When it’s 75 degrees and sunny outside, I don’t have a problem taking a relaxing stroll to the gym to get in my workout for the day. But when winter sets in and it’s dark at 4:30 and snowing outside, the last thing I want to do is put on gym shorts and make the very cold, very windy 10-minute trek.

That’s when it makes sense to do some cardio right in your apartment! Granted, my downstairs neighbor isn’t psyched with the idea, but hey, I need my exercise. You can do the same in your own apartment – just move around some furniture if you need to, turn on your favorite pump-up tunes and get started. Here’s how to do cardio at home without stepping foot outside:


You’re the only one in your apartment (unless your roommate is home), so you don’t have to be embarrassed if you feel your dance skills are less than mediocre. The point isn’t to be as skilled at choreography as Beyonce, it’s just about moving!

Dancing is a fun way to break a sweat, you may even forget you’re exercising. Invite some friends over to your apartment to play “Just Dance” on Nintendo Wii (cardio at home is easy if you have Wii). You’ll improve your cardiovascular system and develop abs from laughing at each other’s (lack of) dance skills.

High-Intensity Interval Training

You don’t need a treadmill or stationary bike in order to fulfill your cardio requirement for the day. High-intensity interval training is when you exercise in short bursts to increase your total workout calorie burn and really get your heart pumping.

Start your workout by warming up for five minutes, whether it’s with jumping jacks, running in place with high knees or doing your favorite dance move. Then try out this home workout, doing each exercise for 60 seconds:

Mountain Climbers: Get in a push-up position and bend your right knee, bringing it up toward your right hand, then quickly switch legs, doing the same action on your left leg. This should be a fast movement, as if you’re climbing a mountain.

Break for 10 seconds.

Lunges: In a standing position, bring your right leg forward, lunging so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Return back to a standing position and repeat the exercise on your other leg. If you would like some added difficulty, you can carry dumbbells in your hand.

Break for 10 seconds.

Wall sit: Find a sturdy wall in your apartment and lean against it, bending your legs as if you were sitting down in an invisible chair. Hold the position for 60 seconds.

Break for 10 seconds.

Butterfly Sit-Ups: Sitting down on the ground, put the heels of your feet together so your knees are bowing out to the right and left. Then, keeping your legs in that position, lay down on the ground. Lift your upper body back to sitting position, and then return to the ground to complete one sit up. Repeat until 60 seconds is up.

Break for 10 seconds.

Push-Ups: Do as many push-ups as you can in 60 seconds, making sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders directly above your hands. If you need a less intense version of a regular push-up, you can move to your knees.

Break for 10 seconds.

Jump Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself down into a squat, keeping your chest up and making sure your knees don’t travel past your feet. Then jump up into the air and return to the original squatting position (this one is sure to burn those thighs).

Hula Hoop

Need a good cardio and abdominal workout? Then grab a hula hoop and get moving. You can torch 200 calories in just 30 minutes from hula hooping. Plus, moving your waist in circles can help tone your abs (or soon-to-be abs). Put on some music while you’re doing it so you don’t feel awkward hula hooping in silence.

Jump Rope

Depending on how intense you are with your jump rope, you can burn a whopping 700 calories in just one hour (of course, that’s if you stick to a high-endurance pace). But you don’t just get a cardio workout with jump roping – this activity can tone your calves, arms and core at the same time.

I recommend putting on “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor while jump roping to channel your inner Rocky. Make sure that before you start, you’ve cleared anything that might be in your way. You don’t want to start jump roping and immediately pull down all the photos on your apartment wall.

Keep in mind there are more than a few ways you can jump rope. You can do the basic technique, but there’s also the alternate foot jump where you switch from one foot to the other, and there’s the reverse jump rope, where the rope travels in the opposite direction.