How To Stay Active At Home
Staying active at home is far easier than you think. You don’t need the latest fitness home gym equipment, and a dedicated home workout routine, you simply need to approach your daily activities differently. Make burning calories a walk in the park, by following our 15 simple tips on how to stay active at home.
15 ideas on how to stay active at home:
- Hoover your home more enthusiastically.
- Stop using the TV remote control, where possible.
- Jog up the stairs, rather than walk.
- Walk around your home quickly, whilst tidying up.
- Squat whilst emptying each item from the dishwasher.
- Do more gardening i.e. digging burns lots of calories.
- Walking lunges when moving from one room, to the next.
- Push-ups against kitchen counter, whilst waiting for food to cook.
- Skip from room to room, without a rope.
- Sit on an exercise ball whilst you work from home.
- Mow the lawn with a hand mower (if you have one).
- Lift shampoo/conditioner bottles like dumbbells, in the shower.
- Open all house curtains as quickly as possible.
- Squat when lifting up your baby or child.
- Play games in the garden with your children i.e. football.
How To Be More Active All Day At Home
Now that we have 15 ideas showing us how to stay active at home, let’s take a look at these really simple ideas in greater detail.
If you think of anymore ways to get moving more whilst at home, leave a comment at the end of this post.
1. Hoover your home more enthusiastically
I don’t mean that you should be excited to start hoovering your home, nor that you should start singing whilst you hoover (unless you want to of course!).
What I mean, is that you should make hoovering your home like a workout. You actually wouldn’t believe how many more calories you would burn if you pushed the hoover back and forth faster, and with greater force.
According to Shape, hoovering your home for just 15 minutes can burn a whopping 90 calories! (source). If you count your daily steps, you will also be pleased to hear that hoovering clocks up tons of extra steps, which all count towards your daily step target.
2. Stop using the TV remote control, where possible
We are all guilty of using the TV remote too much!
The development of technology has made us lazy. We see a remote control, and now no longer walk up to the actual device to switch the channel, record a programme, or play a specific tune. If the remote can do it from a distance for us, we generally prefer to take this easier option.
If you use a remote control to activate your TV or music system, you are reducing the level of physical movement that you make each day. It may only seem like a small reduction, yet when added up across the week it actually counts for more steps and energy use than you would expect.
Staying active is key to living a healthy life. Movement keeps your body in good shape, and burns excess calories. So, what should you do? Rather than being lazy, chose to get up and push that tv power button on/off. It’s no harder than it used to be decades ago!
3. Jog up the stairs, rather than walk
Next time you decide to go upstairs, why not jog or run up the stairs instead? This burst of energy (over such a short period of time) will work wonders to shock your body into burning more calories. It might just be a few more calories that you blast, but they all count towards your weekly fitness target.
Jogging up the stairs will also improve the health of your heart, because your heart rate will be raised. This mini cardio home workout will get easier to complete, the more you do it. It might even become instinct for you to jump up the steps two at a time!
In my opinion, anything that gets you moving more is a good thing. Staying fit and healthy will also help prevent many different health issues from occurring. Small changes such as this will help to gradually improve your overall fitness levels and stamina.
4. Walk around your home quickly, whilst tidying up
I’ve always been a fast walker, so this fitness trick has always been the norm to me. In fact, just ask my friends if it’s even possible for me to walk slowly when I’m with them!! They would all tell you there is no ‘slow’ walk setting for Katrina! I view this as a good thing.
So what does this mean in practise? Here’s my real life example …
When I need to walk to the other side of my home to put the washing in my kids wardrobe, I walk very briskly from the utility room, to their rooms, then back for the next load. I never leisurely stroll over to their rooms, like I don’t have a care in the world! Why? Because the reality of my life is that I’m always crazy busy trying to do everything at the same time. Walking slowly just wouldn’t fit into my daily life. I also enjoy walking quickly and know it’s a great way to get hidden exercise into my day whilst at home.
5. Squat whilst emptying each item from the dishwasher
Rather than just unloading the dishwasher and putting the items away as normal, make this dull procedure into a fitness workout instead!
What’s involved? … Squat down every time you pick a plate or cup out of the dishwasher. I started trying this sneaky home workout recently, and was surprised how sore it made my thigh muscles feel.
It may take you an extra minute or two to unload the dishwasher. In my view though, it’s totally worth it.
6. Do more gardening i.e. digging burns lots of calories
If you love to garden, this tip will be music to your ears!
Gardening is a great home workout because it burns a high number of calories, in a short amount of time. Not only will your garden look great once you’re done, your body will too! Why? Because gardening helps to tone and strengthen your entire body, particularly your arms.
According to Saga, digging your garden for just 30 minutes burns 250 calories! (source). So what are you waiting for? Get digging!
7. Walking lunges when moving from one room, to the next
Lunges are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your legs and butt. They are also great for improving core stability, and balance.
To add a little bit of fitness into your day, start including walking lunges in your daily life. How? When you need to walk around your home (i.e. to put the kids clean washing away), don’t just walk! Instead, use walking lunges to get from one room to the next!
If you are new to exercise you will likely find that even a few walking lunges make your muscles ache. Aim to complete 12-15 walking lunges (space permitted, obviously!), then take a rest. Repeat.
