No crowds for you! You built your basic home gym for your morning strength workout. Your day is SO much better with an extra 30 minutes of sleep and the morning endorphin boost. Plus no one cares what your hair looks like while you work up a sweat in the t-shirt you wore to bed.

Yet, something is missing.

You love the feeling of getting stronger. Push-ups aren’t easy but at least you don’t feel like your arms are going to give out after the first one. One-minute plank? No problem!

However, you still feel like the stairs at work are harder than they should be. You don’t like the winded feeling that sneaks up on you when you’re about half way to the top. It was starting to go away….but winter came. Before the time change and the temperature dip, you were walking a mile or two EASILY a couple of times a week. Now walking outside is limited to briskly walking the dog for 5 minutes, if he’s lucky.

You don’t want to dip into the vacation fund for a treadmill. You certainly don’t want to go back to the gym. Spring is still weeks away. You want to improve your cardio respiratory endurance without freezing to death or begging a guest pass to your best friend’s favorite fitness center.

Indoor cardio without a treadmill is more accessible and easier than you think.

Getting outdoors is the way to go for cardio when you can. When that is not an option, there are plenty of indoor cardio options available to you without a new piece of “furniture” in the basement. Try one of these options on cold mornings, busy weekends or just when you want something other than the “dreadmill”.

Kettlebell Swings

I told you a kettlebell would come in handy! A 2014 study found kettlebell swings can improve aerobic capacity as much as a moderate intensity treadmill walk. Try doing an interval routine of 10 minutes of kettlebell swings at a rate of 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Rest 3 minutes, then perform another 10 minute set of intervals.

Indoor walking

Leslie Sansone’s Just Walk series is brilliant! One of her newest titles, 5 Boosted Miles, is perfect for a cold Saturday morning when your only goal is to not leave the house. She’ll warm you up faster than your favorite pajamas and fuzzy socks.


You don’t need a bag to get all of the benefits of this old school workout. Shadow boxing is a great way to get your heart rate up and work your core in a whole different way. Kicking and ducking will work your booty while working up a great cardio sweat. If you need a visual, Billy Blanks is still churning out Tae Bo Videos. If you’re feeling adventurous try this Knock Out Body Workout from Oxygen Magazine.

Body Weight HIIT

I love body weight interval circuits. They are short and sweet and require nothing but YOU. High intensity interval training is also modifiable for any fitness level and schedule. Find some high energy music and try my Tabata for Beginners workout to challenge your endurance in a short of amount of time.

Dance Party

This isn’t a game or a workout. You can simply but on your favorite playlist and dance like no one is watching. (Try my Get In The Zone workout playlist for this one.) Don’t worry about remembering moves from that ONE Zumba class someone talked you into. Just shake what your mama gave you until you start to break a sweat. You’ll get some great cardio and improve your mood if it’s been a REALLY tough week.

Bonus…these workouts make great plan B options for your homework in Chapter 13 of my book, Motivation Is Made Not Found. It doesn’t have to be cold outside to need a short indoor alternative to a run or ride.

How do you get your cardio indoors when the days are short and the snow is flying? Got a favorite workout video that I need to know about?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This