Smoke season in Montana can take a toll on health. We spend all winter waiting for beautiful summer weather, with hikes, bike rides, mountains to climb, and days paddling on the lake or river. But when fire season starts, it can put a damper on your time outdoors. Poor air quality can even make it unhealthy to be outside. Fortunately, there are some indoor exercise alternatives that can keep you moving and having fun, no matter the weather.
Remember, it’s a good idea to talk with your primary care provider before you start a new workout regimen, especially if you have a recovering injury or another health concern. When you do, here are a few ideas for how to have fun and stay moving indoors.
With countless free workouts available on YouTube, you can bring a lifetime’s worth of workouts into your home. From cardio dance to yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and barre, you can find it all online.
If you already have a bike, but the air quality is keeping you off the roads or trails, you can still get the cardio indoors. An affordable stationary bike trainer turns your existing wheels into a home gym. Pedal as you watch TV or scroll social media, and get a workout in.
Even without a gym membership, you can benefit from a personal trainer right in your living room. Signing up for some sessions with a personal trainer over Zoom or another app can bring some accountability to your workouts, even when you have to move them indoors at home.
If you’re doing workouts without the benefit of a gym and you want to add some extra weight without investing in equipment, you can improvise. Gallon jugs filled with water, soup cans, or water bottles all make simple alternatives to dumbbells. And adding even light weights can increase the intensity of a workout significantly.
Swimming laps is good for your cardiovascular health, while being easy on your joints. And finding a gym with a pool doesn’t need to be a financial burden. The Gallatin Valley YMCA offers affordable rates, with the option for financial assistance if needed.
Indoor climbing gyms can be a great way to stay in shape without going outside. If you like to climb, it can also keep your skills fresh for when you can head outdoors again.
Tennis, racquetball, basketball and volleyball can all be played on indoor courts. See if you can find a local rec league to join, and keep healthy when you have to stay inside.
When you need to be indoors, getting your steps in can become a challenge. But if you head to a shopping center, or even a big box store, you’d be surprised how much walking you can do.
You can seek out tall buildings just to get a stair climb. Or you just choose the stairs instead of the elevator any time you have the option. You’ll feel the benefit of working those muscles you don’t use as much on flat surfaces.
Bowling might not seem like an intense workout, but any level of movement has potential health benefits. Grab some friends, and head to the bowling alley for some competition and fun.
Ice skating at indoor rinks is not only a great workout. Some time on the ice can also help you beat the summer heat. Check out your local ice rink for free-skate times, and you might even find some deals on equipment rentals, too.
CHP is here to help you find your way to health, whether it’s indoor workout ideas, preventative care visits, or mental health services. Call your nearest clinicin Bozeman, Belgrade, Livingston or West Yellowstone, and learn more about the affordable healthcare options in your community.