My Fitness Diary 7: Ideas for when you can't exercise outside...

Who would think this was the end of March?!
I was enjoying my evening run in daylight once more, even contemplating shedding the hi-viz jacket when suddenly....
...SNOW!- Yes, proper snow, and just as the flowers were starting to bloom too (but that's another story). The odd flurry was no problem, then last Thursday night it began in earnest, and by Sunday morning we had nearly as much as in January. Knowing from experience how frustrating and risky running on frozen snow and ice can be, we decided to give it a miss until it melted. So far we have missed four days- grrr! But this got me thinking about ways you can exercise until it's safe to go out running again:-

  1. Go Swimming: We have been doing this for a couple of weeks now, just once a week after work on a non-running "rest" day. Vigorous swimming burns plenty of calories (350 per half hour) and excercises muscles all over you including your arms and abs. It's relaxing and there's also much less chance of injuring yourself. There's nothing quite like the feeling of being "swim fit!"
  2. Use a treadmill: This is not something I've tried, but I know a lot of runners do this in bad weather. You can go to your local gym, or, if you have one at home, it's even easier.
  3. Walk: going for long, brisk walk in the snow is better than staying on the couch! Even walking counts as exercise and as long as you are dressed appropriately and take care on slippery terrain and near snowdrifts. Make sure someone at home knows where you are going and what time you expect to be back and always carry your phone and some money with you in case of emergencies. Walking is free and you can do it any time you like.
  4. Dance! Just putting some music on and getting down (make sure it's energetically) to your favourite music will keep you fit if you do it for long enough- and it's great fun too! Make sure you warm up and cool down to protect your muscles though. Like walking and running it has the advantage of being free and you don't need to go anywhere like a sports centre to do it. (Or you could enrol in a class like Zumba, salsa, bellydance etc. and go out to do it.)


  1. It's pretty much impossible to exercise year-round with Chennai city conditions being the way they are. Although, there ARE certain outdoor activities for those brave enough:

    1) Dodge the auto rickshaws from coming up behind you
    2) Cross the road (double the points for doing it solo, standard if with a group)
    3) Run the "obstacle course" (ie, potholed sidewalk)
    4) Bikram yoga... because it's always sauna temperatures on the rooftops of Chennai!

    1. Yes, I remember those first 3 things well... haven't been for ages but I guess it's still the same lol... Gotta luv India tho I miss it a lot!


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