Cold weather and busy schedules may make it tough to take advantage of your favorite outdoor activities. That doesn’t mean you need to sit on the couch all day at home. There are plenty of fun indoor activities to keep your mind and body moving and entertained. Check out a few ideas that can help you make the most out of your next day indoors.
Even Small Activities Support A Healthy Mind And Body
Experts recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly. That breaks down to about 30 minutes of activity, five days a week. Maintaining this weekly fitness routine can have many potential health benefits, such as:
- Heart health support
- Support for a healthy weight
- Better sleep
- An enhanced mood and a general sense of well-being1
A Little Movement Is Better Than None
In general, doing something is better than doing nothing. You want to do your best to move more and sit less. Research suggests that adults who do even moderate activity and try to sit less may enjoy a variety of potential health benefits.2
Not All Exercise Happens At The Gym
You don’t need to hit the treadmill or take out the weights to accomplish your daily fitness. There are a wide number of indoor activities that you may not even consider “exercise” that can help you reach your daily 30 minutes of activity. Among them:
- Sweeping/mopping the house
- Gardening outside (or inside)
- Washing the dog
- Moving boxes or furniture
- Cleaning the garage3
The Power Of Mental Stimulation
Your muscles aren’t the only thing that need exercise. Your brain and mental health can benefit greatly from mental stimulation. These activities can help keep your mind engaged:
- Doing a crossword puzzle
- Playing mind games, like chess
- Learning new skills
- Socializing with friends4
Fun Ideas For Your Next Day At Home
As you can see, a healthy lifestyle is not all about training at the gym. You should try to keep your body and mind active even on days inside. The good news is, there are lots of fun indoor games and activities that you can do to stimulate your whole body. Staying active in this way can promote mental and physical well-being. So, try out a few of these healthy and fun indoor activities.
Get That Garden Going
Bad weather doesn’t need to keep you away from the garden. You can get a jumpstart on the planting season by starting some seedlings in small planter boxes in the garage. Or, you can pot some lively indoor plants to spruce up your interior. Studies show that gardening, even inside, can help ease stress and support heart health.5
Crank Up The Oven For Baking
Baking can be a healthy and delicious way to fill time at home. For starters, it keeps you up on your feet and engaged with plenty of little tasks. Some experts even compare the focus required for baking to meditation. This level of mindfulness may help promote happiness and ease stress. And, if that’s not motivation enough, think about the delicious dessert that could emerge from the oven after.6
Note: Enjoy your baking, but just be sure not to overdo it on the sugary treats. Try learning how to bake healthier by incorporating low-sugar alternatives, using unsaturated fats, and trying out healthier flours and flavorings.
Play A Game Of Cards
This is a fun activity that can entertain and keep your brain muscles flexible. Playing cards with other people also promotes healthy socialization. Additionally, the strategization required for most games can help keep your mind sharp and agile. So, break out a deck of cards to play some classic card games like Rummy, Solitaire, or Bridge on your next day at home.7
Do A Puzzle
Puzzles are great to do alone or with the whole family. Unlike competitive games like cards, puzzles promote teamwork and collaboration to foster personal connections. Plus, the focus and challenge of putting the pieces together supports spatial reasoning, brain power, and short-term memory.8
Spring Cleaning… In Winter
Get a jump start on the spring cleaning ritual for a productive activity at home. Sure, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fun indoor activities. But, the more dusting and vacuuming you do when the weather’s bad, the more time you’ll have to spend outside when the sun comes out.
Plus, cleaning the house gets your body moving and can improve the air quality inside by removing dust or animal dandruff.9
Get Some Board Games Down From The Closet
Fight off cabin fever with board games that get the whole gang involved. You can play more involved, challenging games, like Risk and Catan. Or, keep it light and fun with classic games like Connect Four, Checkers, and Monopoly.
Moving all those little game pieces around can have big effects on your mental health. Studies suggest that playing board games helps support brain health and may even support positive behaviors like healthy eating.10
Have A Dance Party At Home
You really can dance like no one is watching when you dance at home. There’s nothing silly about funny indoor activities like dancing. That shimmy and shake can raise your heart rate and support your coordination. Even a five minute waltz counts toward your 30 minutes of daily activity. So, crank up the speakers, and turn your favorite indoor spots into the newest nightclub.11
Do Some Financial Planning
Sure, it may not win an all-time-fun award, but this rainy day activity can help you feel accomplished and stimulate the mind. You can scratch down a spending report on a simple piece of paper. Or, get extra diligent, and prepare a financial planning spreadsheet for the household.
The interaction with basic math can challenge both sides of your brain, meaning you actually use creative juices and problem solving skills to solve simple equations. And, you may even find a few extra dollars stashed away somewhere when you finish.12
Watch Exercise Videos
Of course, there’s no exercise like actual exercise. But you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to get your daily dose of fitness. You can do plenty of exercise right from the comfort of your own home with the help of exercise videos online. There are any number of free videos available to guide your aerobics, yoga, weight training, or pilates in the living room. Following along and partaking in these exercises can help support strength and flexibility.13
A World Of Possibilities Right At Home
Now you have a few creative ideas to help make your next indoor day entertaining and productive. Some may seem like funny indoor activities, but all of these diversions can provide your body and mind with some essential stimulation. Get started with a few of the activities above, then use your imagination to come up with even more amazing ideas. You might be surprised at all the healthy, fun things you find to do the next time you stay inside.
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