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Beating the Freeze - At Home Workouts

The weather outside may be frightful, but exercising is still delightful! What happens when winter weather puts the brakes on your ability to get to the gym to get in your daily exercise? Well, it’s time to get moving in your own home, of course!

At-Home Workouts

According to Melissa Bell, exercise specialist at Healthworks, there are plenty of opportunities to bring the workout home when the weather or other obstacles stand in the way of your trip to the gym. Exercises like leg raises, wall or incline pushups, squats or wall sits, standing marches, and stepups (see illustrations for details) allow you to stay active and fit without a lot of fancy equipment or complex moves.

When you’re caught off guard and need a spur of-the-moment at-home workout, Bell said that there are many items around the house that you can use to aid in your workout, without additional investment.

“You can use a chair or counter for balance, a step for step-ups or lunges or even stretching, canned goods or water bottles for weights, a dog leash for stretching, a tennis ball for grip strength, a sock filled with beans or rice for ankle or wrist weights,” said Bell.

And if you’re willing to make a small investment in some equipment so that you’re fully prepared for your next at-home workout, Bell suggests investing in two staples — resistance bands and exercise videos.

“I like the idea of bands because they usually come in packs of four or five bands that people can grow into as they get stronger,” said Bell. “The videos you can either purchase locally or online or find for free on YouTube.”

Before trying any exercise program, though, Bell recommends checking with your doctor, working on proper form with a professional, starting slowly and, of course, staying hydrated!

#1 - Leg Raises

  • Place all of your weight on one leg, and lift your other leg while keeping your knee straight.
  • Increase intensity by holding the leg up for a few seconds.
  • Decrease intensity by lifting the leg only lightly.

leg raises demo

#2 - Wall Sits

  • Place your back against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart about two feet in front of you.
  • Bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall until your knees are at 90-degree angles.
  • Increase intensity by squeezing a ball or pillow between your knees.
  • Decrease intensity by holding for a shorter time or not bending your knees as much.

wall sits demo

#3 - Wall/Incline Pushups

  • Stand an arm’s length away from a wall.
  • Place your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height with your thumbs touching.
  • Press your body toward the wall as if doing a pushup and push back to your starting position.
  • For increased intensity, push against a counter or the floor instead of the wall.

wall inclines demo

#4 - Standing Marches

  • With a chair or wall in front of you for support, stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your side.
  • March in place, lifting your knees high toward the ceiling.
  • For greater intensity, increase your speed.
  • To decrease intensity, slow down and don’t bend your knees as much.

standing marches demo

#5 - Step Ups

  • Place your right foot on top of a step or stair and press through your right heel to step up.
  • Bring your left foot to the top of the step, then step down, right foot first.
  • Repeat, leading with the left foot.
  • Adjust the intensity as needed by using a higher or lower step.

step ups demo