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Cold weather? No problem: 20 ways to get fit without setting foot outside

Avoid the cold by getting in shape in your living room
Avoid the cold by getting in shape in your living room
Abigail Wise

Getting fit without stepping out your front door sounds like an oxymoron, but with record lows and blizzards blowing through the Midwest, running outside is out of the question, even for winter-lovers. Plus, even if some are open, who wants to drag themselves to the gym in negative temperatures and a pile of snow? Most Midwesterners' snowstorm plans include overdosing on television and consuming enough comfort food to sink into hibernation. But while you're cooped up indoors with school, work and local businesses shut down, why not get fit? While everyone else is gaining calories by the second, you can be toning and slimming, leaving you a step ahead of the rest when weather advisories finally taper. Here are 20 creative ways to get in shape inside your house:

  1. Clean your house. Did you know the average person burns over 200 calories per hour vacuuming, mopping and dusting?
  2. Plank. It's arguably the best ab toning exercise in the book. Try out some new planking styles with this plank workout roundup.
  3. Tone your booty and get some cardio in by running laps up and down your stairs.
  4. Cooped up together? Give your loved one a back rub. Massages aren't only good for the receiver. Massaging actually burns roughly 300 calories per hour.
  5. Reorganize the house. Moving furniture around is a great strength-training exercise.
  6. Play tug-a-war with your pooch. Goofing around with pets burns over 200 calories an hour.
  7. Climb some mountains. Not literally, of course, but mountain climbers are great for toning abs, amping up cardio and working your entire body. Here's how to do them the right way for the best results.
  8. Pop in an old workout video.
  9. Practice your yoga headstands against a wall.
  10. Binging on TV? Make a rule to power through some sit-ups and push-ups during every single commercial break.
  11. Take the time to finally read those fitness magazines that have piled up over the last few months. Pick a few new exercises and try them out in your living room.
  12. If you're baking, ditch the mixer and move your arms by stirring batter the old-fashioned way.
  13. Go online shopping and think about investing in one of these wacky workout gadgets.
  14. Design your very own Crossfit workout with old equipment you have lying around in your basement.
  15. Apply a fresh coat of paint for an exhausting arm workout (but don't forget to crack the windows, even though it's chilly outside).
  16. Catch up on sleep. Seriously. Lack of sleep causing cravings for junk food. Plus, you'll have plenty of energy to hit the gym once the storm clears up.
  17. Crank out some pull-ups on that ancient pull-up bar you've got hanging in a doorframe.
  18. Trapped inside with restless kids? Break out some beats and throw a living room dance party.
  19. Brave the elements, but only after you've bundled up properly. Head outside for a snowy run with some no-slip running chains for your tennies. You'll have the running paths to yourself.
  20. Bust out the yoga mat. Your studio's probably closed so this is your chance to take the lead on some zen, yogi poses. Take your practice to the next level by playing yoga instructor for the day. Namaste.
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