Exercise: Exercises to Try

Frequently Asked Questions

6. What exercises can I do without leaving my home?

You don’t need to leave the house to be physically active. When the weather is too hot or too cold, or you don’t feel like getting dressed to go out, there are ways you can exercise right in your own home.

You can

  • dance to music on the radio or a CD
  • lift hand weights, soup cans, water bottles, or resistance bands while watching TV
  • do floor exercises like thigh stretches and hip stretches
  • do leg lifts while holding on to a sturdy chair, counter or wall for support (Watch the video to see this exercise performed. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)
  • march in place or walk around the room while talking on the telephone
  • take a few extra trips up and down the steps at home to strengthen your legs and build endurance
  • work out with an exercise DVD. Get “Everyday Exercises,” the free exercise DVD from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). (Click here for ordering information.)
  • while putting your groceries away, strengthen your arms by lifting the milk carton or a 1-pound can a few times
  • walk on the treadmill, ride the stationary bike, or use the rowing machine that’s gathering dust in your bedroom or basement
  • vacuum, mop, sweep, or dust those hard-to-reach areas
  • play ping pong with the grandkids
  • take advantage of small bits of "down time" to do an exercise or two. For example, while you’re waiting for the coffee to brew or for your spouse to get ready to go out, do a few wall push-ups or calf stretches.

To see pictures of exercises you can do in your home, see the chapters on Strength Exercises, Flexibility Exercises and Balance Exercises.