5 Free Indoor Exercises That Will Help You Get Out of Your Head

All you need is the space of your living room.

March 18, 2020 - 3:30 pm EST

I’m used to walking 10,000 steps a day. Before I even get to the office, I’ve clocked at least 2 miles on foot. I live in New York City, where exercise is usually an afterthought because life is made up of being on the go. Now, with most state officials urging Americans to work from home, my step counter blinks at me like a sad puppy wondering why we’re not going on walks anymore. I’m in need of some serious inspiration for free indoor exercises to do, and I know I’m not alone. 

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If I’m going to do something other than walk, I like to workout at home anyway — even in my 650 square foot apartment. There’s something about getting to sweat freely with no one watching and being just inches away from my own shower that truly motivates me to get moving. Here are a few free things you can do now that will help keep your body moving and hopefully get you out of your headspace for a while. The key is to mix it up and try something new.

1.  Yoga

Anyone who’s ever tried working out through YouTube can tell you that there are endless free yoga videos online. Yoga is particularly useful during a work-from-home or quarantine period because it can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and can even change the grey matter in your brain, according to Sharecare, which may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The breathing techniques you learn in yoga are very meditative, and usually are matched to movements. This means your brain has little to no time to focus on anything else besides what you’re doing. 

Think about fitting in yoga where you’d normally fit in your commute to and from work. Dr. Oz does a 7-minute yoga routine every morning that you can start today, no matter what your skill level is.

2. Learn Choreography

A lot of people may find dancing to be totally humiliating in public, but when you’re in the comfort of your own living room, anything goes. Popsugar Fitness routinely uploads new workouts and many of them are 30 minutes or longer. I just tried this choreography routine the other day; I used to dance professionally when I was younger so it was fun to see if I could still pull off the moves. By the end of a dance lesson, your heart will be pumping. 

3. Throw It Back With Jazzercise

Remember the Jazzercise movement of the ‘70s and ‘80s? Or are you a millennial who wants to know how your parents worked out? These Jazzercise videos on YouTube are a serious throwback. 

Jazzercise was founded by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969. The form of exercise promises to this day to help you burn up to 800 calories in an hour by combining dance, strength, and resistance training in one workout. See if you can keep up with these leotard-clad ladies.

4. Low-Impact Cardio

If you’re dealing with painful joints or are just working out for the first time, a great place to start is a low-impact cardio workout. Cardio is good for getting your heart beating faster, which helps protect it by making it stronger. You can search the term “beginner” + any type of workout you’re interested in doing on YouTube to find something that works for you.

5. Walk at Home

Did you know you can walk a mile…in your living room? Leslie Sansone made walking at home famous with her easy to follow videos. This is a great video to send to a friend or older family member who you’re worried about not getting enough exercise.

Hopefully these fun ideas inspired you to get moving. Staying active and eating well are key components of keeping your immune system working at its best, so get moving sooner rather than later.


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Q: I want to get back into exercising, but I need some help. What's the best way to get started?

Everyone has struggled lately with getting enough exercise; a 2021 report from the American Psychological Association found 53% of U.S. adults say they've been less physically active than they wanted to be since the pandemic started. So let's not dwell on what you haven't been doing, and look forward to what you're going to do.

Restarting or starting to exercise doesn't mean you have to walk 5 miles the first day. In fact, that's a formula for defeat — and sore feet. Instead, you want to take time to establish what your goals are and what you can realistically start doing.

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