Wonky winter weather and unexpected time crunches mean we all exercise inside sometimes. Here are some ideas and suggestions for better indoor training.
1. Find media that motivates you.
With so many connected home-exercise options like treadmills, incline trainers, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes, it’s easy to find video and music to power your workout.
Motivation looks different for everyone, so see what works for you: virtual cycling tours, competitive group setups, live personal coaching, or just a binge sesh on that show you’ve never had time to watch.
2. Indoor train in a complementary sport.
If your go-to outdoor activity is running, for example, consider home-exercise equipment that will add balance to your body rather than an overuse injury.
For example, you could take the pressure off joints with a studio cycle bike. Or add upper body strength to those overdeveloped quads with a rower. You could also make free weights or yoga your primary indoor activities. The variations are endless.
3. Dial in your sound system.
Music can be incredibly motivating for staying in a goal heart-rate zone or exercising inside longer than you thought possible. How you listen while you work out may depend on where your home gym is set up.
So dial in what you need to succeed. It could be based on your connected TV’s soundbar, quality headphones or wireless earbuds, a streaming music membership, or a few playlists with tunes at just the right speed.
4. Keep yourself (and equipment) tidy.
Let’s be frank: Exercising indoors can get sweaty, sticky, and stinky. So make each workout more pleasant with fitness accessories to keep your equipment sanitary and your body healthy.
Whip up a bucket of basics that resides next to your spin bike, and throw in some luxury items as a treat. Start with an absorbent sweat towel, fitness wipes, yoga mat cleaner, body spray, and an easy-sip, no-spill water bottle.
You could also add hair ties, sweatbands, deodorant wipes, dry shampoo, and other hygiene helpers.
5. Take advantage of health tech.
Don’t just run, spin, or row for a set amount of time with no incline or resistance on your home-gym machine. Take advantage of today’s connected technology tools to see how your hard work is paying off.
You can use existing tech gadgets like an Apple Watch (with a sport band) or the latest Fitbit to track your heart rate, fuel and food intake, and weight. Or download and use the top-rated apps that sync with your favorite exercise equipment or activities, from spinning with friends to meditating after each session.
6. Create a permanent workout spot.
If you can swing the space, having a dedicated room or corner where your equipment is always set up and ready to roll will allow more time for a workout and less time moving things into place.
Sometimes, just seeing visual reminders — free weights, yoga mat, stationary bike — is enough to incite action. You could also add inspiring aids like a basket of fresh fitness tools, mentioned above, or a motivating quote board that you can change each week. Make it a place you want to visit.
7. Prep food, water, and entertainment.
Before hopping on a trainer or starting a free-weight workout, get all your fuel and hydration ready and place it within reach.
Also, whether it’s a playlist or Netflix, preload your workout entertainment before you start. To maximize your fitness window, you want to focus on spinning, for example, not scanning for the right content.
And don’t forget to keep the remote close so you can turn up the volume or skip to the next episode without getting off the equipment.
8. Train with others.
Indoor workouts don’t have to be a solo slog. Many online fitness programs offer new and exciting ways to train with other people virtually. Having some other athletes to compete against or give you a digital high five will motivate you to stay on track and “show up” for your workout.
9. Balance indoor and outdoor workouts.
If you exercise exclusively indoors or outdoors, you’re missing out on the best of both worlds. Nature can have an amazing effect on exercising, just as a controlled indoor environment can hone your craft and fitness level like no other.
But don’t burn out or go soft by doing only one. A nice mix of indoor and outdoor training will keep you physically — and mentally — fit.
10. Set a goal and focus.
Just because it’s the offseason doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals. Whether it’s building sprint speed, climbing power, or consistent cadence or stride, it’s worth it.
Refocus and aim to be in the best shape possible when it comes time to hit the dirt or pavement.