If you feel intimidated by high-intensity workouts or have mobility issues, low impact exercises could be a great place to start. You can do these exercises without equipment or a gym membership, which makes them budget friendly and less time consuming. 

All you need is some comfortable clothes, and you can do these exercises from the comfort of your own home or out and about.

1. Marching on the spot  

  • Warm up with a 30-seconds march on the spot.  
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.  
  • Lift your knees up, one at a time, and as high as comfortable as you march. 
  • Keep your arms swinging naturally by your sides.  
  • You can increase the duration as you build up your stamina.  

Top tip: For a longer workout, put on your favourite song and aim to march for the whole duration of the song. 

WEA gentle exercises calf raise

2. Standing calf raises  

  • Stand behind a chair or countertop for support.  
  • Lift your heels from the floor, so you're standing on the balls of your feet.  
  • Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back to the ground.  
  • Repeat 10-15 times.  
  • Try doing this exercise with one leg at a time as you build your strength and balance.  

Top tip: You can do this exercise while you wait for the bus, wait in a queue or even while you’re brewing a cup of tea!  

WEA gentle exercises seated leg lift

3. Seated leg lifts  

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.  
  • Lift one leg straight out in front of you, hold for a few seconds, then lower it back down.  
  • Repeat on the other leg.  
  • Aim for 10-15 lifts on each leg.  

Top tip: You can do this exercise while you’re working at a desk or while watching TV!  

WEA gentle exercises arm circles

4. Arm circles  

  • Stand or sit with your arms extended straight out to the sides at shoulder height.  
  • Make small circles with your arms, moving them forward. Aim for five circles forwards.  
  • Then, reverse the direction and make circles moving your arms backward. Aim for five circles backwards.  
  • Try bigger circles or more circles as you build up your shoulder mobility and flexibility.  

Top tip: Try this exercise while holding a can or bottle of water to build up strength in your hands, arms and shoulders.  

WEA gentle exercises leg swings

5. Leg swings  

  • Stand next to a chair or countertop for support.   
  • Lift one leg up and swing it gently back and forth, as far as you can without it feeling uncomfortable.  
  • Aim for 10 swings on each leg.  
  • You can try swinging your legs from side-to-side (as if you’re sweeping the floor) to build up more flexibility.  

Top tip: Try this exercise barefoot on the garden lawn to feel closer to nature and get even more balancing practice!  

Remember to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort. Be consistent with these exercises in your daily routine and you’ll gradually see improvement in your overall fitness and wellbeing. 

Looking for a keep fit class or more social interaction while exercising? We have courses on yoga, meditation, stress management and more. Click the button below to check out all of our health and wellbeing courses.

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April Cheung
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About the author

April Cheung

Marketing Officer

April Cheung is a Marketing Officer at the WEA. She specialises in employability and recruitment marketing as well as supporting learner engagement.