Not a fan of going to the gym?
There are plenty of fun indoor exercises and games that you can do from the comfort of your home. These are fun little activities that don’t even feel like exercise, they’re just fun games to play with yourself.
These are the 7 exercises we will cover:
- You Cruise, You Lose!
- The Pop Star
- VR Gaming
- Start a New Active Hobby
- Get Out of the House
Additionally, I’ll be including 5 more fun active games that you can play with your kids.
I’ve specifically chosen for some fun ways to exercise, rather than most of the traditional ways you often see. The reason is that if you dislike what you’re doing, you won’t stick with it!
You might not enjoy every item on this list, but if you only find 1 that you truly enjoy doing, you will be able to stick to that one, make it a habit and reach your fitness or weight loss goals!
Before we go into the list, here’s the 1 thing I want you to take away:
Move all throughout your day!
Exercise All Day Long Without Realizing it!
I’m actually doing this as I’m typing this article.
Many people sit at their desks like some kind of living, breathing statue!
You don’t want to do that.
Some of the exercises you’ll be reading about can be done while you work or do other things throughout the day. They literally take no extra time to do, since you do them at the same time.
They are what we call fidgeting.
Think of small little actions like walking around while brushing your teeth, tapping your foot to the music, moving along with it in your chair, doing leg raises as you watch TV, etc.
If I had to describe this weight loss hack in 1 word it would be NEAT!
It’s an acronym:
It stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and it means the calories we burn by doing things like brushing our teeth, making breakfast, cleaning the house and yes, fidgeting.
And the cool part about this?
Fidgeting and other NEAT activities can burn as much as 350 calories a day!
Even though the actions are small, if you’re doing them consistently throughout the day they add up to a lot. And can actually amount to some significant weight loss!
If you’re maintaining roughly the same weight, that means that on average your intake of calories is the same as what you use up.
In that case, just burning
A lot of these fun indoor exercises and games will be based on the idea of fidgeting. If you could see me work throughout my days (even as I write this) you’d be laughing your ass off!
I’m constantly moving around in my chair, singing along with music, tapping my foot and things like that. Literally all the time, that’s the challenge I created for myself.
And that’s our first game!
You Cruise, You Lose!
The game that turns fidgeting into an amazingly healthy habit!
The rules are simple.
The game starts the moment you begin with a routine activity. It could be all sorts of things, like working on your computer, reading a book, watching television, etc.
Pretty much any activity where you aren’t already moving around.
I’d recommend putting on some music to make this quite a bit easier.
Once the game starts, I want you to start doing whatever movement comes into your mind, don’t question it, just move! It could be tapping your foot, moving your head, shifting your position to the beat, lib synching the lyrics (or just singing along), and things like that.
It doesn’t matter what it is!
Now, whenever you realize you have not been moving around for more than 1 minute, just cruising along with whatever task you’re doing, then you lost the game!
To give the game more meaning, I’d recommend setting a sort of punishment task for yourself whenever you fail.
This task should be something you dislike, but that is actually good for you. An example would be doing 10 push-ups (that’s mine) or something like that.
You win either way!
Why you should play this game!
This is the perfect fun exercise to do at home (or at the office).
In that case, get your coworkers involved, explain them the benefits and turn it into a competition. You’ll keep each other accountable for their health and you can have the loser get you your coffee for you! 😉
Try it out for a day, and you’ll just feel yourself burning calories at some point while you’re doing this!
Turn your breaks into a live concert!
If you’ve been following The Unchained Life for a while, you know I’m a big fan of the 5×50 framework.
If not, you can watch my free training on it here.
Without going into too much detail here, part of the framework is to work in 50 minute blocks to keep your focus. After each of these blocks, you need to get up and take a short break.
So, why not try the Pop Star Break?
This game is so incredibly simple: Just put on one of your favorite songs (Disney anyone?) and pretend that you’re the artist performing the song. Sing, dance, hype up the “crowd”. Make it as dramatic and spectacular as you can!
Bonus points for acting out the video clip.
If you want to do this in an office setting rather than at home, just rotate. 1 person (or more depending on the song) will be the pop star and the others will be the audience dancing and cheering along!
Let’s bring some joy back into the office!
