For many people, when the temperature turns chilly, running outside really is no longer an option. Joining a gym working out on cardio equipment is a viable option, but one of the reasons I love running outdoors is that it doesn't use electricity, so it keeps my carbon footprint just a little bit smaller.
How about using the stairs in your home, apartment or office building? It may seem a little silly at first, but it's really a great way to exercise your heart and lungs, and it tones and strengthens your lower body too.
Try these variations:
- Walk up and down the stairs.
- Sprint up and down the stairs.
- Run up, walk down.
- Walk up, run down.
- Walk up the stairs, skipping every other step.
- Do squat lunges (where you bend and then straighten your front knee) to strengthen your quads and bum.
- Hold lunges to stretch your hip flexors.
- Place your left leg on the ground at the bottom of the stairs, and your right heel on the third, fourth or fifth step (depending how flexible you are). Keep your right leg straight, fold your torso towards your right knee and stretch your right hamstring.
Fit's Tips: If you don't have stairs in your home, do the stairs during your lunch hour at your office.