Quick Access to UHS MyChart

Free and secure access to your UHS healthcare team and services.

When winter lingers, stay fit indoors

March 20, 2023

If winter can’t seem to quite give way to spring and you don’t relish the idea of walking, hiking or jogging outdoors quite yet, you can still get a good workout indoors. In fact, just engaging in a bit of indoor exercise for a few minutes a day can make you feel better and improve your overall fitness level.

For example, climbing stairs isn’t just an alternative to taking the elevator, it’s recognized today for its many health benefits as well. Not only that, it can save you time in your busy schedule. Stair-climbing contributes a good 30 minutes to your total daily physical workout. In this form of exercise, you don't need to pay for anything or buy any exercise equipment, plus you can do it anywhere as long as there are stairs.

Taking the stairs at home, work or school, as part of your daily routine, is good for your heart. It can lower your bad cholesterol levels and raise your good cholesterol levels. It also can relieve tension, stress, high blood pressure and other conditions linked to heart disease.

Skipping rope at a moderate pace is another exercise that can be done indoors and is often considered more effective than running, according to some fitness experts.  Skipping is a very effective cardio exercise that pushes the heart rate up, improves the cardiovascular system and burns an impressive number of calories in a relatively short period of time. Plus, skipping tones your muscles, strengthens your bones and boosts flexibility. Therefore, it is the perfect cardio exercise that benefits your whole body.

A similar exercise—without a rope—is doing jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are a more convenient exercise that you can do anywhere, and they can increase blood flow, improve flexibility and help you build good endurance. These factors can actually enhance the productivity of your workout.

Then there are high knee lifts, done from a standing position. Keep in mind that high knees done at a fast pace produce the best results, making them a cardio-intensive exercise. This move engages your core, improves coordination, enhances flexibility, strengthens your leg muscles and gets your heart rate up. Also, if you are a runner, doing high knees can make you a better one.

Naturally, it’s important to talk with your primary care provider or specialist before starting or changing any exercise program. You want to get fit or stay fit, but do it as safely as possible, especially if the exercise you choose is cardio intensive. Consult your provider, start gradually and keep track of your progress. To find a primary care provider at UHS, click here.

By keeping up a healthy training routine indoors when it’s snowing or raining outdoors, you’ll be in good shape to enjoy the fitness opportunities that will present themselves when spring and summer weather rolls around.