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Keeping fit and healthy at home

Published: 30 April 2020

Active Surrey

Six simple exercises to improve your strength and balance

It's very important to stick to a routine to keep your mind and body healthy whilst at home. One thing to incorporate into your routine is exercise, as it can help improve your mood, sleep and wellbeing. If you can't go outside for a walk because you've been shielded during Coronavirus or you don't have a garden, here are six exercises you can do that will help improve your strength and balance. You can start slowly at your own pace then build up to doing these three times a week. All you need is a chair, wall space and yourself.

Sit to stand

  • Sit up tall near the front of a chair and step your feet hip width apart. Lean forward slightly and stand up slowly. Then step back until your feet touch the chair and slowly lower onto the chair. You can hold onto the wall if needed. Repeat this up to 10 times.

Heel raises

  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart. Hold the back of your chair. Slowly lift your heels while keeping weight over your big toes. Keep your knees slightly bent while lifting your heels up and down. Aim to lift your heels for a slow count of three and lower your heels for a slow count of five. Repeat this up to 10 times.

Toe raises

  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart. Hold onto the back of a chair. Slowly lift the front of your foot, keeping your knees soft. Try not to stick your bottom out. Lower the toes slowly. Aim to lift your toes for a slow count of three and lower your toes for a slow count of five each time. Repeat this up to 10 times.

Heel toe stand

  • Stand tall, hold onto the back of a chair. Place one foot in front of the other so that your feet form a straight line. Look ahead and balance for 10 seconds; removing your hands off the chair if possible. Take your feet back and stand hip width apart. Repeat with the other foot in front, balancing for another 10 seconds.

One leg stand

  • Stand close to your chair and hold onto it. Balance on one leg, keeping that leg straight but knee soft. Stand tall and look ahead. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

Safety tips

  • Use a stable chair or something solid like a worktop for support.
  • Try not to hold your breath and breathe normally throughout. Wear supportive and comfortable clothes.
  • If any exercise causes pains in your joints or muscles stop, check that you are doing it correctly and try again.
  • Feeling muscle soreness the next day is normal. If you experience chest pain, severe shortness of breath or dizziness, stop immediately and call 111 or contact your GP.

For more advice on keeping fit at home you can visit the Active Surrey website. You can also follow Active Surrey on their social media accounts for more helpful tips.

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