When it's freezing outside, the last thing you feel like doing is dragging yourself out for a run. If it's dark when you get in, the temptation to put on your slippers and relax in front of the television is almost impossible to resist. Before you chill out, keep your fitness levels topped up with our selection of the best exercises to do in the comfort of your own home.
An exercise ball, also known as a Swiss ball, is an essential piece of indoor exercise kit. Simply sitting on it while you watch television can help to work your core muscles and tone up your abs. Incorporate the ball into more challenging moves, such as sit-ups and leg lifts to really get a thorough workout.
Keep a set of dumbbells under the sofa to work you biceps, triceps and back. If you don't have any dumbbells, you can use (full) water bottles instead. To perform a bicep curl, hold the weights at your sides and lift one dumbbell, moving your forearm until it's vertical and your palm is facing your shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.
If you have stairs in your house, you can get a quick cardio workout in by turning up the radio and stepping up and down for the length of five songs (around 15 minutes). This is an excellent workout for strengthening your legs and toning out of shape thigh muscles. Use a sturdy container or buy a fitness step if you don't have access to stairs.
If there's no way you're venturing out in the cold or rainy weather for your usual jog, burn off the same number of calories by having an intensive tidying session. Ninety minutes of hoovering, dusting and mopping floors will burn around 300 calories - the same amount as a 30 minute jog.
You don't need to sweat along to the shouting of a lycra clad fitness instructor on your telvision anymore - why not try boxing, skiing, yoga or aerobics with a remote console? Game-based fitness programmes, such as the Nintendo Wii, offer fun ways of getting fit and allow you to measure your improvement each time you log on.
A mini trampoline is one of the best ways to get a good cardio workout indoors, as long as your ceilings are high enough! They are particularly good if you've got bad knees or haven't exercised in a while. Start with a ten minute session and build up the number of sessions you do as you become more confident.
Shake a leg
The easiest way to burn calories and get a good workout indoors is to put your favourite music on, turn it up loud and get dancing. Give yourself some space to move around and wear loose, comfortable clothes. An hour's intense dancing can burn around 600 calories - just make sure you draw the curtains first.