Exercise while staying at home

Key points about exercising while staying at home

  • Even if you are spending more time at home, it's still important for your wellbeing to keep active.
  • There are plenty of ways to keep moving without leaving the house.
  • Getting outside is not only good for your physical health but your mental wellbeing as well, and even if you are being careful to stay away from others, you can still enjoy a walk, run or bike ride and maintain social distance.  
Father dancing with kids at home
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If you can't get outside due to the weather, or prefer to stay at home, there are lots of lots of online resources available. Just check that the provider is trained to provide exercise advice.

  1. Work within your limits – now is not the time to be injuring yourself and putting pressure on our healthcare system. 
  2. If you belong to a gym check out if they are providing access to online workouts.
  3. And now might be the time that the long forgotten purchase of that exercise bike, treadmill or rowing machine really comes in to its own.
  4. Remember exercise can be in small amounts throughout the day if you are trying to work from home while looking after kids.

  • Keep active and include the whole family by having a family dance off. Each day a different person can pick the music.
  • If you have a backyard, bounce on the trampoline if you have one or organise a game of football or rugby for your family.
  • Go out for a walk on your local streets and keep your distance from others if you are concerned about COVID. Bring the kids – they can ride their bikes or scooters while you run or walk.
  • If you have a gaming console, use any exergames installed.
  • If you're in an apartment and have a balcony, try doing a workout with neighbours on their balconies.
  • If you have a garden, now's the time to catch up on all your gardening jobs.

Make use of what you have at home: tins of food can be weights, you can do exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, or use the wall or chairs to help. See the World Health Organization's(external link) suggestions. 

The UK's National Health Service has lots of free workout videos for beginner and intermediate level on their website including:

  • aerobics
  • dancing
  • belly dancing
  • Pilates
  • yoga
  • strength and resistance workouts, including workouts for people with back pain, knee problems, scoliosis, osteoporosis and MA and fibromyalgia.

Find them at NHS Fitness Studio(external link) (There is a link to join InstructorLive, who provided the videos, but the individual videos on the NHS page are free.)

New Zealand group BBM Motivation was started to help Māori and Pasifika people live healthier lives and set an example for their family/whānau and friends. They have live-streamed video workouts for you to do anywhere, anytime, including from your home. See the workouts on their Facebook page.(external link)

There are so many fitness and exercise apps that the Healthify He Puna Waiora, NZ App Library team has not been able to review them all. But they have identified independent organisations that have reviewed the following apps, as well as other resources that may be helpful.  



Healthy living apps(external link)

(VicHealth, Australia)

This website has reviewed more than 250 physical activity and sport apps. To find an app that suits you, you can search for apps by device, age group and pricing.


Exercise apps(external link)

(My Health Apps, UK)

This website has reviews of physical activity and sport apps. 


Health and Fitness app reviews(external link)

(Common Sense Media, US)

This website has reviews of health and fitness apps for children.  


National Institute On Aging(external link)  (US)

This website has:

SuperHealth project(external link) (US)

This organisation is currently evaluating a home-based exercise training system for people with a mobility disability. 

  • Have a routine so that you do something at a similar time each day.
  • Vary what you do to reduce boredom.
  • Set a goal to walk a distance or do a certain level of workout.
  • Include activities that stretch your body, build your strength and are aerobic, such as walking, running or cycling.
  • Keep a log of what you've done and challenge yourself to do a bit more each day.
  • Do it with the other people in your household – make it a game for small children or a even a competition with older ones and adults.

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Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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