fitness · season transitions

In a late winter slump? Try these active indoor solutions…

This time of year is hard on our moods. I mean, it’s late winter and it’s blah outside (unless you live somewhere warm and lovely, in which case, congratulations and feel free to go wash your car outside in the sunshine). There are stalwarts among us who keep outside activity going through rain, sleet, snow and dark of night; however, most of us end up spending more time indoors, moving less, feeling cooped up and a little crabby.

Bettina summed it up beautifully– this is late winter slump time. She also put out the call to the rest of us– what are some strategies for making it through to springtime?

Well, Bettina and friends, thanks to 1) the internet, and 2) a lack of better ideas for today’s blog post, I have found some indoor workouts that should provide at the very least a change of pace, and maybe even inspire new fashion directions. Here we go…

Of course no indoor workout list would be complete without the OG aerobics videos of Jazzercise. It’s worth watching just for the hairdos and leotards (had to check spelling, as I was writing it as lyotard, a philosopher who I believe never recorded any workout videos). Here’s a perky example below:

Yoga videos are all over the place, and many of us have written about some of our favorite youtube yogis, like Adriene and Bad Yogi. But if you’re really looking to shake things up, I suggest checking out this 10-minute yoga video below, hosted by none other than the late great Dixie Carter, actor and star of Designing Women, one of my mother’s favorite TV shows. Here’s her video, which features a Linda-Blair-Exorcist-style vocalization at 5:19.

Now, you may be thinking, “enough already with the retro funny exercise videos; show me something new!” Gotcha. How about a parkour warmup you can do at home? This one is courtesy of Ronnie Street Stunts. Mr. Stunts has his own youtube channel, so you can do a deep dive into his parkour instruction, including (of course) a 30-day parkour challenge, which is here.

Is parkour too ho-hum for you? How about this: Scarf juggling. Yes, I can feel your skepticism from here, but hear me out: according to, juggling has many health benefits:

  • Juggling is a portable workout.
  • It makes you smarter.
  • It sharpens focus and concentration.
  • Juggling is the ultimate in stress relief.
  • It’s an exercise that doesn’t “feel” like exercise.
  • You can juggle where you are– no travel required.
  • Juggling helps maintain and increase range of motion in the arms and shoulders.
  • Juggling is beneficial for all ages and body types.
  • Juggling wards off cravings (really? maybe because you’ve got your hands full? dunno about this one).
  • Juggling is easy to do with friends and family.

Still don’t believe me? Well, try it out yourself, with help from this guy:

Now, the videos I’ve shown you so far may be a distraction, but they aren’t likely to help you get the jump on some of your favorite summer sports. I hear you– it’s time to offer a video that will be useful for activities you love, but which you can’t do easily in winter.

Take kayaking, for example. You can don a drysuit and brave the cold water (some do), or you can practice rolling and other techniques in a pool (I’ve even tried this). But that requires a lot of effort and hauling of equipment. Isn’t there something that can be done from the comfort of your living room? Funny you should ask. Yes, there is. In the video below, some guy shows us rolling techniques we can practice at home, on the floor, with children even (he’s got two little ones helping with demos and explanations).

I want to try this right now. But I have to wait until I finish this blog post…

Which I will do after one more at-home DIY full activity video that cannot fail to please everyone all the time. Yes, I’m talking about Soul Train line dancing. The video collection online is a universe unto itself. But here’s one to give you a taste or provide a sweet reminder:

When I was little, we never missed Soul Train, and often ended up dancing in the living room. It was fun then, it’s fun now.

So Bettina and all the Fit is a Feminist issue readers and bloggers, here are some suggestions for addressing late winter blahs. Let me know if 1) you try any of these; or 2) you have other suggestions. We want to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “In a late winter slump? Try these active indoor solutions…

  1. I can vouch for juggling, especially with friends. Group juggling looks impressive, even with minimal skills.

    My favourites on favourite late winter activity is ice skating. I am lucky to live in Ottawa, where we have the Canal, plus several outdoor rinks and skating through the woods. Most towns have an arena with public skating, so it is accessible almost everywhere. Cross-country skiing is great too, and good trails (such as those in nearby Gatineau Park) can last well into March. Or be like me and just head to the nearest park or riverside trail.

  2. I love the energy of some of these videos! My winter exercise slump hasn’t been too bad this year, but I am getting a little tired of cold, dark evening runs. I don’t plan to stop those anytime soon (I’ve got goals!), but this post has me thinking that some indoor jumping and dancing might be a good antidote to some of the blah feelings.

    1. Yes to dancing! (and other things, but) DANCING! It’s pretty much good for what ails us, IMHO… 🙂

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