Active Seniors

How to make aerobic exercise at home effective

With many people not feeling comfortable enough to go outside for a walk, there are many other aerobic exercise solutions that you can do within the comfort of your own home. In this article, we will discuss how you should aim to structure your aerobic exercise at home to get the same benefit as walking for your cardiovascular system.

Search for options

While it is easy to go for a long walk and accumulate continuous minutes of low to moderate aerobic exercise, this is harder to achieve at home. The good news is that research shows that exercising at a slightly high intensity (moderate) in shorter intervals can have the same overall benefit. The first thing you need to do is find some exercise options. You can look at our website, YouTube and Facebook pages for some inspiration however some common examples with little to no equipment might be some high knee marching, air punching and step ups. 

Find your pace

Once you have selected each type of exercise, find out how long it takes for each exercise to start to increase your puffing. This is usually a bit different for each exercise. For example, you might be puffed after 30 seconds of high knee marching, and only 15 seconds of air punching. The speed at which you perform the movements will also have a large impact on how out of breath you will be. The faster you perform an exercise, the faster you will become fatigued. Try to find a pace that allows you to perform between 20-30 seconds of continuous work before needing a break.

Make sure you rest

Intervals are performed by having a “work” period and a “rest” period. To start with, try to make the rest period the same as the work period. For example, each 30 seconds of continuous step ups is followed by a 30 second rest period, before repeating the cycle again. As you start to find that you are getting fitter, start to increase your work period relative to your rest period. For example, try 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest.


The number of cycles you perform, will be dependant on your current level of fitness. If you are able to comfortably walk for 15-20 mins, aim to start with 8-10 minutes of work and rest intervals. If you are capable of walking 40+ minutes continuously, aim for 20-25 minutes of intervals. Once you reach 25 minutes of intervals, it is better to vary the intensity of the intervals rather than increase the time that you spend performing them. This can be done by reducing the rest periods and increasing the work periods, or by increasing the difficulty of the exercise you are performing. For example, a step up can be progressed to a step up with a knee raise at the top of the movement for increased demand.

As with all exercises, it is important to build up slowly and progressively. If you can only perform 5 minutes of intervals, then start with that. Try this a few times throughout the week before trying to do 1 extra interval the week after, and continue to build up your overall time gradually in the same way. You should aim to perform aerobic exercises more frequently than strengthening exercises. If you previously walked daily, there is no reason why you cannot perform an aerobic exercise program inside every day. If have a set of home based strengthening exercises, it is a good idea to perform the sessions on alternate days.

If you need any further information about how to structure a online home exercise program, please get in contact with us to discuss our online home exercise program options and our virtual consultations with our staff.

Scroll to Top