Do Something! Ideas for Indoor Cross-Training
Running outside during the winter can be pretty awful. You can bundle up to make it significantly more enjoyable, but sometimes, it’s just too dangerous. Plus, the winter weather may have you tempted to stay inside and do nothing at all.
Rather than skip working out between January and mid-March, why not utilize the great indoors and take up a few indoor cross-training activities? Machines like the elliptical and bike trainer offer cardio from the comfort of your own home, and a solid yoga or core routine can be done just about anywhere.
Another reason to consider indoor cross-training? Injury. We’re sure some of you out there are riding the injury train (both Nathan and Krysta are right there with you), so now more than ever you should take up cycling or lifting. In fact, active recovery is one of the best ways to heal your body, just be sure your cross-training activity of choice doesn’t aggravate the injury!
Pedal Something – Cardio Machines
There are a lot of different things you can “pedal” indoors to stay active. Nathan is enjoying riding the elliptical machine in their garage at the moment. He keeps his hands off the handles and instead pretends he’s running. “It almost feels like I’m running!” he says. Since he currently isn’t supposed to run, it’s not a bad substitute (especially since he doesn’t want a treadmill…right now).
If you don’t want to shell out big bucks for an elliptical or treadmill, for about $100 you can get a trainer for your bike. This is great because it allows you to use your bike indoors, without purchasing a huge piece of equipment. Krysta has been the resident bike trainer pro, since she, too, is taking a short running hiatus. “Using the bike trainer certainly isn’t running,” she notes, “but it gets my heart rate up, and I can catch up on Netflix and podcasts, so it’s not all bad!”
To avoid total indoor cardio boredom and burnout, try watching this 90-minute indoor training video, listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music, or watching T.V.
Watch Something – Training Videos
Another great indoor cross-training option is to cue up a workout video and follow along at home. Here are a few of our favorites:
FitnessBlender.com offers several great, free HIIT videos (and lots of paid ones as well). There are a ton of activities to choose from, and you can pick something focused on cardio, strength or both.
One of the easiest activities to do from home is yoga. Jasyoga, an innovative collection of yoga videos, allows users to choose from hundreds of online videos for only $4.99/month. “The Jasyoga Reset collection is easily one of my favorite ways to shake out the aches and pains,” says Krysta. “They’re each 5-10 minutes long and specifically geared towards runners!”
Looking for free content? Simply go to YouTube and type in “workout video” or any number of similar search terms, and find millions of videos ranging in both length and quality. Here’s one that isn’t too weird…or maybe not.
Download Something – Fitness Apps
A third indoor cross-training option is to download a fitness app. There are hundreds of apps out there, and by no means have we compiled an exhaustive list. Here are three that Nathan has used on a somewhat regular basis:
- 7 Minute Workout
- A free, “12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises. 30 seconds per exercise, 10 seconds rest between exercises.”
- Highly customizable with paid option ($4.99)
- Social sharing if you want to do it with friends
- HIIT workouts focus on strength and cardio
- Mammoth Hunters
- “Functional training and nutrition plans with Mammoth Hunters reignite our body’s ability to work optimally. Using our efficient workouts and diet plans result in a holistic feeling of health and energy.”
- Free and paid options (about $2/week, or $59.99/year)
- Too many options to list here, but also includes nutrition planning
- Focuses on strength and cardio
- Nathan says, “This is one of the coolest apps I’ve used! It gives great instructions while you are working out so you don’t need to go back and figure out what the workout is they are asking you to do.“
- Strength Training for Runners
- The Runners Connect plan
- Isn’t an app, but you can go old school and print out workouts.
- Tailored for runners and specific races, or just maintenance.
- Focused on strength, not necessarily cardio
- Nathan says, “This is the best all around strength training plan, especially if you don’t want to buy equipment. You’ll need to spend a few minutes getting it figured out, but once you do, there’s a nice schedule to follow.”
Whether you’re pedaling, watching, or downloading, there are lots of ways to skip the icy roads and get in a quality workout from home. (No treadmill required!) The best part? Cross-training is a great way to build strength and fitness, stay injury-free, and keep you sane during the winter months.