5 Cool Indoor Workouts for Hot Days

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Summer is a great time of year to get outside for some fresh air and physical activity.  Unlike the dark mornings and evenings of winter, summer provides plenty of daylight hours for a walk, run or swim in the pool.  But as the temperature climbs, there could be days when it's just too hot to safely exercise outside.  Does that give you an excuse to skip your workout?  Not a chance! 
There are lots of ways to exercise indoors, which can help you stay safe, cool and comfortable.  Then after the hard work is done, you can relax with a cold drink, feeling proud that you stayed consistent with your workout routine.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Workout Videos
You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest fitness craze to get a good workout from at home. Exercise videos can add variety to your routine for little to no money. Coach Nicole created a variety of free fitness videos for SparkPeople, including strength training, cardio, Pilates and more.  Many of them are 15-minutes or less, so they can easily be incorporated into your busy schedule.  YouTube and your local library are two other places to look for free video options.
If you are planning to spend money to purchase videos, check out the reviews first.  Amazon offers a rating system so you can see what other people thought of the workout.  You can also post about a title you're considering on the SparkPeople Message Boards to get feedback from our members.  This way you know your money will be well spent. 

Create Your Own Circuit
Circuit training is a great way to combine cardio and strength training into one efficient workout.  Here is one easy way to create your own at-home routine:
  1. Make a list of cardio and strength exercises you can do at home with whatever equipment you have available.  (SparkPeople's exercise demos are a great resource for ideas.)  
  2. Choose 3-5 cardio exercises and 3-5 strength exercises for your routine.
  3. Start with a 5-minute warm up, followed by the first strength exercise for 8-12 repetitions, then the first cardio exercise for 30-90 seconds.  Alternate strength and cardio exercises for the duration of the workout, followed by a 5-minute cool down and stretch at the end. 
You can add additional sets to each strength exercise, vary the length of each cardio burst, and do as many different activities as you'd like for the duration of the workout.  This way you can customize the workout to meet your needs and fitness level.

Create a Basic Home Gym
It would be nice to have a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical at home for days when the temperature soars, but few of us have the funds—or the space—for all that pricey equipment.  However, resistance bands, hand weights (dumbbells), a jump rope or stability ball can work your body head-to-toe for less than $25 per item.  Here are some other tips for building a home gym on a tight budget.  This investment gives you good options for days when it's too hot, too cold or you're too tight on time to leave the house for a workout.   
Turn Your Chores Into a Workout!
Housecleaning is a necessity of life, but not something most of us enjoy.  Why not check two tasks off your to-do list by turning your chores into a workout?  Take extra trips up and down the stairs to do laundry, add in some squats when you unload the dishwasher or calf raises while you're cooking at the stove.  Remember, all of this extra movement throughout the day adds up.  Find some other fun ways to get a great workout by cleaning house
Consider a Gym Membership
Since the January gym rush is long over, summer is often a good time to find a deal on a local gym membership.   Visit the gyms in your area to see what kind of specials they are running (including month-to-month or short-term contracts), and don't be afraid to ask for a better deal.  Many times gyms are willing to negotiate in order to get your business.  Here are some other ways to save money when joining a gym.  

Have a Plan
As the seasons change, you can expect that there will be days when you can't get outside to exercise.  Instead of letting it frustrate you or derail your routine, plan ahead.  Have a few videos on hand (either DVDs or streaming online workouts) or print out a few of the workouts on SparkPeople (such as the Rainy Day Workout, The Bikini Workout or Over 110 Cardio Workout Ideas.)  With a little planning and creativity, the possibilities for cool summer workouts are endless!
Exercising in the summer heat: Do you love it or hate it? What are some of your favorite indoor or  no-sweat workouts for hot weather?  Share them below!