During cold or wet weather, it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise outdoors. But physical activity of any kind is very important if you’re aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle (which is important for desirable cholesterol levels). Luckily, there are many simple exercises to do at home that can help you to meet your healthy lifestyle goals. Here are ten ideas to get you started!

10 simple exercises to do at home

1. Keep on your feet

If there’s something you can do standing up rather than sitting down, stand! It goes without saying that we use more muscles when standing, and this means increased circulation and heart rate. Don’t pull up a chair to chop the vegetables – that time on your feet could make all the difference. Used in conjunction with a healthy exercise regime, this simple rule could change the way you look at exercise itself.

2. Video aerobics

Fitness and workout videos didn’t begin and end in the ‘90s! There are still plenty of workout programmes available for you to try for free online (YouTube is a good source) and on some TV channels. Try to find something at your fitness level, as there’s nothing more off-putting than not being able to keep up with the instructor. The intense activity may give you some ideas for fitness exercises to do at home in the odd spare moment – twenty jumping jacks before the microwave pings may not sound like much, but it all adds up to helping you feel great!

3. Dance and fitness video games

Cardio-orientated exercise is an important part of feeling healthy – all muscles benefit from keeping in shape, including your heart! If keeping up with a video isn’t your style, consider something with some more user feedback, like a video game. There are fitness games available for all major consoles, and dance games are also an excellent, fun way to raise your heart rate. Some people find it easier to lose themselves in exercise activities when they have a competitive edge, and this is a great way to do it.

4. Seated exercises to do at home

If your mobility is poor, or you’re just too tired by the time you get home from work to do anything strenuous, armchair exercises may be for you. Older people in particular could benefit from carrying out some simple stretches every few hours, as circulation is greatly helped by gentle movement. Click here for a list of exercises to do at home based on stretches, including some you can carry out in bed!

When you’re sitting down watching TV, try raising and lowering your arms every ten minutes or so, flexing your fingers as high as you can, and then raising and lowering each leg as if walking.

5. Exercise equipment

If you’ve ever wondered how to exercise at home more strenuously, the answer may be to get an exercise bike. Exercise equipment is now more affordable than ever, and having a cross trainer in front of the TV is a fantastic incentive to actually use it. Do shop around for equipment that will suit your needs, space, and budget, and remember to use your new equipment safely.

6. Light weightlifting

If you’ve dreamed of toned muscles, but fear the large, complex weights machines at the gym, you may like to consider purchasing some simple dumbbells and carrying out some light weightlifting at home. Look here for easy exercises to do at home using commonly available weights.

7. Yoga

Yoga sometimes gets a bad press as a difficult or costly form of exercise, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t even need to go along to a class to learn it – there are many instruction videos available online. All you need is some comfy clothes, a yoga mat, and a clear floor space. Yoga may look easy to the untrained eye, but is actually a great way to increase your heart rate and really exercise every muscle in your body.

8. Decorating and heavy housework

It may sound strange, but stripping and painting the ceiling could be just as effective a workout for you as going for a run. The effort and movement involved in getting really into a heavy household task is really excellent for your muscles and heart. Consider clearing out your loft, stripping the walls, moving and vacuuming underneath all your furniture, or even just getting through a mountain of ironing – all that arm movement is good for your muscles!

9. Use the furniture

Those with kids may find it fun to get their help coming up with exercises to do at home using only what’s already there. Stairs in particular are fantastic for getting your heart going – and chasing a little one up and down them is a great excuse to get some use out of steps. Playing with children or pets around your home is fun for everyone, and you may find hanging upside down from the sofa to be the perfect level of cardio for you. Just remember to play safe!

10. Dancing

Dancing, alone or with a partner, is without a doubt one of the most fun (and simple) exercises to do at home. When you get back from work, hit the music while you wait for the kettle to boil, and just let loose! Dancing can relieve tension and improve your mood, and dancing with someone else is a great way to communicate love. Get a little breathless and enjoy the music every day, and you’re sure to feel the benefit.