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5 Great Indoor Cardio Workouts For Winter

January 17, 2014

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I don’t know about you, but during the winter months the very last thing that I want to do is pile on 20 layers and head outside in the snow for a jog. The problem is, I also struggle with staying on the treadmill long enough to get in a good workout at the gym. Keeping up with my running routine in the winter is a struggle to say the least!

This year, I’ve been determined to find indoor cardio workouts that will keep me in shape until I’m brave enough to run outside again. These are some of my favorites:


Spinning is an intense workout, and you burn a large amount of calories in just 45 minutes or an hour. It’s also great if you are having trouble with your knees, shins, hips or have any other injury that is exacerbated by the pounding motion of running. The high-energy instructors and invigorating music, in addition to the heart-pounding cardio, make this a perfect pick-me-up on a dreary winter day.

Daily Burn

If you want to work out but you don’t feel like going to the gym, you can always get nice and sweaty right in your own living room! I love the online program Daily Burn. It’s a customizable at home workout that offers you classes specific for your needs. You begin your program by defining how much time you have to work out each day, the type of trainer you respond best to (a friend or a drill sergeant!), and your desired end results.  Daily Burn will set you up with a virtual trainer and a plan to get you on your way toward reaching your goal. Your trainer will provide a new workout for you each day, which will vary depending on what your goals are. It could be more cardio-focused if you want to slim down, or weight-focused if you’re looking to tone your muscles. You’ll love the huge selection of workouts that will keep your routine exciting and motivating!

The Elliptical Climb

This is my go-to gym workout when I want to give my knees a break from running. Just jump on the elliptical and start on an easy level, try 6 or 7, for 5 minutes. After your warm up, move up to level 10 for 2 minutes, then back down to 7 for 2 minutes, then up to 11 for 2 minutes, and back down. Keep doing this until you get up to level 15, and then start working your way back down to level 10 again. It’s great because it gives you something to concentrate on, and you can make the workout as difficult as your body wants that day by increasing or decreasing the level that you work up to.

The Treadmill Sprint

This one can be a tough one, but it’s a great way to make an otherwise boring workout more fun! I usually start with a light, 5-minute jog on an easy level. After your warm-up, increase the speed to a sprinting pace (this is usually higher than 7.0) and sprint for .25 miles, then bring it back down to your jogging pace for .50 miles. Continue this for 30 minutes. Like the Elliptical Climb, this workout is completely customizable to your needs and fitness level. You could go from a brisk walking pace to a jog, or kick things up a notch sprint for longer than .25 miles! Listen to your body and do the workout that feels right for you!

Fitness Apps

You don’t have to have a TV or computer to get a great cardio workout at home. There are several apps that you can download to your smart phone or tablet that are just as effective at keeping you in shape all winter long! My favorite is the Nike Training Club app. It comes with dozens of workouts customized by fitness level, workout type, and length of time. Select your desired workout, and before you know it you’ll be jumping, lunging, and mountain-climbing your way to fit right in your living room! Another great fitness app is the Barre3 app. Barre3 is a workout that uses isometric bodyweight exercises to strengthen your body. The app has several cardio-focused workouts that you can do at home or at the gym without any equipment.

What are your favorite winter cardio workouts?