go together, but an indoor pool can be just as fun and effective for your workout during the winter. Pool workouts can be great cardio exercise, and the resistance from the water maximizes the effectiveness of the workout. Find a facility near you that offers water aerobics classes.
  • Stairs
    Climbing and descending stairs are part of our everyday lives and are an underrated fitness tool. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Go up and down the stairs over your lunch break at work or at your house. Take them two at a time to make it extra challenging or single steps really fast like Rocky.
  • Jump Rope
    Jumping rope is not just an outdoor activity, nor is it only for children. A jump rope is a great and effective fitness tool for all ages that can help improve cardiovascular health and increase weight loss.
  • Work Out at Home
    Don’t want to pay to join a gym? Don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home? Work out at home for a fraction of the price. Invest in quality workout DVDs, a few hand weights, and other tools like a kettlebell, workout band, or exercise ball. A quick search on YouTube will yield many free indoor workouts you can do in your living room.

Take a moment to think how one of these options might fit in your daily or weekly life.


Physical activity and health. (2015 June 4). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from