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Many active individuals prefer the outdoors as their ideal location for getting their recommended daily exercise. Long walks, running and biking are great activities to enjoy outside. However, there are times when it is not always possible or realistic to exercise outside. Cold winters, rainy days or extreme heat make it difficult and even dangerous to participate in outside activities. Fortunately, there are many fun and effective workouts you can also enjoy inside. Next time the weather isn’t cooperating for your outdoor workout, try some of these activities.

Indoor Sports

If you’re an athletic person, perhaps your favorite way to workout involves sports. Sports like basketball or dodge ball are popular indoor sports, but you can also play an indoor version of other sports such as soccer, flag football or even baseball. Find a gym or large area and get a group of friends together. It doesn’t have to be a large group for many of these activities. Even with two people, you can have a game of basketball. If you have kids, bring them along. Sports are a healthy family activity to enjoy. Teach your kids about physical fitness and get in a workout yourself as well. When you can’t get outside to play your favorite sports, indoor athletics are a fun alternative.

Going to a Gym

To get in a really good workout, nothing quite beats hitting the gym, but it doesn’t have to be an activity you dread. Look around your local area and find a good gym with different offerings. Many gyms have pools, rock walls, running tracks and other great features along with exercise equipment. With all the different offerings, you’re likely to find something you enjoy. To make it more fun, get a group of friends and go together. There are many ways to make going to the gym more enjoyable. Check out classes your local gym might have, such as dance lessons or yoga. Going to the gym is a great activity for rainy days.

Martial Arts

Martial arts is an intense sport that is usually practiced indoors. These sports are a good workout for all your muscles. Martial arts is also a mental activity that helps with balance and hand eye coordination. This is a real life skill that can be beneficial to you if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use self-defense. Martial arts are very physical and injuries can happen easily, so this sport isn’t for everyone. However, this is an activity that provides a good physical workout that many people enjoy. Take a class in kickboxing, karate or taekwondo.To get started, find a local class or trainer for beginners.

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution, or DDR, is an interactive video game for Nintendo Wii, Xbox or PlayStation. You learn different dance routines on a mat with arrows and try to match the characters in the game. This video game has become a phenomenon and there have been DDR championships held all over the world. DDR has been around for over a decade and was one of the first interactive video games of its kind. DDR even tells you how many calories you’re burning. This game is great because you can play it alone and try to beat your highest score or play it against friends. There are dozens of songs on each game so you won’t get bored with routines. This is a fun way to spend time with friends and get in a great workout.


Over the past few years, Zumba has become a popular way to burn tons of calories without the torture of daily workouts. Like DDR, Zumba also involves a dance with different choreographed routines. Zumba can be an effective workout no matter what your skill level is. To learn routines, you could get a DVD of Zumba workouts to try on your own at home. Many cities also offer classes with certified Zumba instructors. This is a way to meet people with similar interests, socialize and have fun. You can even teach your friends and have a Zumba party. With a larger group, Zumba works best in a gym or large room. Check with your city to find out about Zumba classes or get a DVD to try on your own to learn more about this popular workout.

Exercising doesn’t have to take place outdoors and bad weather doesn’t have to stop you from getting in a great workout. These indoor sports are fun, challenging and energizing. As always, you should talk to your doctor before beginning a workout routine and find out what kind of exercise is best for you. Exercise is not one size fits all and many workouts are too intense for some people. Always remember to put safety first. Stretch before exercising and take a break if you feel tired. Exercising can provide you with a way to have fun with friends, improve your physical fitness and feel better about your body and health. Next time you can’t get outside to workout, try one of these activities.