How to stay fit and active at home

Woman doing a plank for fitness in lounge room

In the wise words of Aussie icon, Olivia Newton-John, it's time to 'get physical' - and we're not counting the stretch from the lounge chair to the coffee table to pick up the remote.

While your daily trip to the gym or our free fitness classes are off limits at the moment, you may be wondering how to keep fit and get some of those wonderful post-exercise endorphins. Well, you can still work out, break a sweat and maybe even crack a personal best with your physical fitness at home.

Power through these handy tips for staying active, including pointers from personal trainer, Josh Avison, from The Training Ground, Spring Hill.

How to get fit and healthy without equipment

While you might be used to working your lats on the latest gym equipment, the age-old adage of 'keep it simple' is best for creating lasting, at-home workout habits. Look around the house for everyday items you can use. For example, picking up the clothes basket and taking it out to the washing line can become a set of 10-12 squats on the way to the washing line and a set of 10-12 lunges on the return trip.

Man doing squats in lounge room

Incidental exercise still counts

No, reaching for another Tim Tam in between Netflix marathons doesn't count as an incidental bicep curl, but at-home activities like mowing the lawn, washing the car or tidying up the garden all add up and burn a surprising number of kilojoules. These incidental activities can get our heart rates up, with the added bonus of enjoying a dose of fresh air. Get creative with everyday tasks - add in a few push ups as you wash the car, or side lunges as you mow the lawn!

Man washing a car over lawn with a sponge

Keep on multi-tasking

We've all done it. Spent days with too many browser tabs open and flicking from task to task under the guise of 'multi-tasking'. They say it can't be done, but desperate times call for desperate measures, right? Tap into your multi-tasking skills to combine TV watching with a stretch session or roll out your muscles using a foam roller (or rolled-up towel). Or jump on a phone call with your bestie to talk and do 100 ab-crunches. Full-body movements like yoga and stretches are great to make TV-time feel like flexitime.

Women stretching in lounge room

Balance is key

Staying healthy at home takes more than a (solo) walk around the block or backyard HIIT session. Remember to balance exercise with staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, recovering well with ample sleep and rest and eating a variety of healthy and nourishing foods. Do as little or as much to suit your own limits and balance movement and rest to stay feeling strong.

Fruit, vegetables and nuts

The body's (magnificent) seven

Match each day of the week with targeted exercises for the body's seven major movements. Josh says targeting these seven areas will keep your body humming. Ready?

  • Monday - Pull. Pick up the kids or clothes basket with some repetition.
  • Tuesday - Push. Mow the lawn, plant new flowers, or if you must, drop and give us 20 (push ups).
  • Wednesday - Squat. Press play on an episode of your favourite show and squat, squat, squat.
  • Thursday - Lunge. Got a hallway or balcony? Lunge your way up and down a few times and feel the burn in your glutes.
  • Friday - Hinge. Try using items at home for these gentle hip raises.
  • Saturday - Rotate. Sit with your legs out, activate your core and twist side to side.
  • Sunday - Gait. Simply walk around your suburb, in the backyard, or up and down stairs. Easy!
Woman post-workout in lounge room

Keep the focus

Now is a time of high distraction and our constant scrolling for updates can keep us staying still for too long. Be mindful of how you're spending your time and think about how you can swap 30 minutes of screen time for 30 minutes of positive and healthy activity. Maybe swap the half hour on Instagram for a 30-minute podcast and walk with the dog?

Related links

Remember to practice social distancing when outdoors exercising.

Date posted:
Last updated: 8 June 2020
Topics: things to do