Getting regular exercise is essential for your health. While more than 9 million of us are members of a gym, you don’t have to join your local fitness centre to get fit. There are lots of other ways you include exercise into your daily routine. Have you considered doing exercise at home?
The NHS says that exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
Our guide looks at some easy ways to burn off those unwanted calories:
Get stair climbing
Just walking up and down the stairs in your home can have significant health benefits.
Research from the University of Roehampton published in the Daily Mail found climbing five flights of stairs five times a week – an ascent of around 15 metres – burns an average of 302 calories if the stairs were taken one at a time.
Step Jockey says that you burn about 0.17 calories for every step you climb, so you burn roughly a calorie and a half for every ten upward steps. You also burn calories going down, with every stair descended burning about 0.05 calories, so you burn one calorie for every 20 steps down.
Just 7 minutes of stair climbing a day has been estimated to more than half the risk of a heart attack over ten years.
Turn your household jobs into a fun workout
As Mary Poppins once said: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Even going about your household chores can burn a significant number of calories.
The Independent reports that light cleaning jobs such as dusting or hanging up clothes burn 171 calories in an hour. Adding in some more strenuous cleaning methods like hoovering means you will burn even more.
Sweeping and brushing burns 269 calories an hour, so 30 minutes of sweeping will burn 135 calories – almost as much as a can of coke. Pushing around a lawnmower for an hour burns 376 calories – about enough for a low-calorie pre-packed sandwich.
Most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. The NHS also says that there is some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.
Head online to find a yoga workout that you can do at home. The Evening Standard has suggested a list of nine YouTube workouts to try while apps such as Pocket Yoga and Yoga Studio offer a range of programmes of varying lengths and intensities.
Play a musical instrument
A study conducted by caloriecount.com has found that, on average, an hour of violin playing burns approximately 175 calories. Playing the cello for the same length of time sheds about 140 calories.
Drums and trombone provide the highest musical cardiovascular workout – at around 280 and 245 calories per hour.
Studies have also found that playing an instrument can bring significant improvements in your brain.
Go for a walk
You don’t have to go to the gym to get cardiovascular exercise. Aside from burning calories and improving fitness levels, walking can reduce belly fat and lower your blood pressure.
Live Strong reports that a 130-pound person, walking at a moderate pace – such as walking the dog – will burn 120 to 140 calories per hour. Walking briskly at a pace of 3.5 mph or walking slowly uphill burns 160 to 180 calories per hour.
Fitting a short walk into your day is easy. Walk to the next bus stop, walk to pick your kids up from school or go for a short walk on your lunch break.
There are many different ways to do exercise at home. If you get bored easily, think of different ways you can carry out a form exercise, you could change the location or your routine.