Staying at home, stuck inside, can be trying on our patience, but it can also be bad for our bodies. Idleness is not a good recipe for physical fitness, so it’s important that we find a way within our own spaces to get some exercise. Luckily, there are tons of moves that can give us a quality cardiovascular work-out that’s good for our entire body.

The other wonderful thing about working out is that it puts us in a better mood (sound mental health) while keeping us physically fit. It also gives us something productive to do besides watch on-demand TV, check “breaking news” and eat another snack. And, if we look on the bright side, we might just figure out we don’t need a gym membership at all anymore, saving us several hundred (or more) dollars a year in the future.


So, move the coffee table to the side for a minute, don some comfy clothes and knock out a work out right in the living room, dining room, bedroom, patio, or even a walk-in closet.

1. Jumping Jacks

Hey, we did them in gym class. They might have seemed silly then, but the fact remains that just a standard set of rotten old jumping jacks can still provide a quality cardio exercise. It uses our entire body and gets the heart rate up. Plus, it’s a good choice for most fitness levels, either something beginners can handle or a less intense part of a cardio cycle for advanced exercisers.

2. Burpees

Many a fitness guru has called burpees serious business in body sculpting, and they require no equipment whatsoever. Here’s how to do them: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat and put your palms on the floor, jump so that your feet shoot back putting you into a push-up position, do a push-up, jump back, spring up, breath, and repeat. It’s simple, but it’s a killer.

3. Toe Taps & Toe Touches

Combining these two toe exercises can help us engage our total body, from toes to nose, and takes little to no space to perform. Start with toe taps, standing with feet shoulder-width apart and alternate feet to tap the toes on a mark in front of us. After tapping ten times on each side, stand with legs rigid, back straight, and touch your toes (or at least reach to do so) ten times.


4. High Knees, Butt Kicks

Running in place can feel a bit dopey, so this is basically a couple of variations that provide a similar effect but with a slightly different motion. For high knees, stand in place and lifting one knee in front of you as high as possible, then the next, alternating for ten reps on each side. For butt kicks, stand in place put lift your heels behind you so that hit your posterior (kicking your own ass, so to speak).

5. Squat Jumps, Box Jumps, Double Long Jumps

These are good workouts for more experienced gym rats. They rely a lot on leg power, but they can quickly get the heart rate up and do use the entire body. Squat jumps involve lacing your hands behind your head, squatting as deep as you can, then firing straight up into a jump. Box jumps involve jumping from the ground atop a box and back down. Double long jumps involve jumping as far as possible in two quick bounds then turning around and jumping back. Combine these into three-cycle sets of ten reps each. Yikes!


6. Stairs

For those with stairs in the house or apartments on the tenth floor, who needs a Stairmaster? Roughly twelve steps equal one flight, and most people burn between five and ten calories per flight. Or, just walk up and down the stairs for a set amount of time. Pump the arms and/or carry weights in your hands for an added benefit. Your heart will be pounding in no time.

7. Speed skater

For those with slippery hardwood floors or tile, this can be a lot of fun. Essentially, the exercise mimics the motion of a speed skater building speed, only you don’t go anywhere. The left foot slides sideways behind the right, reaching well past it, while the left arm swings forward to counter-balance it. Then, fluidly, the position reverses. This starts to feel like a serious work out quickly.


8. Jump rope

Jumping rope, though it does take practice, is an absolutely fantastic full-body workout. The legs are driving and dancing while the arms and upper body are getting countless reps twirling the rope around you. The heart starts thumping, the lungs get pumping and soon enough the sweat starts pouring. Start off aiming for a minute straight, adding up to ten minutes total. Then, go for two minutes a time and twenty minutes in total. After that, you’ll be unstoppable.

Feeling like there’s nothing to do just got snuffed. Within this list, there are exercises that can be done in even the smallest of apartments. And, if you have a patio or largely forgotten dining room, it’s time to start shifting some furniture around to get in some big time cardio. Stay home, get fit.

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