8 Ways to Keep Fit Outside the Gym This Winter

4. Mall Walking

When walking outdoors is not an option, do laps inside your local shopping mall. For the average person, a brisk one-hour walk can burn 300 to 400 calories.

Take it up a notch:

If there are multiple levels in the mall, climb stairs or walk up escalators to challenge your leg muscles and burn extra calories.

5. Home Workouts

A workout DVD or even a quick YouTube search to find indoor aerobic routines can pay off when you have limited space. If you have weights, resistance bands, a skipping rope, a stability ball, trampoline, or other equipment, you can incorporate those into a great full body workout.

Take it up a notch:

Experiment with mixing and matching workouts. For the best fat-burning workouts, mix some resistance training with some high intensity cardio. In 20 or 30 minutes you could easily burn more calories than you would on a treadmill at the gym.

6. Dancing

For even more fun and less structure, turn up the volume on some of your favorite songs and dance. Dance to your two favorite current songs and three you haven't heard since "back in the day" and you've got yourself a 20-minute workout while dinner is on the stove.

Take it up a notch:

Try doing push ups, dips, jumping jacks or burpees during the choruses.

7. Active TV Viewing

Don't want to miss your favorite TV show? Try jogging or skipping on the spot while you watch.

Take it up a notch:

Do squats, push ups, or burpees during the commercial breaks.

8. Snow Sprints

Head out to an open, snow-covered field with some water-resistant trainers or hiking shoes and an appropriate number of layers. Ice doesn't usually form on grass, so it's usually safe to run on a field of fresh fallen snow. Try running, jogging, jumping, and plain old-fashioned playing in the snow. There are few things more tranquil yet exhilarating than running around in freshly fallen snow.

Take it up a notch:

Walking lunges in the snow can burn more calories because your muscles are working harder to stabilize each step. And if you work on jumping and sprinting in the snow, any other surface may make you feel like Usain Bolt.

Winter doesn't need to be a season of sedentary hibernation. This year, use these tips to keep fit outside the gym and emerge next spring with the beach-ready body you've always wanted.

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Michael Andrew is a personal trainer and provides personalized online training plans at www.mkonlinetraining.com

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