8. Push-ups against kitchen counter, whilst waiting for food to cook.
This is one of my favourite exercises. I do it so often that I now barely even realise i’m robotically doing it!
If you’re a busy mum this exercise will fit perfectly into your life, because it does not require you to be away from your children. You can literally continue talking to your kids as you workout in front of them.
What’s involved? Whilst you are making endless meals for your hungry kids, why not complete a few push-ups against the kitchen counter whilst waiting for the oven or microwave to ‘ping!’.
Home Workout Example
Push-ups: 12-15 reps
The beauty of this exercise is that it doesn’t need to be limited to just the kitchen counter. I also often complete push-ups against my kids bedroom wall, whilst they are playing. Or, I do a few push-ups against our kids garden playframe. The choice is endless. Look at your home creatively, and see where else you can stay active.
9. Skip from room to room, without a rope
This tip might sound a little childish, but I don’t care!
Rather than walking from room to room in your home, why not skip instead? Skipping is a fun way to stay active at home, and a great way to burn calories without even realising. You don’t need a skipping rope, just skip along like you did when you were a little child, and get your household chores completed at the same time.
10. Sit on an exercise ball whilst you work from home
If you work from home try swapping your desk chair for an exercise ball. This might seem like another odd idea, but do not underestimate how beneficial this workout will be for your body.
Sitting on an exercise ball is great for improving your core stability and balance, because the ball forces you to engage your core abdominal muscles in order to stabilise yourself. Exercise balls are also great for improving your posture, because they help to strengthen your lower back.
Exercise Ball Sizing Guide
Make sure you buy a ball large enough to sit comfortably at your desk. Follow these sizing guides (source).
- 18 Inches (45cm) diameter: If you’re between 4’8″ and 5’5″
- 22 Inches (55cm) diameter: If you’re between 5’6″ and 6’0″
- 26 Inches (65cm) diameter: If you’re between 6’1″ and 6’5″
- 30 Inches (75cm) diameter: If you’re over 6’5″
11. Mow the lawn with a hand mower (if you have one)
This tip on how to stay active at home will not be possible for you, unless you own a hand mower. These are pretty retro, in fact I’m not even sure if they still exist!
When I was little we had a petrol mower for the main garden, and a hand mower for the front garden (parents didn’t like carrying petrol mower through the house). I used the hand mower to mow our smaller front garden (jeez, what a great kid i was! haha). I remember how hot and sweaty mowing the grass made me. It was hard work, and a real calorie burner for sure. Without even realising it, I was getting fit.
Now, whilst writing this article, it got me thinking. Can you still buy these hand mowers, or am I recommending something that no longer exists. That would be kind of silly, right?! So, I’ve taken a look on Amazon and actually found hand mowers for sale. Wow again! Now I haven’t personally tried this mower, because my husband will tell you that I brake every mower in site, however, this mower is rated pretty highly by customers, so it might be worth a look. It is manufactured by a good reliable brand name, and sold for a great price (far cheaper than a yearly gym membership!).
12. Lift shampoo/conditioner bottles like dumbbells, in the shower
Rather than purchasing a set of dumbbells that gather dust in your living room, why not get an arm workout using your shampoo/conditioner bottles instead? Make sure you buy bottles that are the same size and weight, to avoid one arm being worked more than the other! It is also important to ensure that you can safely lift the bottles, and that the lids are secure.
Fitness Tip: When you are next in the shower, complete 12-15 bicep curls. Rest. Repeat. Complete 3 sets.
Strength training is a great way to keep your body strong, and prevent natural muscle deterioration as you grow older.
13. Open all house curtains as quickly as possible
It’s easier to stay active at home if you create challenges for yourself. Make your daily household chores more interesting by timing yourself to complete each task. If you practise everyday, you will get both quicker and fitter in the process. You can literally make up any challenge that you like! Be as creative as you like.
Here’s a few examples:
- How quickly can you run around your home, opening all the curtains?
- How quickly can you hoover the entire house?
- How quickly can you mop your kitchen/bathroom floors?
- How quickly can you unload the washing machine?
- How quickly can you unpack the weekly food shop?
14. Squat when lifting up your baby or child
Squatting is free of charge, and great way to tone your legs and glutes. If you want rock hard glute muscles, squatting should be your new best friend. Not only will it help strengthen your core muscles, lower back, and abdominal muscles, it will also help you jump higher! (source).
15. Play games in the garden with your children i.e. football
Kids are all about play. They don’t need hundreds of pounds worth of toys to entertain them, they simply want their parents to play with them. Play is incredibly important for their physical, social and mental development. So let’s give our kids the parent/child playtime they deserve.
I get it, playing football in the garden might not be your thing. You also might not feel you have anytime to play, as house and work tasks are mounting up. Everything can wait though. Take a break, and make your little ones the centre of your world (if only for 15 minutes) by playing football outside with them. This is a great fun way to stay active at home.
Learning how to stay active at home is important, because it helps you to stay fit and healthy. Keeping active will help reduce your risk of developing many different health issues, such as heart disease and obesity.
Life is for living. Gyms are a thing of the past. Start exercising at home without even realising it!