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HEALTHY HUSKY: Beat the cold, work out at home

By Luke Belval
On January 31, 2014

While the polar vortex settles in to make this winter tougher than usual, your workout plans do not have to drop when the temperature does. Whether your normal routine is outside or the walk to the gym is too treacherous, there are plenty of opportunities to stay in shape within the confines of your dorm or apartment. While P90x and Insanity take the idea of home workouts to the extreme, there are much milder versions of workouts that can be performed on your own that may even help warm you up on cold nights.
When the risk of frostbite is too high outside, doing some of the exercises you learned in gym class can help maintain your fitness without the need for special equipment or weights. Pushups and sit-ups are great exercises that work your chest and abs respectively very well. You can even add variety by doing pushups with different hand positions. Changing from a narrow hand position to a wide one affects the muscles being used and creates a new challenge. If pushups seem like a joke out of third grade physical education, the next time you do them put your feet on a chair for more resistance and see how strong you really are.
Some of the best workouts you can do in the comfort of your own room are those that focus on your core. While everyone wants to have a six-pack, working your core is beneficial far beyond aesthetics. By building a strong core, you make everyday athletic and non-athletic movements easier, more efficient and less prone to injury. Next time you find yourself shut-in, try doing several sets of planks and side planks and even the best abs will be sore the next day. When you get more advanced you can buy small items like stability balls to make your workout fully comprehensive.
One of the unique features of dorms that you can leverage is their height. That's right, since most dorms are higher than one story, stairs can be a great indoor cardio workout. Simply jogging up and down the stairs a few times will have your quads and calves wishing you went to the gym.
Humans were able to manage their fitness for thousands of years without the latest innovations in gym technology, and so can you. There are numerous bodyweight and home exercise websites on the Internet that can show you how to work every muscle from your calves up to your neck without having to miss the next episode of The Bachelor at the same time. So the next time you try to use the cold as your excuse for not working out, think of all the potential that lies in front of you in your very own 10x12 gym.

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