Blizzard 2015: 5 Ways to Stay Fit When You’re Stuck Inside

A little snow -- or even a lot -- shouldn't keep you from staying in shape.

ByABC News
January 26, 2015, 1:37 PM
A woman performs sit ups on exercise ball at home.
A woman performs sit ups on exercise ball at home.
Getty Images

— -- Even if you live in a tiny studio apartment, you can still find a way to stay active indoors until the Blizzard of 2015 blows over. Grace DeSimone of American College of Sports Medicine Spokeswoman explains how.

Take the Stairs

Indoor stairs and steps can be turned into calorie-blasting machines, DeSimone said. Walking up and down stairs burns an average of about 7 calories per minute, according to the Compendium of Physical Activity. Take them at a jog, and you’ll up the calorie burn to 11 per minute.

Though it’s harder to get the recommended 10,000 steps per day when you’re cooped up indoors, it is possible, especially if you wear a fitness tracking device, she said.

Stairs can also guard against binging, DeSimone pointed out.

“Put all the snacks up high out of reach or down in the basement,” she advised. "That way you have to run up and down the stairs every time you feel like having a cookie.”

Use What You've Got

Everything you own can be used for exercise, DeSimone said.

For example, squat up and down in a chair to strengthen your butt and thighs. Or do dips on the edge of the couch to strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest.

“If you’ve got weights or bands, great, but if not you can use laundry bottles or cans for strength work,” she said. “If your kids are small enough, even they can be used for bench presses.”

Find an App

There is an app for any possible fitness goal you might have and many of them are free, DeSimone said.

“Download one, use it, delete it and try another one,” she said, adding that many take into account tight spaces and lack of equipment.

If you’re not into apps, search the Internet for streaming, downloadable or written workouts. Your gym’s website can be a good resource, she said. Equinox Gyms, for example, offers a free “Do Anywhere” workout complete with demo videos.

Make It a Game

One way to get the whole family up and moving is with a rousing game of balloon volleyball, DeSimone said.

“Trying to keep the balloon from hitting the floor is a lot harder than it looks. It burns calories and wears everyone out,” she said.

Break Out the Shovel

You may not be looking forward to shoveling your sidewalk or driveway once the storm is over, but DeSimone said you should be if you’re interested in getting a great workout. Besides burning up to 640 calories an hour, cleaning your walk works virtually every muscle in your body.

“Just be sure to switch sides every few minutes so you don’t get a backache,” she said.