Make time for movement indoors with these low-impact workouts.
While many of us love getting out and exercising in the fresh air, sometimes the weather doesn’t agree with us! But that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck inside on the couch—there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors. They’re perfect for winters when the cold and ice makes it dangerous to venture out, rainy days throughout the year, or even during quarantine lockdowns.
As always, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine.
Check out these ways to stay active indoors to find your favorite:
- Use your stairs
- Grab a yoga mat
- Do simple weightlifting
- Try chair squats and wall pushups
- Use an indoor bike or treadmill
- Tune into a video workout
Below, we’ll explain the techniques and benefits of these ways to stay active indoors.
Use your stairs
You don’t have to have a gym membership to enjoy a stairclimber, as long as you have a few stairs in your home! Instead of climbing the whole flight, use the bottom stair. Those in single-story homes can use footstools or any other stable surface at step height. Step-up-step-down exercises are great for the muscles in our quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The movement is simple: step onto the stair with one foot at a time, using the strength of the leg you’re lifting to step up. Repeat 8-12 times per leg. See this video for a visual guide!
Grab a yoga mat
Yoga and Pilates are excellent exercises for keeping our bodies mobile and flexible at any age. Other benefits of yoga include strengthening bones, reducing blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving muscle strength and balance. All these perks make it one of the best ways to stay active indoors! You can also enjoy a lot of variety with a yoga routine since you can choose so many different exercises or poses. Try these simple yoga poses like the cobra, downward-facing dog, and the classic seated meditation pose.
Do simple weightlifting
Owning a couple of dumbbells opens up a whole new world of indoor exercise. Start with whatever weight you’re comfortable with—even one or two pounds! Simple moves for seniors include bicep curls, tricep dips, and overhead presses. You can also search YouTube for “dumbbell workout” to find a guided video to follow. Strength training can help improve your balance and endurance, improve your sleep, manage your weight, and even improve some age-related conditions!
Try chair squats and wall pushups
Your stairs aren’t the only thing in your house that you can use to stay active indoors – try using chairs or walls! With chair squats, you stretch out your arms and act like you’re sitting down but don’t actually sit—the chair is essentially a guide of how low to go, and to catch you if you lose balance. Wall pushups are similar: instead of doing pushups on the floor, lean with your hands against the wall and do vertical pushups for a muscle-strengthening exercise that isn’t as physically strenuous.
Use an indoor bike or treadmill
If you’re an avid biker, jogger, or walker in the spring through fall, why not bring your favorite hobbies indoors for a season? You may be able to pick up an inexpensive machine from a neighborhood sale group or splurge on a fancier model that comes with a built-in screen and subscription to guided classes. Indoor cycling is a wonderful way to enjoy a cardio workout with low impact on your joints, and recumbent bikes (where you can lay back on a supported seat) are the most comfortable for seniors.
Tune into a video workout
Just because you’re working out in your home doesn’t mean you have to go it alone! Take the guesswork out of staying fit by following along with a video workout. You may search for your favorite type of exercises on YouTube to find a class, or use an app that streams workouts right to your television, tablet, smartphone, or computer.