Our TVs are negatively impacting our lives in more ways than one. There is a strong correlation between being overweight and the amount of time that you spend watching TV every day. Being a couch potato not only allows you to gain weight, but it also affects several other aspects of your well-being. How often do you find yourself sitting in front of the TV and snacking on some candy or potato chips? The combination of sitting or lying down for a long period of time while eating unhealthy foods can have serious repercussions not only on your weight, but also on your health.
A simple solution to this problem would be to simply turn off your TV and hit the gym. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t have the time to go to the gym after a long day at work, and just want to relax in front of the TV for a few hours. While this activity may be beneficial for your mental health, it will wreak havoc on your general health and appearance. Another solution is to watch less TV, but we all know how addicting TV can be. Hundreds of TV channels are one button press away, and they all do their best to keep you watching. So, if giving up on watching your favorite shows is out of the question, there is one more solution remaining.
A third solution to not get out of shape because of your TV is to make a compromise: tone up while watching TV. The good news is that most exercises can be done while watching TV and you don’t even need any fancy equipment for most of them. If your goal is to simply stay in shape, tone up, and be healthier, all you need to do is exercise (Read: 8 Ways to Burn Belly Fat From the Comfort of Your Home).
If you don’t have the time to go to a gym, or ad an exercise routine to your daily schedule, you can combine watching TV with doing exercise. Of course, if your goal is to put on muscle, you will need a bunch of equipment, which may not fit in the same room as your TV. You could set up a TV in your home gym, but watching TV while handling heavy weights is extremely dangerous and can have serious consequences. Here are eight ways to exercise while watching TV.
Move Your Exercise Equipment in Front of the TV
If you are already doing exercises daily, but want to watch TV at the same time, simply move your exercise equipment in the same room as the TV, or the other way around. Now you can keep doing your daily exercise routine, while watching TV. Keep in mind that there are certain exercises that require focus and attention, so it is not recommended to do these exercises while paying attention to the TV screen. Not paying attention to exercises like the bench press, for example, can not only result in pain and time off from exercising, but can also put your life in danger. If your exercise routine consists mostly of bodyweight exercises, you can do most of them safely while watching TV.
Do Your Exercises During Commercials
A simple way to work out while watching TV is to do your exercises when commercials come on. Normally, an hour long TV program contains around 20 minutes of commercials, giving you enough time to do your exercises without missing a minute of what you are watching. You can even superset your exercises based on what commercial is playing. For example, food commercial comes on, you can do squats, car commercial, do jumping jacks, beauty ad, do some crunches. By the time the commercials are over, you will certainly be in need of some rest.
Walk While Watching TV
If you have treadmill, you can set it up in front of your TV and just walk for as long as you want to. Walking won’t make you as tired as running, but it will still burn plenty of calories and you can do it for a longer time. Once you do it a few times, you won’t even realize that you are walking anymore, and just pay attention to what’s on TV, while burning calories.
Test Your Endurance During a Commercial or TV Show
You can start doing push-ups, squats or crunches during a commercial or TV show, while trying to beat your own record every time. A commercial typically lasts for 30 seconds, so it’s perfect for those who are just starting out. If you have been doing these exercises for a while, try to see how many push-ups, squats or crunches you can do in total during a one hour long TV show.
Use an Exercise Ball
Exercise balls are fairly cheap and you can get them anywhere. Simply sitting on an exercise ball will strengthen your core muscles, allowing you to have a better posture, and get rid of that nasty lower back pain that you probably got from sitting on a desk chair for too long. Sitting on an exercise ball is just one of the things that you can use it for. Exercise balls can also be used to perform several exercises such as leg raises, push-ups, or back stretching.
Use Dumbbells to Work Out Your Arms
Before using dumbbells to work out while watching TV, keep in mind that, depending on how advanced you are, dumbbells can be pretty heavy, so a certain degree of attention is required when performing dumbbell exercises. Using dumbbells for anything other than working out arms will most likely require a bench and you won’t be able to perform those exercises safely while watching TV. However, simple exercises like dumbbell curls or lateral raises can be safely performed without missing your favorite TV show.
Walk in Place
If you can’t afford a treadmill or don’t have enough room in your home for one, you can simply replace walking on a treadmill with walking in place. This exercise might get boring after a while, so you can make it more interesting and demanding by adding ankle weights in the mix.
Use Resistance Bands
A great and cheap way to stay in shape while watching TV is exercising with resistance bands. There are a bunch of exercises that you can do with resistance bands, but you need to be careful when using those, especially if you are using them in your living room. Resistance bands, like exercise balls, are cheap, and come in a large variety of resistances, which means you can gradually increase the tension, as you become more advanced.
As you can see, watching TV doesn’t need to be an activity that has negative effects on your body. Combining watching TV with exercising allows you to use the little free time that you probably have to enjoy your favorite TV programs while staying in shape. Watching TV for hours daily without doing any exercise will result in unwanted weight gain and other health issues. Exercising can become boring and you may be tempted to give up. Doing both at the same time will keep you healthy and entertained, and allow you to make better use of your time.