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12 Light Physical Activities You Can Do at Home

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Light physical activities are less intense than vigorous exercises or workouts. To simply know the intensity of the physical activity, it is moderate if you can still sing. It is vigorous if you can talk, but you cannot carry a conversation. Some light physical activities you can do are walking, dancing, doing household chores, lightweight training, yoga, and pilates. These are perfect alternatives for rigorous exercises that consume time and energy. 

12 Examples of Light Physical Activities You Can Do at Home

Research shows that replacing 30 minutes of sitting with moderate physical activities can reduce the risk of premature death among less active adults. 

Likewise, performing these activities consistently allows you to manage your weight well. But of course, despite their moderate nature, consult your doctor and get the right weight loss and fitness tests first to guarantee the success of your goal. 

Here are the following light physical activities you can do at home:

1. Doing Household Chores

Household chores such as cleaning, washing the dishes, folding the laundry, putting away groceries, dusting, ironing, and gardening can be too taxing. But physical activities like these can contribute to our overall well-being. 

For instance, vacuuming can burn 100-200 calories in an hour. Likewise, doing the laundry can help you burn 50-100 calories. 

2.  Couch Potato Workout

As the name suggests, a couch potato workout is something you can do on your couch. This light physical activity at home is an excellent health-related fitness exercise. Plus, you don’t need to get some equipment to do this exercise.

You can do the sitting-to-standing exercise repeatedly. Or you can try tricep dips by following these steps: 

  • Step 1: Scooch forward
  • Step 2: Put your hands backward on the edge of the couch. 
  • Step 3: Lower your body
  • Step 4: Lift again using your arms without your butt touching the floor.

3. Walking

Walking is a light physical and everyday activity. Since it is common, we do not recognize its benefits for our bodies. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America said that a ten-minute walk could be equivalent to a 45-minute workout to relieve symptoms of anxiety. 

In addition, according to the American Psychological Association, walking can stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. Physical exercise plays a significant role in cognitive functions and against cognitive decline. Plus, walking is cost free, and it is suitable for people who don’t have the time for a weekly visit to the gym.

4. Plank

Plank looks like an easy exercise, but its benefits target multiple muscle groups. Plus, you can choose from its variations depending on the difficulty level you can tolerate. For example, you can try a plank with knees bent on the floor instead of straightened legs. If it’s too easy for you, you can try challenging poses.

In an article published in the Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science, plank effectively strengthens core muscles since muscle activity is related to the exercise posture. Furthermore, core muscles stabilize the spinal column, align the body, and enhance performance when extremities move. 

5. Yoga

If you are looking for a light physical activity that you can do at home, yoga is a recommended exercise because of its therapeutic benefits. Yoga involves gentle stretching, balancing, and calm breathing. Plus, you only need to have a yoga mat or any soft cloth that you can use on the floor. 

A study published in the NCBI journal found that practicing yoga enhances muscular strength and body flexibility. It also promotes and improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, as well as recovery from and treatment of addiction. Moreover, it reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain while improving sleep patterns and enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.  

6. Dancing 

Dancing is not only for entertainment and performing arts. If you do not like the typical exercise, dancing to your favorite music is a fun way to get physically active. On average, dancing can burn 200 to 500 calories during an hour, but it also depends on the intensity. 

According to research, the benefits of dancing include increased flexibility, better muscle strength and tone, enhanced endurance, balance and spatial awareness, and a general feeling of well-being. 

For example, side-to-side movements can help strengthen the weight-bearing bones like the femur, tibia, and fibula. Other dance steps, like hip drips, circles, or shimmies, can tone muscles and improve posture preventing lower back problems.

7. Pilates

You can do pilates by yourself at home and watch video tutorials online. All you need is a yoga mat or towel. On the other hand, you can also find an instructor to guide you correctly. 

Pilates is a holistic exercise to elongate, strengthen, and restore body balance with a mix of western and eastern styles of body exercise. 

Moreover, research shows several health benefits of practicing pilates, such as improved posture, flexibility, circulation, balance, lower blood pressure, back pain, joint mobility, boosted spinal strength and health, and lower stress levels.

