12 indoor sports to try if you really hate the cold

Who’s guilty of using the cold weather as an excuse as to why you can’t possibly be expected to exercise today? *raises hand*.

With the news that Aberdeenshire Council have approved plans for a trampolining centre in Inverurie we’ve looked out 12 (pretty fun, even if we do say so ourselves) ways to get your heart rate going, get those endorphins rushing and get you looking badass while doing so

Yep, no more having to look painfully frozen while you wear sweaty gloves (SO uncomfortable) to run outside.

1. Trampolining

Why should I take it up?

Besides from the fact it may well be the most fun form of exercise ever, you’ll find trampolining works out the whole body with all the twisting and turning and, yes, landing in all sorts of different positions – sometimes, not always intentionally. Your heart rate will definitely be increased from all that bouncing while it’s also pretty good for improving balance and coordination.

Where can I try it out?

Trampolining’s become way more acceptable as something for adults to do in their spare time in the past couple of years and there are loads of indoor park operators to try out, from Flip Out to Bounce. Meanwhile, Oxygen Free Jumping has new fitness classes at parks around the UK – you can burn up to 1,000 calories a session – and they range from HIIT-focused, to the martial-arts influenced Combat classes, as well as bootcamp or circuits-style workouts.

2. Cycling

Why should I take it up?

For a couple of weeks last summer, we all got weirdly obsessed with how good Team GB are at whizzing around on a pair of wheels. If you fancy yourself as a bit of an Olympic hero a la Jason Kenny or Laura Trott, indoor track cycling is a high-speed sport all about stamina and nerve. If you’re still a bit unsure about how it differs from taking a bike on the road, here’s the deal: the bikes have no brakes or gears and when you first start you’ll likely be skidding across the track a fair bit. But it’s an exciting way to get seriously fit – and the speed is an adrenaline rush.

If you don’t quite feel ready for the steep curves of a velodrome yet, that’s totally understandable – and spinning is a low-key alternative. You get just as high on endorphins on a fixed bike and boy, will you work those thighs. Indoor cyclers can burn about 600 calories a class, depending on much you turn up that resistance and how much effort you put in.

Where can I try it out?

The UK has a lot to offer those considering taking up track cycling, with taster sessions available at world class indoor velodromes, such as the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

Elsewhere in the country, there’s the Lee Valley VeloPark at the Olympic Park in London, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, the Wales National Velodrome in Newport and the newly constructed Derby Velodrome. So, admittedly, there’s not too many locations for indoor cycling.

However, when it comes to spinning, there’s a lot more choice of where to go – most local gyms host spin classes while some studios take things up a level with lighting, music and vibes that make you feel like you’re at a nightclub. Try out 1Rebel if you’re in London to see what we mean – there’s music freshly mixed each week by 1Rebel DJs.

3. Futsal


Why should I take it up?

Because maybe you’re a bit bored of playing football, or you’ve never quite fancied kicking about a ball on a muddy pitch. Futsal is played with just five players on each side and it’s on a small indoor field. The game is really popular with kids but more adults are playing now. The ball has less bounce but other than that, it’s pretty similar to football – you’ll develop ball skills and technical ability, you tackle but slide tackles are banned and it’s great for fitness, balance and agility. Plus, there’s no offside rule, so it’s a bit simpler – but loads of fun.

Where can I try it out?

We found loads more info on futsal on the The FA website, and this is handy for finding out how to get involved (there are now adult leagues for both men and women across the country).

4. Badminton/Squash

Why should I take it up?

We’re lumping these two together because they’re both racquet sports which kinda remind us a bit of PE lessons at school. But hey, that’s not to say you shouldn’t give them a go. They’re both snazzy for developing some important life skills – hand-eye co-ordination especially. They also improve flexibility and are super good for your fitness because, if played properly of course, these racquet sports have you running, jumping and even diving for the ball/shuttlecock. They’re also fun because you need to play with other people so you can get yourself some new friends (that’s not to say we think you need any).

Where can I try it out?


There are plenty of gyms and clubs with either or both badminton or squash courts in. In fact, there are over 20,000 badminton courts and 1,800 clubs across England – find them here – and there is a squash finder here. What more could you need?

5. Kabaddi

Why should I take it up?

Because it’s something a bit different – and is extremely popular in South-East Asia. It’s good if you’re looking to push yourself because it’s highly physical endurance sport – it’s quite similar to wrestling – and is played over a 45-minute stretch. It involves everything from running, kicking and dodging opponents. But it’s also good if you’re into yoga, as players control their mind and body through self-control and concentration. A unique combination, right?

Where can I try it out?

While the sport is having a bit of a resurgence worldwide, it’s still not very well known outside South Asia. However, lots of unis now have teams and there’s the England Kabaddi Federation UK – useful for finding clubs. There aren’t loads in the UK yet but it definitely appears to be growing.

6. Urban golf

Why should I take it up?

