How to Exercise at Home: 10 of the best home and garden workout ideas to try in 2021

It’s well documented that consistent exercise is not only good for our physical health, but our mental health too. Not only can it decrease the risk of heart disease, but it can also help to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety. We’ve compiled a list of the best ways to exercise at home, as well as some of the most helpful resources at your disposal.

If you'd like to pick up a new hobby, why not try one of these 14 fun skills to learn from the comfort of your own home? Or, if you're looking for more tips on wellbeing tips, take a look at our guide to how to practice mindfulness at home

1. Exercise video

Exercise video

Online exercise videos give you the opportunity to take part in a short exercise led by a fitness instructor, either in your home or garden. This is an excellent way to get your heart pounding, as it’s free, doesn’t take much time and all you need is a pair of trainers. Consistently following online fitness videos will improve your stamina, strength and balance. Here are some of our favourite online resources:

  • Nike Training Club – Download this free app on your phone and start your home workout routine, led by celebrity athletes such as Serena Williams.
  • The Body Coach TV – Celebrity fitness coach Joe Wicks leads you through a variety of short, intense workouts to follow.
  • FIIT – This interactive fitness app gives you unlimited access to hundreds of specialist classes led by the world’s leading personal trainers, including Pilates, HIIT and strength training.

2. Yoga

Exercise yoga

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that emphasises strength, flexibility and breathing to improve physical and mental wellbeing. There is evidence that regularly practicing yoga can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains, depression and stress. There are many ways to practice yoga from the comfort of your own home or garden, from apps on your phone to online led videos:

  • DoYogaWithMe – Over half of the content on this website is free and offers some tutorials by some of the world’s best yoga instructors.
  • Yoga with Adrienne – Adrienne Mishler is one of YouTube’s most popular yoga instructors, teaching people how to do simple but effective yoga exercises for free.
  • Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion – Written by the experts at the world-renowned Sivananda Yoga Vedanda Centre, this book will be your ultimate yoga companion.

3. Stretch

Exercise stretching

It might seem simple, but regular stretching can offer a variety of physical and mental benefits. Not only can it improve your flexibility, but it can also improve your posture and blood circulation and reduce stress and body aches. Stretching your limbs at the start of each morning could make a huge difference to your wellbeing. Here are some resources that encourage different types of stretching:

  • Self – This wellness magazine has collated a guide to the best stretching exercises.
  • Bowflex – This fitness equipment manufacturer has made a series of videos helping taking you through a thorough stretching session.

4. Skipping

Exercise skipping

Skipping is an exercise most of us remember doing on the playground as a kid. You can skip in your own house, or outside in the garden, and all you need is a skipping rope. Research shows that just a few minutes of skipping each day can improve heart and lung fitness, strengthen bones and improve balance and flexibility. Start at 30 seconds, and as your fitness improves, extend the length of time.

  • Crossrope – Their app is designed to give you a fun and free workout with a weight skipping rope.
  • JumpRopeDudes – This YouTube channel has amassed over 67 million views by teaching viewers how to skip effectively.

5. Gardening

Exercise gardening

If you’re not a big fan of exercising, gardening is a great way of exercising without feeling like your exercising. Not only that, but you’ll end up with lots of delicious produce at the end. Gardening activities such as digging, cutting the grass and weeding require lots of muscular exertion and is a great way to keep active. Here are some resources on how to take your first steps as a gardener:

  • RHS Beginner’s Guide – The Royal Horticultural Society have put together a comprehensive guide for those of us picking up a shovel for the first time.
  • RHS Gardening Podcast – The RHS are at it again, bringing us digestible podcasts on all aspects of gardening
  • Garden Answer – With over 120 million views, Garden Answer is one of the most popular gardening YouTube channels in the world.

6. Dancing

Exercise dancing

Experts suggest that dancing can improve cardiovascular health in departments that other low-impact cardio work-outs don’t. Dancing has been proven to improve endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition, muscular strength, balance, agility, coordination, reactivity and speed. Whether it’s Zumba or salsa, you’ll learn a new skill, keep active and have loads of fun. You can dance on your own, with a partner or in a group. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • PopSugarFitness – This YouTube channel offer fitness tutorials from some of the world’s leading personal trainers. Take a look and try to follow their incredible dance fitness videos.
  • Steezy – This program offers the opportunity to take part in dance classes from the comfort of your own home.

7. Climbing stairs

Exercise climbing stairs

Research shows that climbing stairs burns more calories per minute than jogging. Stair climbing improves bone strength, cardiovascular fitness and weight management. Record how many times you can climb the stairs in 10 minutes and see if you can beat that the following day, and so on. Grab your headphones, listen to music, a podcast or audiobook and climb up and down the stairs.

8. Push-ups/sit ups

Exercise sit ups

For decades, push-ups and sit-ups have been the mainstay for home exercise routines. These two exercises are easy to do, require no equipment and improve your core, body and back strength. Each day, before going to sleep and after waking up, at home or in the garden, do a few push-ups and sit-ups and increase how many you do each day.

  • OneHundredPushUps – This six-week training program trains you to complete 100 consecutive push-ups.

9. Weight training

Exercise weight lifting

Weight training is a great way to burn calories, strengthen muscles, improve bones, increase flexibility and improve heart health. You don’t need to be at the gym to practice weight training, you can do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home or garden. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can use household items as an alternative, such as bags of rice or flour, cartons of milk or jugs of water. Here are some tips on how to do weight training at home:

  • HasFit – This YouTube channel has a loyal following of over 1 million subscribers and teaches users how to practice weight training efficiently.
  • Strong – This innovative app gives you the chance to track your weight training and measure yourself against millions of people around the world.

10. Exercise machine

Exercise machine

If you go to the gym, you’ll most likely find that exercise machines are the most sought-after stations. Therefore, it’s also a very popular choice for home exercise equipment. Exercising regularly on these machines will boost your stamina and cardio capacity, as well as burning calories and improving leg muscles. If you’ve got one of these machines, you’re all set. However, if you haven’t you can get them delivered to your home.

If you’re looking for more things to do whilst on holiday or at home, take a look at our guide to the best travel books to read to inspire your next holiday. If you need some activities to keep the kids busy, read our list of the best outdoor games and activities for children.