8. Hula Hooping

Just like aerobic activities, hula hooping provides good aerobic exercise. Suppose you try weighted hula hoops rather than using the regular ones. This will give your abdominal muscles more resistance. Also, you have to consider the size size that fits you.

For the health benefits, a study concluded that practicing with weighted hula hoops can decrease abdominal fat and increase trunk muscle mass in overweight subjects.

Light Exercises and Workout

Aside from light physical activities that you can do anytime, anywhere, go with some of the most basic workout routines. These moderate and highly tolerable exercises and 

9. Squats and Lunges

If you want to develop lower-body strength, then squats and lunges are your best choices. These positions are multiple-joint exercises and could make you breathe heavily after doing a few sets. 

Moreover, a study on balance and lower limb muscle activation between in-line and traditional lunge exercises show that split squat and lunge are exercises that increase hip and knee extensor muscle strength. 

10. Side-lying Hip Abduction

You can do side-lying hip abduction if you want to strengthen your hip muscles without intense exercise. This position is so easy. It is best if you do this on a flat, stable surface.

  • Step 1: Lie on your side with your leg both straight. One foot should be resting on the ground and the other on top of it. 
  • Step 2: Lift and lower your leg up and down while maintaining your body position. Make sure your hips don’t open up and keep your body straight.
  • Step 3: Repeat this movement for your desired number of reps on each side of your body.

11. Superman 

If you want to work on your lower back and the whole backside of your body, try the superman exercise. Remember that the accuracy of the posture is the key and not the speed.

To do Superman, you need to:

  • Step 1: Lie on your stomach while your arms and legs are extended.
  • Step 2: Keep your neck neutral as it is the extension of your spine.
  • Step 3: Allow your core and back body to raise your arms and legs up and off the ground as high as possible. 
  • Step 4: Take a one-second pause and slowly lower the arms and legs to the start position. 

12. 20-minute Light Dumbbell Workout

A review published in the Strength And Conditioning Research journal showed that you could gain muscle mass even if you lift light weights.

If you want to work your biceps, triceps, and shoulders, perform a 20-minute lightweight dumbbell workout. You only need 45 seconds to complete each exercise in 15 to 20 reps. Also, you can take a break for 15 seconds in between and repeat for five rounds. 

Here are two sample workouts you can do:

Triceps Kickback

  • Step 1: Stand hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Step 2: Hinge your hips back and do a flat back position. Your body should be parallel to the ground.
  • Step 3: Form a 90-degree angle by bringing your arms to your sides and your elbows on your rib cage.
  • Step 4: Straighten your arms back without moving your shoulders while squeezing your triceps.
  • Step 5: Come back to the starting position and repeat. 

Uppercut Pulse

  • Step 1: Stand with hip-width apart and h
  • Step 2: Lift your arms to 90-degree angles. Your upper arms should be parallel to the ground, and the weight should be at eye level.
  • Step 3: Pulse your arms up and down, your hands above and below your head.

Bottomline

Whenever we are too busy, we forget to take care of our health. Unfortunately, we are more likely to develop heart diseases, diabetes, depression, anxiety, or premature death if we do not take action against a sedentary lifestyle.

You don’t have to spend a day at the gym and work out rigorously. Just perform light physical activities for a short time within your day. Make it a daily habit, and you get yourself a ticket out of inactivity, increasing your protection against metabolic disorders. 

Medically Approved By Dr. Edward Salko, MD

Dr. Edward Salko is the board-certified physician who reviews lab tests provided by PERSONALABS™. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and pre-med from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his Doctor of Osteopathy Medicine in 1980 from Kansas City University School of Medicine.

Dr. Salko’s career has specialized in family and emergency medicine. His passion is to provide clients with the tools they need in the most convenient way possible to allow them to take charge of their own healthcare. He has held a variety of positions in Kansas, Florida and Washington. Currently, in addition to his duties as Medical Director for Personalabs, he is a practicing emergency physician in Kennewick, Washington.

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