Staying active at home
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Getting started: The benefits of being active at home
Being physically active can transform your entire life. From feeling better in yourself to finding your fitness gradually improving, it provides so many benefits, including:
- Improving your mood, mental health and wellbeing
- Increasing your self esteem
- Improving your sleep pattern
- Fighting off diseases
- Reducing the symptoms of other health conditions
- Providing an opportunity to socialise with others
- Increasing your lifespan
Plus it keeps you healthy, fit and happy.
Frequently asked questions about exercising at home:
Will being physically active stop me getting COVID?
Exercise can have an incredible impact on your immune system. Whilst it will not stop you contracting COVID, being active can boost your immune system and greatly reduce the severity of any symptoms if you do contract an illness.
What’s more, if you already have COVID-19, light exercise can actually help speed up your recovery. You can find out more on our recovering from COVID-19 page.
What is the difference between light, moderate and vigorous exercise?
Adults should aim for 150+ minutes of moderate physical activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity if you feel comfortable with higher intensity exercise. But what counts as moderate physical activity?
Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, cause you to breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you’re exercising at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing. Examples include brisk walking, dancing and pushing a lawnmower.
Vigorous activity will generally make you breathe hard and fast and you will be unable to say more than a few words whilst you catch your breath. Examples include running, gymnastics, swimming or sports like football and rugby.
I haven’t exercised in a while. Is it safe?
As long as you start off light and listen to your body (stop if anything hurts) you should be fine. If you’re unsure, you could ask your GP for advice.
I don’t have any equipment – can I take part?
Most of the home exercises we’ve recommended can be done without any equipment required, save for some everyday home objects such as a chair.
I have painful joints, will exercising make them worse?
Low impact exercises should actually help strengthen your joints. Our low impact exercises section can recommend some.
I don’t have time!
We understand that those with a busy job or family might have less spare time – however even 10 minutes of exercise here and there to go for a walk or dance around the kitchen is better than nothing.
How often should I exercise?
Adults should aim to do some form of physical activity every day, in order to reach the recommended 150 minutes a week.
This could be longer sessions of 30-60 minutes, or in shorter bursts of 10-15 minute exercises when you find time.
If you can’t manage every day, just aim to start small and build up – remember, a little bit of exercise is better than none, and exercising two days a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke!
Find your next home workout
If you’re looking for some inspiration, there are plenty of videos and workouts that you can follow online. These include gentler moves for older adults and child-friendly videos to get the whole family moving.
There’s also some videos which could help improve mood and wellbeing, which include some yoga and breathing activities.
We’ve pulled together some playlists below to get you started.
Further tailored exercises and resources to help
Not just workouts: Everyday activities count!
You don’t need gym equipment at home to stay active, or to take part in that Zoom circuit if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. In fact, if a workout just isn’t your thing, everyday activities such as doing the housework can count towards remaining active.
Try to break up long periods of sitting by getting up and moving for at least five minutes each hour. This is particularly important if you’re working from home, and you might want to check out our Active at Work section for tips on remaining active whilst working.
Other ideas on how to get active around the home
- If you’re a tea or coffee lover, why not have a go at the Cuppa routine – it’s a short and easy routine that can be done whenever you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
- Gardening and cleaning are fantastic ways to stay active at home.
- You could also put your favourite tunes and have a dance around the house.
- Walk it out! Walking around the house, up and down the stairs, round the garden or down the street is a great way to get steps in. Alternatively, you could march on the spot whilst watching your favourite TV programme or film. Try and aim for 10,000 steps spread across the day if you can.
- Alternatively check out our Active Outdoors section for places to go in Norfolk.
Remember, just 10 extra minutes of activity a day could make all the difference to your overall health and wellbeing. How will you fit this in?
Other resources to help you
There are so many resources to help you get started on your active journey. Regardless of how small you start, you should be proud of your achievements, and celebrate all wins. These apps and organisations will help you to do just that, by measuring your progress and even sharing it with others.