There are some really excellent ways to exercise while watching TV that people often overlook. If you are like me, you find yourself saying you don’t have time for a workout, yet somehow you magically always find time to watch your favorite shows. Since chances are you watch at least one program every day, make this your fitness time as well! No need to try to set time aside for your exercise regimen, just exercise while watching TV!
The average hour long television program is infused with a whopping 22 minutes of commercials, which provide the perfect opportunity to exercise while watching TV! A great way to keep things new and interesting so you don’t get bored with the workouts is to vary the exercise based on the type of commercial playing. It turns it into a bit of a game, plus you have the entire time between commercials to sit, relax and enjoy your show! You can always alter this list, but this will at least get you started.
Car Commercial = Jog in Place
Shopping Commercial = 30 Crunches
Food Commercial = 30 Jumping Jacks
Jewelry Commercial = 20 Squats
Travel Commercial = 10 Leg Lifts Each
Health & Beauty Ad = 20 Hip Raises
Movie Trailer & TV Show Ad = 30 High Knees
Fitness Commercial = You Choose
Walking burns more calories than you would think and it certainly burns more calories than sitting on the couch. If you have a treadmill, position it in front of the TV so you can watch as you walk. It’s surprising how little you’ll pay attention to how long you’ve been walking when you’re focused on your favorite show. If you don’t have a treadmill, just walk or march in place.
Exercise balls are relatively cheap (usually under $20) and super fun to use! Simply sitting on them improves your posture. While you are watching your show, sit upright with your feet planted flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, and when a commercial comes on use the ball for a variety of exercises such as leg lifts, back stretches, and push-ups.
Keep a set of small hand weights next to your couch and use them to tone up your arms while you’re enjoying your program. It won’t give you the best workout in the world but it will definitely firm up those arm muscles for you and who doesn’t love firm, sexy arms? You can start out with light weights and gradually move up to heavier dumbbells if you’re looking to build muscle.
You can buy a mini pedal exerciser in most sport stores as well as on Amazon for $20-50. These are amazing little machines. Instead of an exercise bike, you sit on the edge of your chair or couch and pedal as you watch television. This contraption is especially perfect for small apartments because it takes the large bike that would take up space and crunches it down into the most effective part: the pedals. You can tuck it under your bed or in a closet when you’re not using it. I think I may have to get one of these myself!
Resistance Bands are great tools to help you get in some stretches and gentle exercise while you’re sitting or lying down. Wrap the band around the heel of your foot and straighten your leg out. Lift it up in the air as far as you can and set it back down. Repeat this 10 times, then switch legs. Hold one end in each hand and stretch in opposite directions. You can get a set of resistance bands for a great price and they come in various strengths so you can gradually increase the tension.
Everyone watches different shows, so I’m only going to list one show as an example, but change it up however you would like. Every show has something that the characters do or say repeatedly. Many people make drinking games out of their favorite shows, taking a shot every time Homer says “D'oh!” on The Simpsons, for example. Make a healthy version of this game by doing a different exercise whenever something specific happens during your show.
Example: Law & Order SVU
Cragen yells = 10 Leg Lifts Each Leg
Olivia talks to a child = 20 Jumping Jacks
Dr. Huang interviews a suspect = 20 Sit Ups
The characters drink coffee = 10 Squats
An episode mentions Hudson University = 20 Lunges
Ice-T says "that's messed up" = 30 Second Plank
Someone says, "I want a lawyer" = 10 Toe Touches
Someone mentions Rikers = 10 Dips
A lineup is sho = 20 Push-ups
ADA is on screen = Wall Sit the Entire Time She is Shown
Your couch can be used for any number of exercises. Couch crunches are great for working your abs; sit on the edge of your couch and bring your knees up, holding them in position as long as you can. Set them down and begin again. You don’t have to bring your legs up very far, even a slight elevation will work your muscles, so don’t stress yourself out.
Enjoy your workout while keeping yourself entertained with the shows you love. Another advantage of exercising while you watch TV is that active exercising prevents you from snacking while you lounge on the couch. So along with increasing the amount of exercise you’re getting, you’ll also be decreasing the amount of snack food you eat! How do you exercise while watching TV?
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