Video: Strength exercises using everyday objects

Physical activity doesn't need to be expensive or take up lots of your time. Use things you already have around the house and get active while watching TV or listening to music. Watch our video and try these everyday equivalents to weights, in the comfort of your own home.

It's recommended that we do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, and two sessions of strength training or strengthening activity. This is particularly important for people with heart conditions, as being active can reduce your chances of further heart problems in the future, and it can also help you control your weight, reduce your blood pressure, and improve your mental health, helping you to feel and look great.

Moderate-intensity physical activity will make you feel warmer, breathe harder and make it more difficult to talk, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation – you certainly don’t need to be in pain.

Start with a smaller weight, and try to work your way up to heavier weights. It’s better to do the exercise properly and slowly a few times, rather than exhausting yourself trying to do exercises quickly with heavy weights. 

0.5kg/ 1lb  

Try using a tinned food – such as a tin of beans or soup – or a bottle of balsamic vinegar or salad dressing, in place of a 500g weight.

Unopened cans of food

1kg/ 2lbs

Use a small bag of uncooked rice, weighing 1kg (around 2.2lbs), instead of using a 2lb/1kg weight.

bag of rice

1.5kg/ 3lbs 

Try using a standard bag of apples (about 10 apples) or a large bag of carrots, instead of a 1.5kg (3lb) weight.

Bag of apples


2kgs/ 4lbs 

This is equivalent to two large (910g) bottles of ketchup, which weigh around 2lbs each. Potatoes are also often sold in 2kg bags.

bag of potatos

2.5kg / 5 ½ lbs  

A large bag of onions is often around 2.5kg, or you could use a 2.5kg bag of potatoes 

bag of onions

More useful information