Why it’s a great exercise:
Many of us have had the dream of being a pop star. This exercise plays right into that dream. If you ask me, it’s incredibly important to keep your childlike enthusiasm and curiosity.
It helps keep you young and vital, both physically and mentally.
This is my most prevalent form of exercise!
At the start of this year I bought myself an Oculus Quest and it’s been one of my best purchases ever! VR gaming isn’t just fun, it’s also a great way to stay in shape!
I’ve tried the gym, and I’ve tried things like running and bodyweight exercises.
I quit all of those.
For me, they didn’t really work because I felt miserable having to do them consistently. Yes, they’re great forms of exercise, but if it’s not fun to do it, it’s difficult to keep going with it.
And so, I bought my own VR headset.
The difference has been incredible for me!
While I have never been been able to stick to a fitness routine for more than a few weeks, I have no problem playing Beat Saber for 2 hours per day, every day for months and months in a row!
I would currently recommend the Quest 2, it’s wireless and the best bang for your buck right now.
Recommended VR Games
Here are some of the games I would recommend:
Because who doesn’t want to be a Jedi?
As you can see from the video, this is a pretty good workout.
After 1.5-2 hours of playing I’m pretty much exhausted.
It’s harder than she makes it look, but you can probably learn how to play a song like that in a couple of weeks or months.
Another great rhythm game!
The idea is pretty similar to Beat Saber:
Make sure you hit as many of the notes as possible and once you have the hang of it, try to do so as rhythmically as possible, so that it basically becomes a dance in VR!
Creed: Rise to Glory
Is music not really your thing?
What about boxing?
In Creed: Rise to Glory you’ll get that experience of standing in the ring and fighting your boxing matches in VR. Get all of the exercise, with the broken noses and injuries!
As you can see, it’s a pretty intense experience, even for a professional boxer.
Other VR Games
These would be my top 3, but of course there are plenty of other games that you can try. If you do decide to get yourself a VR headset, you can always check out the store and find something you like.
With pretty much any VR game you’ll be moving your body, so it will work.
Now this one comes closer to actual exercise than the rest of the list.
Still, I’d say yoga is a pretty good alternative to things like weightlifting, bodyweight training, running or going to the gym. I think it’s different enough from most of the “regular” exercises.
So, why yoga?
One of the reasons I’d say yoga might be worthwhile for you is because it doesn’t just focus on the body, but the mind as well. Which I’d say is at least as important.
One of the reasons I recently started along with the mental aspect of it, is because yoga and the calming of your mind can help with sleeping better.
I’m by no means an expert in yoga.
So instead of me teaching you how to do this, I’d recommend going to YouTube or Google and find a basic yoga routine there.
This is the one I did as my first yoga session.
Note that this is coming from someone with pretty much no feeling for rhythm at all.
I still like this fun little exercise though!
Just to be clear, you do not have to be good at dancing, have a great feeling for the rhythm or anything like that. It doesn’t hurt of course, but it’s not needed at all!
When I say dance, there are 2 ways you can do it:
- Look on YouTube for a tutorial for a certain dance or song and practice it until you can do it yourself. This means thorough practice to get it right, especially as an amateur.
- Number 2 is what I do. Whenever I take breaks, or just at some random moments, I just “dance”. It’s mostly me flailing my arms around and jumping to some music.
But that still counts, it’s getting into motion that matters!
Dance your heart out like nobody is watching!
Start a New Active Hobby
This could be just about anything!
Did you know that playing an instrument is actually some pretty good exercise for you? Especially when you move along with your entire body!
Perhaps that’s something you could try.
Other than that there are many things you could try.
Perhaps you’d really like painting or sculpting, juggling, knitting, creating home decorations or anything you’d like to try!
There is just 1 rule:
It has to be something that doesn’t involve you sitting down in front of the computer, television, or things like that. That’s exactly what we want to avoid with these exercises.
So, what hobby will you try?
Get out of the house!
If all of these fun indoor exercises fail, you can always go outside of course!
Maybe you like to go for a run, and if so, great!
If not you could cycle/walk to the nearby park or forest and simply walk around there for a bit. Get some fresh air, be out there in the nature instead of stuck at home and get that body moving!