Potentially *slightly* questionable whether playing with state-of-the-art simulators is a sport per se, but we’re going with it. It’s a great way to improve your game and your swing without having to practise on freezing cold golf courses, many of which could be closed at times during winter anyway. Plus, there’s no chance of lost balls.

Where can I try it out?

TBT to the sun! Cocktails all round! #takeusback #sunnydays #longisland

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Admittedly, urban golf appears to be a bit of a London-centric sport – there are places such as the Soho Golf & Country Club or Royal Smithfield, or City Golf & Sports Bar also has six simulators, featuring more than 50 of the world’s best golf courses to try.

Or, you’re technically still indoors with these golf ranges where you hit the balls from under a cover….right? Yep, for a non-simulator but still much warmer option than playing on a 18-hole course, there’s Top Golf – like golf, but better. We’re talking fire lamps, cocktails and food with friends at the same time as swinging your clubs. Top Golf started in the US and centres are few and far between in the UK – but can be found in Watford, Chigwell and Surrey, with one coming up in Birmingham.

7. Dodgeball

Why should I take it up?

First up, this team sport has gotta be a pretty good stress-buster – you are literally hitting people in the face with balls. It’s also a great way of reliving some childhood fun, improves strength training because you’ve got to throw balls a pretty long way which works shoulders, back, abs and arms, and the longer you avoid getting hit and stay on the floor, the more calories you’ll burn.

Where can I try it out?


Go Mammoth has London’s biggest dodgeball leagues. Elsewhere in the country, the UK Dodgeball association has deets on how to get involved with affiliated clubs and on player memberships.

8. Ping pong

Why should I take it up?

Come the summer, you might well be one of those who loves picking up a tennis racquet and pretending you’re living that Wimbledon life. But in winter on cold, grey days, ping pong could be the answer. It’s great for upping those pesky concentration levels, plus you’re guaranteed some lols because, let’s face it, unless you’re the Andy Murray of the ping pong world, this sport takes practice.

Where can I try it out?

Just doing what they do.

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Another big selling point for trying ping pong out? You don’t have to play it at some boring sports centre (soz) – how about checking out ping pong bars, such as Bounce in London, Kosmonaut in Manchester or Das Kino in Nottingham? If you prefer your exercise without the temptation of alcohol, there’s info here on how to find out more about social ping pong in your area – it’s thriving in all sorts of places right now.

9. Climbing

Why should I take it up?

Obviously, it can be done outdoors for a potentially much better view but indoor climbing is a great way to get into a physically demanding sport which will work your upper body strength no end. Try bouldering, which is ropeless climbing at low heights, often above safety mats, if you’re feeling a bit nervous about the whole situ. You don’t need to be super fit to rock climb – physical strength is way more important – and, as with all sports, the more you do it the fitter you’ll become. Mind you, you’ve gotta be pretty patient for this sport, as you take time to work out your ascents.

Where can I try it out?

Bouldering time 😃 #bouldering #climbing

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A lot of indoor climbing is about your footwork and body positioning, which you can perfect with the help of instructors found at most climbing centres. You can a find a wall near you on the British Mountaineering Council website and many will have introductory sessions. You can also use the Climb Buddy app to find a climbing partner or meet other climbers near you.

10. Boxing

Why should I take it up?

Firstly, you’ll look darn tough and cool in a pair of boxing gloves. Secondly, it’s great for total-body strength. During a workout, you might punch a bag hundreds of times and that will work your core, too. It’s obviously great for your mental health, because it’s so high intensity which reduces stress and it’s also v empowering. Fed up of work? Take it all out on the bag. Annoyed at your partner? Take it out on the bag… you get the picture.

Where can I try it out?

Boxing gyms will have memberships available but maybe boxing fitness classes are the way to go. Check out your local gyms or fitness studios but this website may also be worth a look to search for a Boxercise instructor.

11. Powerlifting

Lunch hour workout! #fitforlife #destroyandrebuild #gym #powerlifting

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Why should I take it up?

Because the whole #strongnotskinny thing is big right now. And if weightlifting, which uses overhead movements, seems a bit daunting, powerlifting might be the option for you. It uses heavy weights but you’ll only do squats, bench presses and deadlifts. It allows you to build muscle and burn fat and you’ll feel great the bigger weights you are able to lift. However, there’s no pressure to become a powerlifting champion – just give it a go to see if it’s a way of getting fitter that could work for you.

Where can I try it out?

Most gyms tend to have free weights sections and you could ask a trainer there to show you the right techniques and maybe help build you a schedule for exercises. But, as with all the other sports on this list, there’s also an official website with a listing of approved clubs.

12. Volleyball


Why should I take it up?

OK, so it might be a bit more appealing on a beach somewhere, but indoor volleyball still has all the same benefits – you’ll seriously tone up and because you’ll serve, pass, block and attack the ball, you’ll constantly get your heart rate going. Plus, it’s a really social sport, and great if you’re up for a laugh with a team.

Where can I try it out?

This club finder has got your back.
And on that note, you now officially have no excuse not to get into an indoor sport.