Last Updated on April 5, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
I admit, I am a bit of a couch potato. I bet a lot of people are who read this blog. Even though it may seem that watching television for hours on end is anything but healthy, there is a way to incorporate exercise into your favorite pastime. There is nothing that says you can’t move yourself from the couch throughout your viewing experience. Experts believe that watching TV is making you fat. I believe that it doesn’t have to. How can you get exercise when watching TV?
Ways to Get Exercise When Watching TV
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset about exercise. Don’t view it as being a mundane chore that you dread. You need to focus on it being a way to keep yourself healthy. At times, this can be incredibly difficult. There are going to be days when you don’t want to do anything but veg out on the couch. You need to move those thoughts aside and realize the dangers you face by being sedentary.
Workout While Watching
Currently, I have a basic 30 minute workout that I do while watching Netflix. Instead of sitting at my desk and watching an episode of Voyager or Deep Space 9, I’ll lay out the mat and do my workout while enjoying the show. The point is that you don’t need to be planted in the couch during your TV viewing. The way I figure it, I would have spent that same time sitting in my office chair watching Netflix. Why not add an exercise routine at the same time?
During the commercial breaks, there is nothing wrong with getting up and moving about. Personally, I tend to do some cleaning around the house. It’s all about getting the body moving and increasing your heart rate. If you get up and vigorously clean for the five minutes or so each break, you could actually burn quite a few calories while making the home look amazing. You just need to stay motivated to get up and move about. If your house is spotless, why not move furniture around during the commercials? The point of this exercise is to keep yourself moving during the commercials regardless of what it is.
5 Easy Exercises to Do When Watching TV
There are some easy exercises you could do during the commercial breaks or while watching that don’t require weights or special machines. In fact, just about any kind of cardio workout is ideal. If you commit to commercial exercising, you could easily get between 15 and 20 minutes of exercise per one-hour episode of your favorite show.
Lying Leg Raises
Lying leg raises is one of my favorite exercises for beginning levels of fitness. It’s a simple method of adding strength to your abs over time. During the commercial, lay down on your back on the floor. Lift your feet and point them up to the ceiling as far as you can while keeping your legs straight. Once you put your feet back down to the floor, this is considered one repetition. See how many reps you can do before your television show comes back on. If it’s easier, break them up into 10 repetition sets and take a 30 to 60 second breather in between each.
A plank is another easy to do exercise that strengthens the abs. You do these by going into a push-up position while using your elbows on the floor instead of your hands. Keep your body straight and elevated off the floor for as long as you can. This workout is geared towards duration, not repetitions.
You might not have enough overhead room to do a jumping jack. If you do, it’s nothing to get up on your feet and crack out a few dozen during the commercials. As simple as it may sound, you’d be amazed by how effective jumping jacks can be for adding health to your lifestyle. My record is 50 in a single set, but my legs hurt a bit afterwards.
Doing sit-ups can be a great way to spend your commercial breaks. You may even be able to use the bottom of the couch to keep your feet from lifting up off the ground. Just get down on the floor, place your feet under the couch if possible, keep your knees bent up towards the ceiling and bring your body up to your thighs. If you’re obese like myself, you might not be able to get all the way up. Just go as far as you’re capable. Over time, these will get easier and you’ll be able to go further – as long as you’re determined to succeed and lose weight.
Doing a set of glute bridges during the commercial breaks can help strengthen and firm your butt. This might be incredibly beneficial considering that you’re probably sitting on it a lot. You might as well keep it in good shape. Lay down on the floor on your back. Bring your knees up as if they are pointing to the ceiling. Your feet should be about a foot or so from your butt. Thrust your pelvis up so that your body is forming a straight line with your knees. Bring your butt back to the floor to count this as one repetition.
The primary goal you need to focus on is getting more physical activity while watching television. There is nothing in the rule books that states you need to keep your butt planted in the couch in order to enjoy a show. You don’t have to deprive yourself of digital entertainment if you can incorporate a healthier way to enjoy it. What kinds of exercises do you do while enjoying your favorite TV show?