Monday, February 4, 2019

Stuck inside? A few non-running fitness options to consider


The temps have been chilly (polar vortex chilly for some of us).

Being stuck inside can be a tough setting for some runners. Granted, rest/recovery days are warranted, but what if you're stuck inside for several days at a time?  Not every runner has an in-house treadmill or access to an indoor track, after all. Many don't have the space for a home gym either.

Have you ever been at a loss for indoor fitness options? Ever wanted to do something "active" that didn't involve the actual act of running, but would benefit your running none the less? 

Here are a few suggestions for indoor fitness when running isn't an option. Most of these don't even require the expense of equipment, nor do they demand a lot of space. 


Utilize your own body weight as resistance. Ummm, ever heard of push-ups? How about squats, or lunges? These all can be done with nothing other than YOU as your main resistance. Of course, you can increase the intensity by adding some extra weight...by way of hand weights or a kettle bell.
How low can you go?
Planking for the win! I do a lot of core work, by way of planking. I have no idea how long my daily planking streak has been going, but it's been several years (it started when I got the idea to do a forearm plank for the 2-1/2 minutes it took for my morning chai latte' to heat up...and it became a daily ritual). Planking can be done on your forearms, or with straight arms. You can be on your toes, on both feet or balanced on just one foot. You also can turn and do a sideways plank (with just one arm or hand on the floor). You can start with both hands (and feet) on the floor and alternate lifting opposite hands and feet. The possibilities are endless, and you'll be rewarded with a stronger core for your efforts.
Can you hold a bird-dog-position plank? With bedhead?
Basic calisthenics can be done anywhere. Often when I travel, I just opt to do basic calisthenics in my hotel room. Not all hotels have workout rooms, after all, but that's no excuse to sit idle. Crunches, jumping jacks, burpees, walking lunges, wall sits, push-ups,,,,all can be done in a relatively small space.

How about taking the stairs? (Big surprise, right?) I not only do a lot of stair workouts in my house, but often times (if we're traveling) in hotels or other public buildings. Stair climbing very closely simulates hill running, but usually at a steeper incline. Not only will you get a great cardio workout from stair climbing, everything from the waist-down will get worked over as well.
got stairs?
Yoga...it does a body good. Unfortunately, I don't make yoga a priority and I really need to work on that. Yoga can be done in a relatively small space as well. A yoga mat is ideal (for padding and also for your feet to grip), but is not mandatory.
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and shoes
pretend I'm not wearing shoes for this....
So, there you have it....a few of my favorite non-running options for indoor fitness. Most of these options saw a lot of action in the past couple of weeks as we entertained excessively low temps outside. Although I dearly missed my outdoor runs, I was able to stay active without having to leave my house.

How about you? Do you have some favorite exercises you're able to do in the confines of your house?

I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up

**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Marc and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner
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34 comments:

  1. Ha - I was waiting for the stairs and you did not disappoint! I love that Christmas stair climbing photo. I'd only add go to a yoga class first to get the adjustments and make sure you're doing it safely and I am looking into using a resistance band for some squats and leg raises, but haven't managed to work all that out yet.

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    1. I agree, yoga is tricky! Some of the poses are really tough to do correctly (even if you have a mirror).

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  2. I don't belong to a gym -- I have in the past, several times, and while I enjoy them, I'm also good on my own.

    There are just so many activities at our fingertips now with tablets & phones & I love that!

    The treadmill is good for things like assisted pull ups -- not really pull ups, there's a name for it, but you can lie down, hold onto the arms, and pull your body weight up. You can kind of do roman chair abs with it too, holding onto the arms and pulling your knees up to your chest. It's for more than just running and walking (and then you can walk sideways on it, backwards on it -- I've forgotten all about that and need to add that back in -- just lower the speed when you do that stuff!).

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    1. I have done the sideways walk on the treadmill, and had to slow it WAY down because it felt more like a side lunge/hop/scoot kind of move LOL. I had not thought of the knee lifts on the 'mill! My abs could use a little attention, I'm gonna give that a try!

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  3. Definitely a very timely post considering the weather from last week, lol.

    Yesterday I did an at home strength workout with my ActivMotion bar. I love that there are so many products that make it easy to get in at home workouts now.

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    1. I agree! I tried to make this post about all the "free" stuff we have available without needing to leave the house, and there are countless options ;-) I want one of those ActivMotion bars!!!

