Fed up of being stuck at home? Don’t let that stop you from exercising! Here’s how to stay fit at home with 10 easy exercises that can be done without any special equipment.

  1. Calf raises

Good for: improved muscle strength, helping to prevent mobility loss

  • Stand on the bottom step of your stairs and hold the bannister or handrail
  • Make sure that your feet are partway off the step so you’re standing on the balls of your feet
  • Lower your heels towards the ground slightly, then raise yourself up as high as you can – squeeze the muscles in your calves during this movement
  • Return to starting position and repeat 10-15 times

For a slightly easier version of this exercise, stand on the floor and hold the back of a chair.

  1. Sideways leg lifts

Good for: posture, flexibility, balance and limb speed

  • Stand behind a chair and hold the back of it with both hands
  • Keeping your posture upright and your left leg straight, raise it to the side
  • Make sure not to go higher than a comfortable height
  • Return your leg to the floor
  • Repeat with the right leg
  • Aim for five leg lifts each side
  1. Leg extensions

Good for: strengthening quadriceps – the muscles at the front of your thighs

  • Hold the back of a chair
  • Raise your left leg behind you – make sure you keep it straight
  • Avoid arching your back
  • Repeat with the right leg
  • Do five lifts with each leg, holding each lift for five seconds
  1. Bicep curls

Good for: arm muscles and core strength

  • Hold a hand weight in each hand – you can use cans or filled water bottles as an alternative!
  • Start with both arms by your sides, palms facing forwards
  • Bend your arms, bringing your hands up to your shoulders slowly
  • Return your arms to the starting position slowly
  • Repeat, aiming for three sets of five curls

You can do this exercise, sitting down, if you need to.

  1. 10-minute workouts

Good for: working your whole body

Want to put some structure into keeping fit? Try these 10-minute workouts from the NHS – the idea is to do one a day for six days and rest on the seventh so that you work on different muscle groups through the week.

  1. Standing press-ups

Good for: chest and arm muscles

  • Hold the edge of a countertop with both hands (you can place both hands on flat on a wall if you prefer)
  • Make sure you’re standing about 2 feet away from the surface you’re using
  • Bend your arms so that you lean forwards as far as is comfortable, keeping your body in a straight line
  • Push yourself back to an upright position and repeat
  • Build up the number of reps you do as you get stronger
  1. Desk pushes

Good for: upper body

  • Sit at a desk or table
  • Place both hands flat on the underside of desk or table
  • Press upwards as hard as you can
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Rest for ten seconds, then repeat two more times
  1. Cardio workout

Good for: strengthening your heart

You might think that cardio exercises are out of reach, but you can raise your heart rate through exercises done at the right intensity, even sitting down. Take a look at this low-impact cardio video to see what we mean – it covers familiar aerobic movements in a short routine including:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats
  • Running on the spot
  • Jabs
  • Rowing
  1. Dance dance dance

Good for: strengthening your heart

Has it been a while since you’ve had a proper dance? Put on your favourite music and raise your heart rate with a quick bop, whether you’re on your own or you have a partner to hand. Crack out your best moves and see if you can keep going for 15 minutes to start with. And if you need to chair dance, try this fun chair dancing video for a few tips!

  1. Clean the house!

Good for: calorie burning, staying mobile

Dull as it may sound, housework is a good calorie burner – you can use up to 190 calories an hour just by doing the vacuuming, putting some washing on or moving around with a duster.

If you need some extra motivation to get fit at home, there are plenty of apps to choose from – we’ve reviewed some of the most popular ones here. And if you struggle with standing, we’ve picked out some more exercises for limited mobility here.

Medical information. This is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice by a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. Patients should not use the information on the Active Patients website for diagnosing a health or fitness problem or disease. Patients should always consult with a doctor or other health professional for medical advice or information about diagnosis and treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on Active Patients.