A blog by runners. For runners.

How to work out inside and without a gym membership or treadmill


Being a runner is a great thing. We don’t need a pricey gym membership and fancy workout equipment to get in a good sweat. We just need a good pair of running shoes and the great outdoors.

Unfortunately, this time of year, the great outdoors can be really unpleasant. The ground can be covered in ice and snow, or the temperature plus wind-chill can make a run downright miserable – or even unsafe.

A treadmill is a runner’s best indoor option, but not all of us have access to one. Here’s some ways to stay fit this winter when you can’t run outside or hit the treadmill:

  • Invest in some basic fitness equipment. We’re talking small ticket items that won’t break the bank. Free weights, resistance bands, a stability ball, and a jump rope are great options. Start the morning with a morning lifting session in place of your morning run. Winter is the perfect time to strengthen muscles for spring races.
  • Scour YouTube. Grab your new fitness equipment and check out the plethora of exercise channels on YouTube. Or purchase, download, or Netflix a few fitness videos. My personal favorite is Yoga Download – they have some great workouts that aren’t too pricey.
  • Be active while you watch TV. If a winter storm has you stuck inside for days, resist the urge to become a total couch potato. Why not catch up on your DVR while you work out? Be active for 30 minutes in front of the tube by creating your own interval session. Combine jumping jacks, burpees, jumpees, squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, and other moves for a total body workout.
  • Give your house a deep cleaning. Vigorous housework activities – such as mopping, vacuuming, and dusting – count as exercise. We know, it’s not quite the same as running but it’s better than nothing. To take this “workout” up a notch, crank up your favorite tunes and dance while you clean. You’ll get some exercise and your home will be spotless – it’s a win-win.
  • Head to the mall. Many people walk the halls of indoor shopping malls for exercise. It’s best to go during non-peak hours when the mall isn’t so crowded. And we’re not sure if it’s a good idea to run through the mall – it seems a little safer to stick with brisk walking.
  • Ask for gym guest passes. When you’re really craving a run, it never hurts to ask friends for guest passes to their gyms. Or call the gym directly and ask if they allow the public to use the facilities a couple of times for a fee. Better yet, find a neighbor with a treadmill!

Who has a favorite YouTube exercise channel? Share with the rest of us below.


Written by Jen Matz