11 ways to get exercise into your day (even if you’re at home)

father and son gardening

According to the Australian Department of Health, more than half of all Australian adults are not active enough in their daily lives. 

It is important that we keep moving even when we’re at home. In times like these even some small activity every day will be positive for your overall health and wellbeing.

These national guidelines outline the minimum levels of physical activity required for health benefits at all stages of life. The recommendations below can be achieved at home or outdoors with no special equipment needed. 

Ideally you will be active most if not every day of the week, but it is OK to start slow and build up your exercise so you don’t burn out. If you’re new to physical activity, have a health problem, or are concerned about the safety of being (more) active, speak with your doctor or health professional about the most suitable activities for you. 

You might find it helpful to create and write down goals to keep you accountable and to give you added motivation.

If you’re going to be exercising outside remember to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.

1. Incorporate some simple stretches 

Easy stretching is a great step to add into your morning or evening routine. Stretching can help you to feel fresh, set you up for the day ahead and get your blood flowing or it can help you unwind and relax after a long day. 

While the stretches you do may be the same morning and night, it can be beneficial to change your music based on your timing to set the tone for the exercise. We’ve included some stretches you can try at home at the bottom of this article.

2. Go for a walk or run

lady stretching in park

Walking and running are perfect equipment-free workouts to get your heart rate up and take you outside into the fresh air. If you’re working, use your lunch break and do a lap around the block. Or if you have more time up your sleeves go for a long stroll or jog and explore your neighbourhood. 

Grab a friend or family member for a social distance friendly outing, making sure you remain 1.5 metres apart, or put on your favourite music or podcast and it won’t even feel like exercise.

Don’t have enough time to build a walk or run into your day? If you have a short trip planned such as to the local shops or to grab a coffee, choose to walk or run and leave your car at home.

3. Go for a bike ride  

Queensland is lucky enough to have some beautiful bike trails, which will let you soak in some vitamin D and immerse yourself in nature. If you can’t find a trail nearby, hit the roads and cycle around your area instead.

Again, if you feel like you don’t have enough time to build a bike ride into your day, leave your car at home the next time you need to head out somewhere nearby and cycle instead.

4. Take an online workout class

Many gyms and exercise studios are offering classes online via platforms like Zoom. Whether you’re interested in yoga, pilates, strength or high intensity workouts there is a class for everyone if you look for it.

Want to take it at your own pace and can’t be locked into a time? YouTube has a huge selection of exercise videos to suit your needs, fitness levels and schedules.

5. Download an exercise app or ebook

There are many exercise apps and ebooks available that offer quick guided workouts. It can be easier to just get up and get it done when you don’t have to plan the workout out yourself.

6. Create your own workout

If you do want to create your own workout then that is great too. Make something up on the spot or write down the exercises and reps you’d like to achieve and smash it out.

Need some ideas? Our new Boost your Healthy site has a wide range of exercise resources and information, which you can try at home. And Healthier. Happier. has a range of exercise ideas for beginners up to advanced, which you can put together to customise your own workout.

7. Build exercise into your normal routine

While you go about your day doing your normal routine you can easily build exercise in. Brushing your teeth? Do calf raises. Waiting for the microwave? Do a few squats. Kettle boiling? Do some push ups. 

After a while, these bursts of exercise will just become part of your everyday routine.

8. Limit your sitting time

When you’re staying at home all day it is easy to become sedentary over long periods of time. Try setting an alarm every hour to get up and move, or to even just stand for a minute or two. Every bit counts.

9. Have a living room dance party

Pop on your favourite playlist and groove it out. Turn your living room into a dance floor and get your sweat on. 

If you feel shy or self-conscious, move any hazards out of the way and try turning the lights out, you may find yourself feeling more free to express yourself through movement in the dark.

10. Do some cleaning, gardening or home maintenance

The jobs to do around the house are an easy way to be active without even realising it – and they’re fun, too. Do a big clear out of your wardrobe, utilise your green thumb, or attempt the DIY project you’ve always wanted to start.

To get even more out of these tasks try to extend them out. For example, instead of picking up a whole pile of items that need to be put away instead break them up into mini piles so you have to walk back and forth a few times. 

11. Go for a swim

While we don’t all have this luxury if you do have a pool or live by the ocean go for a swim. Whether you want to practice laps or just swim for leisure it is sure to get your blood pumping. 

Check out Boost Your Healthy for more inspiration and ideas to stay healthy and active during COVID-19.

Stretching exercises