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Tips to Stay Active Indoors

During cold weather, we tend to eat more, sleep more, and move less.  Even though the weather is cold outside, there are still plenty of ways to remain active indoors. Staying active has many health benefits for your heart, mind and body and is especially important as we age.  Exercise can help reduce pain, improve sleep and boost your mood!  Research has shown that staying active can help us maintain our independence, decrease risk of falls, improve brain function and increase overall life expectancy.

There are many different ways to incorporate activity into your daily routine.  Here are some easy exercises you can do around the home to remain active!

Sitting in a Chair: Watching TV? Try these exercises.

  • Arm Raises – A great way to strengthen your arms is to hold weights in your hand while lifting your arms out to your side. Try this 10 times, rest, and work your way up to 20 lifts.
  • Elbow to knee crunches – Having a strong core is important for good posture. Start this core exercise with your arms crossed over your chest and slowly bend forward so your elbows are touching your knees. Try 10 crunches, rest, and do 10 more.

Standing in the Kitchen:  Waiting on dinner to finish?  Try these exercises.

  • Calf Raises – While holding on to the counter, slowly raise your heels until you are standing on your toes, then lower slowly back to the ground. This exercise helps with ankle strength and stability. Start with 10 raises, and continue to increase each day working up to 30 reps.
  • Standing on one foot – Hold on to the counter to help yourself practice this balance exercise. Start by trying to stand on one foot for 20 seconds holding on with two hands, then gradually standing on one foot for one minute holding on with one hand.

Lying in Bed: Don’t want to get out of bed? Try these exercises.

  • Bridges – To strengthen your glutes and pelvic floor muscles, lie on your back  with knees bent and feet flat on the bed. Exhale and squeeze your abs and glutes to lift hips up, then inhale and lower your hips back down. Do 10-15 repetitions.
  • Shoulder Shrugs – A great and easy exercise to strengthen your neck and upper back muscles. Slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears, then back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

Activities to Get You Moving:  The CDC recommends an adult age 65+ take 7,000- 10,000 steps a day. Here are some activities you can do to get more steps in and get your blood moving.

  • Walking up and down the hallway
  • Sweep or vacuum your floors
  • Stand up or walk around while talking on the phone
  • Fold your laundry standing up
  • Park further away from the entrance of a shop
  • Walk around during TV commercials
  • Attend a dance class or dance in your living room
  • Try a new exercise video or class

Exercise can be hard, but also very rewarding and beneficial! Start out slow and easy, then
gradually build up your steps taken each day or the repetitions of certain exercises. A little bit
of extra movement can go a long way.  It is recommended to consult with your doctor before you start a new exercise program.


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