7 Exercises for the Housebound ...


7 Exercises for the Housebound ...
7 Exercises for the Housebound ...

Daily exercise is vital for everyone’s general health and wellbeing. Even those who are housebound should engage in gentle exercise. Along with the physical benefits, it also promotes confidence and sound mental health. It is always advisable to check with a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise routine, but here are 7 exercises for the housebound that help maintain strength and energy. These exercises only require short repetitions, but people should never do more than what is comfortable.

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Mild reaches towards the ceiling, front, back, and side work the muscles in the arm and provide a nice stretch. They involve extension of the arms away from the body and into an easy reach. Movements should be slow to avoid straining the back. This exercise can be done standing or in a chair.


Gentle stretching not only boosts circulation but also encourages mobility and can reduce stress. When performing these reaches, imagine a string gently pulling your limbs, eliciting a lengthening sensation throughout your body. Be mindful of your breathing as well; inhale deeply as you reach upwards and exhale as you release the stretch. This methodical breathing will enhance the stretch and bring a sense of relaxation. Remember to listen to your body and only stretch as far as is comfortable, making sure to keep your movements fluid and soft.


Chair Stand

Chair stands require a sturdy chair that is easy to manoeuvre out of. A person begins in sitting position then gradually stands up and sits back down onto the chair. Both hands can be used for added support. This movement helps legs stay toned and improves agility. Long term, it is one of the more effective exercises for the housebound.


The key to success with chair stands is consistency. By setting aside time each day to perform this exercise, you give your muscles the opportunity to strengthen and build endurance. It's suitable for those of different fitness levels, as one can increase the number of repetitions or pace as they progress. For an added challenge, try crossing your arms over your chest or extending them out in front of you to reduce reliance on arm strength. This variation pushes your leg muscles to work harder, further benefiting your mobility and balance. Remember to maintain good posture throughout the activity to maximize its effects.


Toe Rises

Toe rises require a minimal amount of balance. They entail shifting the weight of the body onto the ball of the feet by raising the heels. It is recommended people use the back of a chair for support. This is a great exercise for the housebound that keeps ankles flexible and calves firm.


To perform toe rises effectively, stand tall and ensure that your feet are hip-width apart. As you rise onto the balls of your feet, engage your core for stability and raise your heels smoothly, without jerking movements. Hold the raised position for a few seconds, then gently lower your heels back to the floor. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions each. As you progress, challenge yourself by holding the position longer or by adding light weights to increase resistance. This simple yet potent exercise can also help improve your posture and balance over time.


Arm Curls

Arm curls can be performed sitting or standing. People are encouraged to use a very light weight while doing arm curls. If no weights are available, it is conventional to use a can of soup or bottle of water. Arm curls greatly improve strength within the biceps.


Start with your arms at your sides, holding your item of choice in each hand with palms facing forward. Slowly bend your elbows to lift the weights towards your shoulders, keeping your upper arms stationary. As you raise your arms, breathe out and ensure that only your forearms are moving. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then inhale as you slowly lower your arms to the starting position. Aim for two to three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions each, focusing on form over speed. This exercise is not only good for bicep strength but also promotes better muscle tone and endurance.



Dancing is fun and beneficial. It does not have to be strenuous and can include the simple act of taking small steps to a favourite song. Salsa is a growing dance trend even for those of limited mobility as it only requires a few steps forward and backward. Any type of dance can be performed sitting down or with the support of the back of a chair, making it a fantastic exercise for the housebound.


Wall Push-ups

Wall push-ups strengthen the arms and shoulders. They require a person to face a wall with his or her arms pressed against it. In slow, moderate intervals, the person leans forward towards the wall then pushes the body back. It is not required to touch the wall to complete a push-up.


This exercise is excellent for beginners or those with limited mobility as it provides a lower-intensity workout compared to traditional push-ups. By standing an arm's length away from the wall, extend your arms and place your palms flat against the surface. Ensure your feet are planted firmly on the ground. As you bend your elbows wide to the sides, inhale and allow your nose to come closer to the wall, keeping your body straight. Exhale as you press away, engaging those shoulder and chest muscles. For an effective routine, aim for two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.


Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are a great exercise for the housebound because they promote stability and balance. They are normally done sitting down or standing upright using the back of a chair for support. Leg lifts do not have to be very high and movements should always be small and controlled to avoid strain.

If you are stuck at home yourself or you are a carer for someone who is, hopefully you can build these into a simple routine either weekly or daily. These exercises for the housebound will definitely get that circulation going.

Top Photo Credit: Julija Felajn

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