Stay Active with These Exercise Ideas
Melanie Ng

Stay Active with These Exercise Ideas

As the seasons change, maintaining a good exercise routine is hard. The weather is coolerThe sun sets earlier. And with the whole family home, it can be harder to sneak away for a full workout. 

Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy heart, build strength and balance, and improve flexibility. [1] Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week 

Moderate-intensity activities include: 

  • Bike riding 
  • Speed walking 
  • Swimming laps 
  • Yard work and home repair 
  • Exercise classes 

Exercise can be spread out during the day. Even a few minutes of physical activity at a time can be beneficial! [2] We rounded up our best tips for fitting in physical activity this winter. Time to lace up those shoes or roll out a mat—things are about to heat up 

1. Find indoor versions of your favorite outdoor exercises 

If you like running, try searching for indoor workout videos that include the words “aerobic” or “high intensity” to get your heart rate up!  

Aerobic exercise not your speed? Follow along to workouts that focus on “strength. Yoga may also help you center yourself during this hectic time of the year. 

Girl with dark curly hair and blue leggings holds onto the back of a white chair in her living room and looks at a tablet screen to follow a workout

2. Use household items in place of gym weights

You might just find the perfect weights for an indoor workout in the pantry or laundry roomFor homemade weights, try using: 

  • Water bottles 
  • Canned food 
  • Laundry detergent  
  • And even heavy books 

Hold an item in each hand or put a few cans in a bag with handles for a heavier load. When using weights of any kind, be careful! Do not go beyond your exercise abilities and risk hurting yourself. 

Side by side photos show two 5 liter bottles on the ground between two feet and a yoga mat. Right photo shows girl in black shirt lifting bottle over head.

3. Get the family involved

Bring the whole family on an outdoor walk and play a game of “I-spy”. Prepare a list ahead of time to make it a scavenger hunt! And don’t forget the power of play—sports games in the yard, dance breaks, or chasing after the kids will make exercise fun for all. 

Cleaning and yard work can also count as physical activityBe sure to count these activities towards your exercise goals. Include the family in a cleaning competition where the winner gets to choose a recipe for dinner!  

Mother and daughter sing into cleaning supply bottles while wearing cleaning gloves and aprons

Find inspiration for your next indoor workout in our post on Easy Living Room Exercises! You can also find exercise videos on the Food Talk website here. If you liked this blog, check out last year’s list of 6 Ways to Stay Active: A Holiday Guide. 


Written by Melanie Ng, Ph.D. Student and Leslie C. Davis, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES | Edited by the Nutrition Education Team 


[1] Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 

[2] Short Exercise “Snacks” to Improve Heart Health 

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