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    Lousy weather? Short on time? Indoor workouts can serve as an effective way to burn calories, maintain muscle mass, relieve stress and much more. The best part is that the following seven indoor exercises can be done in your own home — no gym membership required.


    1. Take the Stairs

    Choosing an indoor workout can be pretty simple if you live in a multi-level house or apartment building: Just take the stairs! It might sound simple, but stair climbing is a great aerobic activity that burns 8-11 calories per minute. Keep going for 30 minutes, five days a week, and you'll meet the recommended exercise quota, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Or, sneak in a shorter bout of stair-climbing to supplement other exercise activities.


    2. Raid Your Pantry

    Want to start lifting weights, but don't have any equipment? Grab a water bottle, laundry detergent container, sack of rice or canned vegetables and use them instead of traditional dumbbells for weight training. Not sure how to get started? Watch a YouTube dumbbell video from a reputable organization, like this one from the Mayo Clinic.


    3. Dance It Out

    Believe it or not, dancing is great for both your body and mind. Crank some music and have a personal dance party in your bedroom or living room. If you keep going for an hour, you'll burn around 370 calories. You'll also tone your muscles, bolster your balance and help strengthen your heart and lungs. Plus, it can help improve mood and your mental health overall.


    4. Get Hooping

    Remember the fun you had as a kid hula hooping? It might sound silly at first, but hula hooping happens to provide a great aerobic workout for people of all ages. So, you can get the whole family involved! A standard hula hoop will do, or try a weighted version for an extra challenge.


    5. Walk and Jog in Place

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce abdominal fat, and give your metabolism a kick — and it enables you to reap these benefits quicker than less-varied workouts. Harness the HIIT perks without leaving home by alternating between gentle walking (or marching) in place with bouts of faster, more intense jogging. Try walking for four minutes, jogging 30 seconds, then walking again. Repeat this sequence for as long as you want your indoor workout to last.


    6. Go for a Ride

    Invest in a stationary bike or purchase an affordable bike trainer to easily convert your road bike into one you can hop on indoors. Cycling is an excellent aerobic activity, and it strengthens the muscles that help support the knees, ankles and feet. Further, it's low impact so it's gentle on weight-bearing joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, cycling is one of the most effective workouts for people with arthritis and it also can improve outcomes for hip osteoarthritis.


    7. Stretch It Out

    They might resemble jumbo rubber bands, but resistance bands can be highly effective tools for a strength-training workout. In fact, research has shown that using resistance bands can be as good as dumbbells or weight machines for building muscle mass. Plus, they're much more affordable and easier to purchase than a weight machine or at-home gym.


    In addition, consider using fitness or lifestyle apps to help track your progress and keep up your motivation. There are a number of apps that make it easy and convenient to get an indoor workout, whether you're interested in yoga, Pilates, HIIT or any other type of indoor exercise. Consider Nike Training ClubAlo Moves or Daily Burn.


    Staying active is crucial for everything from cutting your risk of disease to maintaining a healthy weight, but finding time to exercise can be tricky. Indoor workouts remove some stress from the equation because there's no need to travel to a gym or worry about the forecast. Just lace up your sneakers, start moving and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.


    Written by: Barbara Brody


    These articles are intended for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in these articles. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise or medication regimen.