Easy ways to get fit at home

Susannah Hickling / 01 January 2016

Staying in shape as you get older benefits your strength, stability and general health. Try these tips to get fit in your home with minimal effort.



Keep fit in the kitchen

1. Swap your electric mixer for a wooden spoon and scrub floors on all fours once a week to improve arm strength.

2. Arthritic hands and wrists? Doing the dishes yourself – instead of relying on the dishwasher - will improve flexibility.

3. Strong calf muscles help support the arches of the foot and improve mobility. When you’re having a quick breather between kitchen chores, stand at arm’s length from a worktop, place both hands on it, then stretch one foot out behind you about 12 inches and place your heel on the floor. Count to ten and repeat three times, then do the same with the other leg.

Related: 10 ways to exercise more without even noticing

Keep fit in front of the TV 

1. Stand up ten times when the advertisements come on but don’t use the arms of the chair. This will strengthen hip and thigh muscles and ensure you can get up off the sofa with ease as you age.

2. For upper-limb strength, keep a little 1-2kg weight beside the channel changer.

Related: Read our home muscle-strengthening tips

Keep fit in the bathroom

1. Want to avoid falls? Improve balance by standing on one leg when you cleaning your teeth.

2. Vary that with another exercise to build your calf muscles. Place feet flat on the floor, rise onto the balls of your feet, hold for two seconds and come back down again. Repeat at least 20 times.

Related: Read our falls guide to find out more about preventing falls

Exercising when you’re online 

Use the computer to help you boost fitness. Buy a wobble board to aid your balance and resistance bands for stronger muscles – and then check out YouTube to find out how to use them.

Youtube is also a great source of free tutorials on the likes of tai chi, pilates and yoga (excellent for strength, suppleness and balance), and the Alexander technique (for a stronger spine).

Want to get breathless and increase stamina? Find a website that teaches you how to line dance. And for a ten-minute all-round workout, go to the NHS Choices website.

Related: The best health and fitness apps

Find out more about staying fit as you get older

To read our article on how you can get as fit – or fitter – than your age in your 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, see the January issue of the Saga Magazine.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.