There are a lot of reasons you might suddenly find yourself stuck at home. Maybe you're taking care of a sick relative or child, or there's a blizzard or some other natural phenomenon preventing you from going about your normal life. While it is tempting to use this time to do nothing, it is good for your physical and mental health to keep moving. Just because you are stuck indoors does not mean you should spend hours sitting on the couch. There are plenty of ways to stay active without heading to the gym.

Use the Stairs

You already know that one way to fit extra activity into your day is to take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you are stuck in your home and you have stairs, the same thinking applies. Take a few flights a few times a day to get some extra movement in. In addition to climbing the stairs, you can use them for other exercises, including modified push-ups, lunges, and step-ups.

Climbing Stairs Exercise Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images


Make the Most of TV Time

Rather than spending your TV time curled up on the couch, get up and moving. While you watch your favorite television show, try walking or running in place, doing yoga, or lifting free weights. If you are lucky enough to have a treadmill or exercise bike at home, this is a great time to use it.

Exercise Bike TV BananaStock / Getty Images


Get Outside If You Can

If you are about to go outside your home, there are a lot of ways to add even more activity. If heavy snow is keeping you from your normal daily activities, get out and shovel the driveway or build a snowman. If the weather is nice, do yard work. You can mow the lawn, rake the leaves, weed the garden, or just take advantage of chances to walk around.

Weed Garden Outside Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images


Do Simple Exercises

There are a lot of ways to work on your fitness without any equipment at all. You just need some open space and a little motivation. Try jumping jacks, situps, crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, and situps. Or, go for some frog jumps, jumping rope, wall sits, or toes touches.

Jumping Rope Home Workout ArtistGNDphotography / Getty Images


Do Housework

Being stuck at home is the perfect time to get some housework done and one study shows it is an effective way to up your heart rate and step count. In addition to your normal household chores, take this time to wipe down the walls, strip and remake all the beds, vacuum under the furniture, and organize the kitchen cupboards.

Clean Housework Home BakiBG / Getty Images


Add Movement to Everyday Activities

With a little creative thinking, you can turn almost any activity into something active. Try doing wall sits, pacing, or walking up and down the stairs while reading. Do jumping jacks to count when helping kids with math homework, or toss a ball around when chatting with your roommate.

Stand While Reading Alys Tomlinson / Getty Images


Have a Dance Party

If you are stuck in your house with your kids, having a dance party is a great way to get everyone up and moving. Take turns choosing the music, jump around, and go nuts. Not only is this a good way to get your heart pumping, but it is also a lot of fun, banishes boredom, and improves your mental health.

Living Room Dance Party FG Trade / Getty Images


Play with Pets

Playing with pets is a fun way for you and your furry friends to stay active. If you can still get outside, take your dog for a walk around the block or play a long game of fetch in the backyard. When you get back, give the dog a bath — usually a strenuous endeavor! If you have a cat, lead it around the house with a toy on a wand or string.

Play Pets Cat Dog MEDITERRANEAN / Getty Images


Drop the Devices and Tools

Stop using any labor-saving devices. If you are baking, use a whisk or spoon instead of a hand mixer. Instead of relying on the remote control, leave it on the top of the television, so you have to get up and walk across the room to change the channel. When cleaning, skip the mop; get down and hand scrub the floor.

Hand Scrub Floor didesign021 / Getty Images


DVDs and Online Fitness

If you have a collection of exercise DVDs, now is the time to put them to use. There are also a lot of virtual fitness courses available. Match your movements with an online video, or enroll in one of the countless virtual courses that allow you to socialize while you workout.

Online Fitness Class Nomad / Getty Images


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