Stories And Inspiration

GO FAR for Good Health—7 Ways to Get Active While Watching TV

Submitted by Karen Grossman on Feb 28th 2017 - 7:00AM. | Perma Link

 exercise

 Image via: Pixabay

It’s dark. It’s cold outside. It’s easy this time of year to snuggle under blankets in front of the TV. But prolonged sitting and inactivity isn’t good for you. Physical activity reduces your risk for developing obesity, heart disease, cancers, depression, and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Adults should aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week, and children even more.

Lower your risk for these diseases by finding ways to add more movement to your day. Want to watch TV? No problem. Who says you have to be still to do it?

Put TV time—and commercials—to good use.

• Do simple stretches or yoga during the show. During commercial breaks, ramp up your energy by seeing how many pushups, sit-ups, or knee lifts you can fit into that time frame.

• Jumping rope and walking in place are easy exercises to do while you find out what happened after last week’s cliffhanger.

Tricep dips tone arm muscles without ever technically leaving your couch. Scoot your bottom off the edge of the couch. Bend your legs, feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly lower your upper body so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, and then straighten your arms to lift your body up to the edge of the couch again. Repeat.

• Create a workout circuit to do while you watch TV by doing some of these exercises for 30 seconds or so, resting between if needed: run in place, knee lifts, jumping jacks, tricep dips, lunges, crunches, and pushups. Repeat as time allows. Or use a circuit such as this one from Darebee

• For younger kids, create a fun circuit during commercials that incorporates a bit of I Spy. For example, call out instructions like, “One somersault, three jumping jacks, touch toes four times, and find two round green things.” It’s a race to beat the end of the commercials.

• If you have exercise equipment, bring it in front of your TV. The distraction of a show could liven up your workouts. 

• Identify a catchphrase in your favorite show and do 10 pushups every time a character says it. Think of more fun things that repeat throughout your show and assign an exercise to it.

Take advantage of that drama series. It’s a great way to fit in activity and meet daily guidelines for fitness. Plot twists will distract you from oblique twists.

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