Ready to get fit? Turn on your TV—here are 4 easy ways to turn it into an exercise machine.
Your television just might be the motivation you need to get your body moving. Don’t worry—you don’t have to bench-press your TV. Just grab your remote control and check out these four ways your television could help you be more active. (Remember to check with your doctor before beginning or changing an exercise routine.)
If you have cable TV, chances are good you have the healthy-living channel FitTV, or access to the free, video-on-demand ExerciseTV channel. (If you’re not sure if you have these channels, contact your cable provider for details.) Both offer a fun mix of exercise shows, many of which feature celebrity trainers. Best of all, there is a lot of variety: Tune into a body-sculpting program one morning, for example, a belly-dancing show the next day, or a beginning walking program later in the week. With so many possible choices something is bound to spark your interest.
Leave exercise equipment in the same room where you watch television. For example, simply sitting on a large balance ball while watching your favorite show can strengthen your stomach muscles. Roll back on the ball and you have a great, relaxing stretch. Resistance bands can provide a full-body workout. These are long strips of stretchy rubber that come in a variety of resistance levels. Sit and loop the band around your feet to do leg lifts to tone your thighs and butt (work one leg at a time). And stand on the middle and pull the ends front, back, and to the sides for a great arm workout. (You can find balance balls and resistance bands at larger discount chains and drug stores starting at around $12.)
Keep an exercise DVD in your player ready to go. When you have a few minutes, push play and you’ll sneak in a workout. Studies show that you don’t need to devote a solid 30 minutes to physical activity to reap the health benefits. It’s just as beneficial to your well-being to break up your workout into three 10-minute sessions. To keep the routines varied (and to save a little money), borrow DVDs from your local library. Another option is to tune to a music station and dance along to a few songs.
You can even get some interval training while still watching television by lightly exercising during the show and then adding bursts of higher-intensity movement during commercials. When you mix moderate moves with ones that require a bit more effort, you can burn more calories. Two examples of the moderate moves are marching in place and side-to-side stepping. Some higher-intensity moves include jogging in place (lift your knees as high as possible), jumping jacks, and briskly walking up-and-down stairs.