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The Insider’s Guide to Working Out: 3 Joint-Friendly Indoor Workouts

The days are getting shorter, darker and colder. If you're used to working out outdoors, it can be all too easy to pull the covers over your head until spring. Don't! Remember, exercise can boost energy, help you sleep better, help manage weight, strengthen your heart, bones and muscles, help reduce fatigue and relieve stress. Here are 3 friendly workouts you can do indoors.

#1: Boost Your Heart Rate

Elliptical trainers offer an excellent cardio workout for weight loss and overall fitness similar to running on a treadmill but with less stress to your knees, legs and feet. Vary the amount of resistance to determine the intensity of your workout. Because the low-impact gliding motion doesn't put pressure on your joints, the elliptical is a popular choice for former runners.

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#2: Be Strong

In addition to boosting your heart rate, it's important to strengthen the muscles that surround and support your joints. Free weights are available in many different sizes. Most experts suggest you begin with more repetitions with lower weights to build strength and endurance. You can also work out with resistance bands or push against your own body weight. Exercises such as leg lifts, lunges, and push-ups are a great way to work out with no special equipment needed.

#3: Work on Your Core

Strengthening your core is the foundation of the exercise method developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of your back and abdomen. A strong core enhances stability through your back and torso, improving alignment and flexibility. Pilates emphasizes control, precision and breath control, among other principles. Exercises are done on a mat, the floor, or with special workout equipment utilizing pulleys, springs, and your own body weight as resistance.

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