Raising your heart rate ... quietly

Q. Since it's gotten colder, I'd like to exercise indoors, but I'm on the second floor of an apartment building and I can't go thumping and bumping around without my downstairs neighbors getting annoyed. Between money and time constraints, a gym is out. Any suggestions for how I can get moving without freezing or noise violations?

A. Getting busted by the cops for aerobicizing too vigorously would make you my hero. But to keep your record clean, let's skip the jumping jacks. Even with your feet firmly planted on the floor, you can still work every muscle in your body, including the heart, promises Mike Everts, founder of the FIT Personal Training Gymnasium in Washington.

In addition to such standards as resistance bands and stability balls, Everts new favorite is a suspension system that hooks into a door jamb, allowing users to leverage their body weight to engage several muscle groups simultaneously. But there's only one gizmo you really need: a mat. With that, you can get away with stuff like lunges.

Then, find moves you can string together without stopping. "You can do resistance training to get your heart rate up," Everts explains. He has a few exercises to get you going, starting with the squat and reach, which is what it sounds like: Squat, then straighten up and reach your arms to the ceiling. Then arm-chop, by clasping your hands together, reaching toward one shoulder and then powerfully coming down to the opposite hip. Or if you have a pair of dumbbells, do lateral arm extensions. "You bring your arms up like a snow angel," Everts explains. Just be sure to put down any weights gently, or you're asking for trouble.

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