Most people love being able to get outdoors and stay active but that is not always possible. Whether it’s weather conditions, location, working from home, or having to stay indoors while things are uncertain outside, there are ways to keep active. Here are 10 ways to keep active indoors and feel good about your health and well-being – no matter where you are.

According to CNN Health:

You should aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day plus strength training at least twice a week. More than that will prevent weight gain (especially if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic).

We can’t always do that inside though – or can we? Just because you’re stuck inside, there is no reason you can’t stay active. In fact, there are plenty of activities that are not only fun but help you stay fit at the same time. You can burn calories, build muscles, and increase your health right from the comfort of your own home.

woman in black yoga pants and top doing yoga near window

1  Try a DVD or Streaming Service

Years ago, gyms weren’t as prevalent as they are now. People who wanted to exercise daily might have the option of going to an aerobics class or take Jazzercise. But for everyone else, they used exercise DVDs. With the availability of streaming services, you can easily take online classes in just about any kind of exercise. Some require a fee that others are free to use. And if those don’t fit your budget, old exercise DVDs (Billy Blanks, anyone?) still work as good as they did in the past and you can find them at rock-bottom prices. You can also check your cable listings for an exercise class using the OnDemand feature.

2 Invest in a Step Counter

Any kind of step counter is a good tool to gauge exactly how much you are walking each day. These step counters show you how many steps you’ve taken all day. Many allow you to set certain goals that are in-tune with what the average is. You can then adjust those goals to your own fitness level.

There are all kinds of step counters. These include the Apple Watch, the Fit Bit, other brands of smartwatches, and even a cheap pedometer that works well if you’re on a budget. With some like the Fit Bit, you can also connect with your friends and compare steps and goals.

3  Be On the Move

No matter what it is you’re doing at home – make it active. For instance, if you are working at your desk, invest in an exercise ball – sometimes known as a stability ball. Do a lot of fidgeting if you’re having to sit. You can also get an under-desk elliptical which just includes the pedals that you use while sitting down.

If you have to go upstairs, run up them if it’s safe. If you’re cooking, be constantly walking and moving. The movement is what is important in burning extra calories and staying more fit.

4  Take Care of a Pet

No one is saying to rush out and get a pet, especially if you cannot care for one. But if you have room in your heart as well as your home and are looking, now is the perfect time. Not only do pets need a home, but they also keep you active. Whether you’re having to walk the dog or chase it playing, it keeps you on your toes (and feet).

Everyday Health states:

The arrival of a new pet, especially a dog, has been shown to increase the owner’s activity levels. “Getting a pet, like a dog, will give you another reason to get out and get active,” Gray says. “Pets need activity, and actually can be your own accountability friend to get at least a short walk in daily. Even if the dog only forces you to get up and let it out without going for a walk, you will have burned more calories than if you sat in front of the television all day.”

Like walking by yourself, walking a dog can help burn around 200 calories for every half-hour of exercise.

5 Dance

Seriously, who doesn’t like to dance? You don’t have to be a professional. In fact, you don’t even have to do a specific dance if you don’t want to. Just put on your favorite dance music and have fun with it. Of course, if you want to learn specific dance moves or focus on a style of dance, that’s fine too.

The Harvard Medical School provides these general tips about dance’s ability to help control those pesky pounds:

  • At a weight of 125 pounds, you’re burning roughly 5.5 calories per minute dancing moderate steps, or 330 an hour.
  • If you weigh 155 pounds, you burn almost 7 calories per minute or 410 per hour.
  • Someone who weighs 185 pounds burns more than 8 calories per minute, 488 in the course of an hour.

7 Exercise Without Equipment

Not everyone has exercise equipment in their home. And not everyone has the funds to access new equipment. The good news is that it is not necessary to use certain equipment to get a workout. Yes, exercise equipment is a great tool to help you achieve your fitness goals. But if you still want to work out without them, it is certainly possible.

Some examples of exercises without equipment are:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Planking
  • Squats
  • Running in place
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Balancing poses

8  Clean Your House. Wash the Car, or Do Yard Work

One way to burn some extra calories is to do the things you need to do anyway. Do a deep clean on your house, wash your car, or do yard work. All these things can be the perfect addition to your exercise at-home routine. Something as simple as cutting the grass burns a lot of calories. And doing things like making beds, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and mopping are also perfect ways to work those muscles while getting extra benefits. Benefits like a pretty yard, a clean house, and a clean car.

9  Get the Kids in On It

If you have younger children, there are plenty of fitness games you can play with them. Do a treasure hunt, make up Olympics style games to compete in. Or go outside if possible and throw a ball around. Play Tag, or enjoy games that increase the activity levels that allow you to spend time with the family.

Keep in mind that if you make it fun for your kids, they are more likely to want to continue in their own fitness. If it’s fun, everyone wins.

10 Make a Game of It

Many of the gaming platforms have games you can play that increase your exercise levels. Playstation Move, Xbox Kinect, and Nintendo Wii have a variety of games you can play that help you stay fit. Play a round of tennis, compete in a dance competition, and try to get a hole in one at golf. If it keeps you moving and is fun, then exercise will be more enjoyable and you don’t even have to step foot outside.

11  Set Goals

According to Nutrition:

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Setting daily and weekly goals will keep you on track and aware of your improvement. Don’t set yourself up for failure though; make sure your goals are SMART:

Specific: “10 minutes of PA a day” or “30 reps of an exercise a day.”

Measurable: Using the stopwatch in your phone to measure 10’ or counting each rep.

Achievable: Start small. If you have been sedentary for a while, start with 5’ a day. Then move to 10’ and so on.

Relevant: Exercises have to be meaningful and relevant to your life. Is getting in shape relevant? What about knowing you can’t go to the gym right now. That is certainly relevant too.

Time: You need a time frame for each goal. Daily and weekly goals give you a time frame. You need to complete X amount of reps in a day and X amount in a week.

You Can Do It

The important thing to know is that staying active while indoors is possible. Some tips on making it happen including setting a specific time each day to exercise and to keep moving no matter what you are doing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Response and Updates for Clients, Families, and Referents Read More