Exercising at home

For many people your home will be the place that you feel most comfortable and confident. It is therefore a great place to start exercising and you don’t need lots of expensive equipment to do it.

There are a lot of exercises that you can do that just use your own body weight, or you can add to the resistance with a few pieces of cheap equipment like dumbbells, gym balls and resistance bands, which can be purchased from popular shops like Argos, Amazon or even from some high street supermarkets.

You can also add a small amount of resistance using some everyday items. Unopened tins of food or an empty plastic bottle filled with water (1litre = 1kg) are great for that first step into weight training and a sturdy dining chair can be used to position yourself for different exercises.

Games consoles like the Nintendo Wii and Playstation Move have also become popular in recent years, offering fun games as well as more serious exercise routines which can be done in your own living room and which can even offer guidance on technique, challenges to complete and provide information on the amount of calories burnt.

There are also a number of websites offering information on different types of exercise and stretching routines, including Netfit and the NHS.

If you are going to exercise at home, make sure that you have a safe environment to do so. Give yourself plenty of space to move, make sure you have plenty of grip on the floor and do not undertake any exercise if you are in pain or feeling unwell. If you feel faint, dizzy or unwell while exercising, stop immediately.

Hints and tips

  • Start off gently and work within your comfort zone.
  • Increase your effort gradually.
  • Keep your breathing regular; don’t hold your breath.
  • Focus on technique, not speed.

For more information and example exercises, download the full guide (PDF).