If your new year's resolution is to get in shape and start exercising more in the coming months, nothing can slow you down more than the blustery cold of winter. Running or biking outside immediately becomes a challenge due to the snow and ice, and on days when the temperature dips particularly low it can be hard to convince yourself to go to the gym. However, just because winter makes things difficult, doesn't mean you should use it as an excuse for dodging a workout. Instead, cope with the long, dreary months of winter by turning your apartment into a home gym – that way, you won't be scrambling to get in shape come summertime. Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Invest in a yoga mat
If you have hardwood floors, odds are doing an abdominal workout, stretching or doing other exercises on the floor aren't particularly comfortable. Luckily, yoga mats are reasonably priced and provide the perfect surface for accomplishing a variety of tasks in your home gym. Of course, you can start by using this surface for its eponymous usage, but also a yoga mat is great for stretching, push-ups, crunches and planks. What's more, once you're done, you can easily roll your yoga mat up and place it in the closet or laundry hamper.
2. Focus on quiet cardio
Consider the fact that a few rounds of jumping jacks might upset your downstairs neighbor. Instead, find cardio exercises that can be done quietly or revamp classics to make less noise. You can even find ways to bring outdoor activities inside. For example, purchasing a bike trainer stand allows you to raise your heart rate and keep in shape while remaining in place. Consider exercises such as quiet burpees (one leg at a time), squats and lateral steps.
3. Opt for dumbbells
Dumbbells are a quintessential part of any home gym. When it comes to strength training, a good set of dumbbells can allow you to accomplish almost anything. These versatile weights can be used for a wide range of exercises involving each muscle group, and also don't take up that much space. Depending on the weight, consider doing high rep exercises for tone. However, if you have some heavier weights at home, odds are you can still make bulking up a priority.
4. Get an exercise ball
One of the great benefits of having an exercise ball around is that it can double as a chair when you're not using it. To save space, simply replace your desk chair with an exercise ball so that you can challenge yourself and work on your posture while you study or tackle other various projects. Moreover, exercise balls are great for working your core, so you can develop tough abdominal and back exercises to look your best come summertime. Even better, in a pinch, exercise balls can be deflated to make more room if you host a party or invite over some friends.
5. Use your body weight
Even if your home gym is completely devoid of equipment, you can still use your body weight to get good workout. Classic exercises such as push-ups and dips can easily be done using nothing more than your body weight and a chair if needed. To work your legs, you can do squats, lunges and wall-sits. To work your core, you can do planks, supermans, and bicycles. All in all, your body is a perfect tool for making the most of your workout at home.