If cold weather has you moving your workout inside, you can still crush your fitness routine. Here are some ways to make sure you get the best from your indoor sweat sessions.
Whether you have a gym membership or use a home gym, the most important step is knowing how to use the equipment properly. Some gyms offer a safety training session when you sign up. If you’re unsure of how to use equipment, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a staff member. If you have your own fitness equipment at home, make sure you read the manual completely and put it together correctly. Many companies also post online tutorials to assist. Learn how to turn machines off and on correctly, how to safely start your workout and what all of the buttons do. Using machines and equipment incorrectly can result in serious injuries that require recovery time, limiting your ability to workout as often as you’d like.
Wear the right gear
Even though you’re working out inside, it’s still important to wear good shoes designed for exercise unless you’re doing a gentle yoga or barre routine. Make sure the clothing you choose is breathable and comfortable. Avoid stiff fabrics and opt for materials that are sweat resistant.
Use proper form
Particularly with weight lifting, form is most important. It can be tempting to lift a heavier amount from the start to build muscle, but this is counterproductive as form will suffer if you’re not conditioned to lift a certain amount. Rather than jumping ahead and lifting as much as you possibly can, it’s better to lift only what you know you can while maintaining proper form. Exercising with incorrect form works the wrong muscles and can put you at risk for injury. Over time, you’ll increase strength and see better outcomes if you focus on proper form first.
Mimic outdoor movement
Cardio machines are designed to get your body moving as it would when performing activities outdoors. However, they are not perfect and can result in injuries if you don’t know how to adjust the machines for your body and abilities. Treadmills are great for logging miles, but the flat surface can lead to injury. If you’re running on a treadmill, always set the machine to have a slight incline to mimic an outdoor run, and you can increase and decrease throughout your run to mimic hills. When you want to stop, you can use the emergency stop if necessary or slow down your pace until you press the stop button. When using an indoor bike, make sure you are adjusting the tension throughout your workout to simulate riding uphill and on tougher surfaces. It’s also helpful to try cycle classes or look up indoor bike workout videos online for some guidance. No matter what machine you choose, learn about the settings to help you create the perfect fitness routine.
Stretch and cool down
Make sure you stretch and cool down after you finish any workout. Take at least 10 minutes to stretch completely and lower your heart rate. Make sure you hold stretches, such as reaching for your toes, for at least 30 seconds without bouncing. Stretching also helps improve circulation, and the increased blood flow helps heal your muscles faster, meaning less time to feel stiff and sore!