How to stay active at home

Exercise is an easy and free way to boost your physical and mental health. There are lots of great ways to workout at home.

Being physically active has many benefits. Regular exercise:

  • helps maintain a healthy weight
  • reduces the risk of serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • is great for your immune system
  • gives you more energy during the day and helps you sleep better at night
  • releases serotonin and endorphins, chemicals in your brain, that are great for your mood
  • can help ease tightness in your shoulders and neck that often come with stress and anxiety
  • gives you a sense of achievement and can add structure or routine to your day. [1]

How much exercise do I need?

Adults should aim to do:

  • at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes (1¼ hours) of vigorous exercise per week
  • muscle strengthening activities on two or more days per week. [2]

Moderate-intensity exercise is equivalent to a brisk walk.

Vigorous exercise is equivalent to a run or fast bike ride.

How do I do that?

Start small: If you’re new to exercise try 10 minutes of walking or yoga a day, then gradually build up. You can also break up longer workouts into shorter 10-minute sessions. You’ll still get the same health benefits.

Take the stairs: Stair climbing is an extremely time-efficient way to maintain fitness and as little as three 20-second fast stair climbs a day can improve fitness in just six weeks.

Maintain strength: Home-based strength exercises that use your own body weight such as push ups, sit ups and planks are as important for health as aerobic exercise. Try doing 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each exercise. Rest for 2-3 minutes in between each set.

Reps (or repetitions) refer to the number of times you complete a specific exercise.

Sets refer to how many times you will complete those reps during your workout.

Dance the blues away: Dancing is a great way to protect heart health and maintain fitness. It also releases endorphins to help you feel better. [3]  

Take your workout online: Checkout the other Healthy at Home physical activity resources for videos and information to keep you physically active.

Get outdoors: Walking, cycling and running can be altered to suit your pace and fitness levels and can be enjoyed on your own or with a friend or family member.


[1] Better Health Channel. (2019) Physical activity – it’s important (accessed on 7 May 2020)

[2] Department of Health. (2019) Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines and the Australian 24-hour movement guidelines (accessed on 7 May 2020)

[3] Stamatakis, E, Murray, A, Bull, F, Edwards, K. (2020) How to stay fit and active at home during the coronavirus self-isolation (accessed on 7 May 2020)

Page last updated: Tuesday, 1 February 2022