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11 ways to exercise while watching TV

Last updated on: September 13, 2010 18:24 IST
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Addicted to watching television? Make the most of it to better your health.

There is no question that people want a healthier and better-looking body. But sometimes having a gym membership is just too much money. And adding to that, the lack of time to exercise means it is an utter waste of money. But hanging out on your sofa watching the 'idiot box' doesn't mean you have to be a couch potato.

An average person comes home at the end of the day, eats a meal and turns on the television. When you are watching TV, it is often tempting to reach for a bag of chips or namkeens and this habit is one of the worst possible when it comes to your health. But it doesn't have to be. There are numerous simple yet effective exercises you can perform right in front of the television. Here are a few to get you started:

Spot jogging: The easiest way to get a workout is to start jogging in place. Switch on your favourite show and jog during the commercials. There are usually 15 minutes of commercials in an hour on TV. This means you can end up jogging for about half an hour while watching TV for two hours. To go a little easy, you can even try walking in place.

Dancing: Dancing is the best form of cardio. Listen to your favourite music show and break a move. It is a fun and energetic way to get a workout. You can easily burn 130-150 calories while dancing for just half an hour.

Invest in exercise machines: If you can afford machines like treadmills, rowers, stationary bikes or stair steppers, you can get a great workout by exercising in front of the TV.

Exercise ball: Instead of sitting on a chair, use an exercise ball. It challenges core muscles for a proper workout and you can do all of that while you watch.

Squat: See how many squats you can do during a three or four minute commercial break by sitting down, then popping right back up to a standing position. This is a good exercise for your legs and buttocks. Stand so that your feet are about shoulder-width apart and put your hands on your hips. Keeping your back perfectly straight and looking straight ahead, bend your knees slowly as if you were going to sit back in a chair. Return to the standing position.

Jumping Jacks: Five to 10 minutes a day of a Jumping Jack workout is a great way to get your heart pumping and it also allows you to focus somewhat on watching TV. Jumping Jack (also commonly known as a star jump) is an exercise performed by jumping to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands touching overhead and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides.

Belly exercises: While sitting on the couch or sofa, just stiffen the abs muscles. By doing 20-30 repetitions of this simple exercise, you're strengthening your abdominal muscles.

Step up: Try to simulate the exercise of walking up the stairs using a low platform. This gives your lower body a great workout, while it gets your heart pumping. Just step up with one foot and then the other, then step back down with one foot and then the other. Increase the pace for a higher intensity workout.

Toe exercises: Sit barefoot on the couch and simply lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. Hold for a count of five and repeat. It is a great, simple exercise for your calves. To stretch the thigh muscle, raise the knee of one leg to the chest and hold for a count five. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Push-ups: Commercial breaks during a show are a great opportunity to do push-ups, sit-ups or other exercises that take your eyes from the TV. Push-ups hit the chest, shoulder and tricep areas, building core strength and overall power. If you are a beginner, you can do these against the wall and when you have built enough strength, you can switch to floor push-ups.

Kicks and punches: Add in some random kicks and punches and keep your feet moving at the same time. Sometimes any activity is a good activity.

Cool down and have a glass of water when you are done. You see, watching TV doesn't mean you have to be a couch potato. You can have a great workout and have fun at the same time!


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