Even a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood each day will do you a lot of good!
Just get out of the house for at least some part of your day!
Fun Exercises to Do With Your Kids
These days your kid’s normal sports practice and school’s PE classes might be cancelled due to covid.
So, they need some exercise as well.
So here are a few fun ways where you can combine your own exercise with your child’s. More exercise, fun, and bonding for the 2 (or more) of you!
Tip: These also work with a spouse or girl/boyfriend! Remember that it’s important to maintain at least some of the spirit you had as a child!
2-Sided Scavenger Hunt
Race each other to find the hidden objects first!
Firstly, you and your child (or opponent) decide on what items to hide and how/where the can be hidden.
Think of small household objects, perhaps some toys, a shoe, marbles, etc.
I’d recommend setting up some ground rules. For example not hiding things inside of other things. Unless you’d love endlessly looking for a marble tucked away in a sock or something crafty like that.
While you’re working from home, let your kid go and hide the objects for you to find. Then, when you’re free, it’s your turn to hide things.
On your marks.
You both run off to find the hidden objects and bring them back to the designated spot. Whoever has all of them first, wins!
Why You Should Play This Game
Kids are naturally curious.
This is exactly the kind of game that let’s them use that curiosity to explore things around the house, a place they’re so familiar with that it might get slightly boring normally.
So, this is a fun way for them to regain some of that childlike curiosity for the place.
At the same time, you’re turning it into a competition, and that’s enjoyable for most people, yourself included!
Note: If there are some things in the house, you’d rather not want your children to find by accident, make sure those are stored somewhere where they can’t reach/enter.
Note 2: You might have to do some tidying up after the entire house has been “scavaged”.
Water / Nerf Gun Fights
In the summertime, bring out the water guns!
Depending on where you live, you’ll likely have at some period where the weather is good enough to go out into the garden for a water fight!
But in winter, there’s an alternative!
This is just a small model of a Nerf gun, but they come in all shapes and sizes. They shoot these soft rubber darts, so there is no chance at all of anyone getting hurt.
Just pick your weapon and let the Nerf war begin!
Run around, duck behind cover to dodge flying darts, take aim and shoot! And don’t forget about the exercise of having to walk around to pick up darts to reload (while dodging).
It’s fun for the entire family!
I actually used to play this quite a lot with my nephews when visiting them, and I can tell you that it’s a great deal of fun. Both for your child(ren) as well as for yourself!
Play Some Football or Baseball (or Other Sport)
Or “soccer” as people from the US would call it.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as going out into the yard and kick a ball around. The fresh air and exercise you get alone make this an activity that’s well worth the time.
And there’s the bonding part as well.
The fact that you and your child are outside playing the game together helps with bonding as well.
Piggyback Obstacle Courses
No weights for weight training?
Just put your child on your back!
Depending on their age, kids will most likely enjoy getting a piggyback ride, while it’s a pretty good exercise for you.
Either set out a certain path using the furniture and whatever you have at your disposal as obstacles and turning points, and see how fast you can complete the course.
Or set something up outside of course.
How you set this up depends on your house and the space you have available, but if this is possible to do at your place, it will be a lot of fun for your children!
Note: If you have more children, you can have them race the course against each other. Or you can bring in your partner for a piggyback race as well!
Have fun playing around with this!
As a parent you’re someone a child looks up to.
These kinds of play fights will likely happen anyway at some point.
I remember as a small child starting these occasionally to see if I was strong enough to win. I obviously wasn’t, but hey, I was just a child, how could I know if I didn’t try to win these fights?
You might not have ever seen it as exercise, but it really is.
If you know some self-defense (like boxing) you might upgrade this game into teaching that to your child as they get older. It’s a useful skill for them to learn, and pretty intense exercise too.
And there you have it.
A total of 12 fun indoor exercises and games that you can do right away without needing any equipment or just a few cheap things to get started.
Again, let me reiterate:
If you only take 1 thing from this article, let it be to get into the habit of constantly moving around, even when you’re doing other things! Start doing that fidgeting around!
Those micro movements really add up as far as exercise and weight loss go!
Other than that, give these exercise ideas a go! Figure out which ones you like and work for you specifically and keep on doing those!