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Get fit while watching TV

Friday, July 15, 2016

You want to get in shape, but also have a never ending series-to-watch list to catch up on? Anindra Siqueira tells you how you can stay active while watching who they killed off in Game of Thrones

We can’t make you exercise or work towards becoming slimmer — that must come from within. However, if your love for television is keeping you on the couch instead of out and about, at the gym or engaged in any activity that will counteract your sedentary work life, we’re here to tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too. Well, sort of. You will still have to get off your behind and work a bit. Here’s how to get a workout in as you catch up on weekly television.

1. Lay the foundation
Put your exercise equipment in front of the television, so the next time you are catching up on a whole season of Game of Thrones or running through a Netflix series, you don’t have to be plopped on the couch the entire time. Get on your treadmill or stationary bike and force yourself to exercise while you binge-watch FRIENDS, The Big Bang Theory or anything else running over the weekend.

2. Squats

Want to burn that thigh fat away? Squats are your best bet. The great thing about squats is that you can do them while the programme is running and they work your core, so they strengthen you while you lose weight. Learn the proper form for a squat and then try the several different variations.

3. Lunges

Another great exercise to perform during your programme, lunges improve your balance and keep your legs toned. Since they involve so many muscles, they will allow you to get the exercise you need while catching up on your favourite shows.

4. Yoga

This exercise has been performed almost everywhere — from nature and indoor studios to places like the beach. There are even strange types, like yoga for your dog. If we colonise other planets, you can bet that we’ll be teaching their inhabitants how to get into yoga poses too! Remember though, you will likely not receive the same benefits if you focused solely on the yoga, but it is a great way to stay in shape while not missing your favourite shows.

5. Speed breaks

What are breaks for anyway? You can put them to good use. Challenge yourself to do a set number of pushups during each break, or try to do more than you did during the previous commercial break. You can even plan a circuit of physical exercises such as pushups, squats, sit-ups and lunges, to be played out during commercial breaks.

6. Do the hula

Working the hula hoop seems simple, but try it out for yourself and you’ll realise just how much coordination and strength you need. It’s perfect if you have the space. If you have a weighted loop, you can burn as many as 100 calories every 10 minutes!

7. Stabilise

Switch your couch for a stability ball. If you think that this will have no effect, try it out first. You’re going to need every ounce of strength to keep from falling over when you’re on a stability ball. All those muscle contractions and the minute but continuous corrections for balance will help you burn the excess calories faster.

8. Spot jog
This is an effective exercise routine and is well suited to television time. March in a single spot during the show and rest during the breaks. This won’t put much of a strain on your body, but will burn away those extra calories.

9. Get weighty

We’re not telling you to put on weight, but to lift weights. This is perfect when you’re watching television, because you can watch and work out at the same time. However, choose lighter weights so that you can do a large number of reps.

10. Fidget
Strangely, fidgeting is recommended when you’re not doing much, as it could help you burn calories and lose weight. Research suggests that you can burn an extra 350 calories a day when you fidget. Who knew!


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