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  4. All great suggestions. I love planking and doing pushups. I usually alternate mornings between those 2 workouts. Yoga is becoming a bigger part of my fitness routine too. And, of course, I swim at our local rec center, probably my favorite cross training.

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    1. I am just not a water person, but I wish I was. Swimming is such a great sport. I just cannot stand the sensation of water splashing on my face...I don't know if it's a fear-of- water thing or just an OCD thing, but avoidance has been my crutch (ha ha)

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  5. I also need to make yoga a priority (it's one of my goals) but I keep putting it off and do something else. At least I'm doing something though, right?

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    1. Exactly! I am stretching out after my runs more than ever before (still probably not as much as I should, though), so I think that's a step in the right direction.

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  6. All great ideas done in the comfort of one's home. My excuse is that I am just plain lazy. :-)

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    1. Well, there's nothing wrong with going to a gym, but it's nice being able to get in a solid workout without leaving the house ;-) I could always give you a call some (early) morning... ;-)

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  7. You are the planking queen and the stair queen!

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    1. ha! ha! ha! Thanks ;-) I'm just glad I have found a few things that work well for me ;-)

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  8. You're right: There's SO much that can be done at home with just body weight. It's been a challenging winter to get outside, as we know. ;)

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    1. Winter was playing so nice...until the past three weeks happened LOL

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  9. I think yoga is my favorite non-running, stuck inside, workout. I don't have much room (time for some spring cleaning), which makes it challenging to fit in some workouts (literally!).

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    1. I really need to make yoga a more consistent part of my regime. It feels so good, but I struggle with finding the time to do it properly (without rushing through it)

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  10. How awesome that you do stair workouts in your house. I am not sure I could motivate to do that. We used to do stadiums in college but I don't really do stairs anymore.

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    1. I have done the Fight for Air Climb the past seven years, so that requires some stair-training (if you want to walk the next day LOL). I actually love the stair workouts because they encompass cardio as well as all kinds of lower-body strength work.

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  11. Body weight is always good! I get creative with my workouts at home when I have to. Stairs are good to have too!

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    1. Body weight workouts are such a no-brainer (at least in my opinion). They cost practically nothing and most can be done anywhere.

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  12. Body weight exercises and yoga have been my go-tos for at home workouts. It's helpful that there a lot of workout videos on You Tube. Some are better than others so it does take time to find ones I like.

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    1. I agree. I don't use many videos for my workouts these days. Years ago, I was really into P90X, and still utilize a lot of the workouts/exercises from that series.

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  13. These are awesome Kimberly - thank you so much for these. It's only recently (as in the last 2 - 3 weeks) that I've actually been effective at working out at home. So I am going to add these to my arsenal. I don't have stairs at home but I do have them at work so I may incorporate them during lunch hour! I also read somewhere that planking is far safer and better for one's core than traditional sit-ups.

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    1. I have seen that about planks vs. sit-ups or crunches, too. I think there's a lot more versatility with planking, and a lot more muscles get utilized.

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  14. Perfect post! When the weather was so cold it felt like we were trapped indoors, but clearly you can still get your workout on! I haven't done yoga at home in ages. I haven't practiced in a couple of weeks and I really miss it!

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    1. Yoga is one of those things that I enjoy, but I'm not very disciplined about doing it consistently. I have so many other workouts I do, so I don't stress much about it. Plus, I've gotten pretty good about my post-workout stretching, etc.

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  15. I avoid jumping exercises in hotels because I'm afraid the people in the room below will hear me...though now that I think about it, all the other unavoidable hotel noises are probably more obnoxious! Yoga is the only thing I regularly do at home...I'm too easily distracted and end up trying to use my workout rest periods to do other things.

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    1. At-home workouts are available to everyone, but I totally understand how they can be difficult to do with all the other at-home distractions. That's why yoga is especially tough for me to commit to, because I have a hard time focusing on "being in the moment."

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  16. This is so great for those who are stuck inside with this winter weather!
    I am thankful I have my gym as I am not good at working out on my own!
    I love getting in more stretching & rolling in at home.

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    1. Well, in Iowa, we've been stuck inside a lot recently LOL

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  17. Nice shirt! :p Yep, when the treadmill died on Wednesday, I took to the mat. Yoga is always a win! I also have the option of riding my bike--I put it in the trainer for the winter.

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    1. We have a stationary bike, but it currently has a good inch or so of dust on it (oops LOL). I forget it's even there, but that would be a great thing to do once in awhile.

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