Sometimes all you want to do after a long day is binge watch Netflix. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite shows for your workout routine. Give some of these exercises a try the next time you’re absorbed in episode after episode of Stranger Things. Bonus? All that activity is a great stress reducer, too!
Okay, so this one takes you back to childhood, but jumping jacks are a serious cardiovascular workout. Make a game out of them by jumping during the most intense scenes of a favorite show to amplify the suspense!
Break Out the Yoga Mat
From actual yoga moves to sit-ups and leg lifts, you can exercise and stretch right in front of the TV. Try the more gentle, less intensive yoga poses, so that you don’t miss any moment of your TV faves. Here are some great tips for TV-friendly poses. Feeling particularly adventurous? Go ahead and give planks a try, but they can be slightly distracting and might be better saved for commercial breaks. To do a plank, you lift yourself up onto your forearms, raising your entire body with you, as well. Your back shouldn’t be arched, your hips should be up and even with the rest of your body, and you should be looking down at your mat (which is why saving this one for breaks is probably best).
Use Your Chair as an Exercise Prop
Bring a simple dining room chair into the room where your TV is and use it as an exercise tool. Turn around to face the chair, with your hands gripping the seat. Then, lower yourself down toward the chair, snugly bending your arms like a classic push-up, only using the chair as your support instead of the floor. This exercise seriously works your arms and your abs.
Stand in place and raise yourself up onto the tips of your toes, hold for a moment, and then lower yourself back down. Do this several times to tone and strengthen your calf muscles.
Weight Exercises with Dumbbells
Lightweight dumbbells provide easy strength training and muscle building (essential for a strong metabolism) without overworking you. Choose a low weight that best fits your comfort and fitness level, and then raise and lower the dumbbells while marching in place or practicing your calf raises. A great arm and hip toner is to lean and stretch your body to the left with the dumbbell curving toward your right hip. Repeat with your body stretched to the right and your dumbbell curving toward your left. Each time, hold the pose for a few seconds before switching to the next side.
March In Place
Marching in place while watching your show burns calories almost without you even noticing. Like jumping jacks, marching in place is something that you can turn into a game. March slow, then fast, then at medium speed, turning your marches into interval training without missing a scene of your show.
At some point during your TV binge, give these lunges a try to really get your heart pumping and your muscles working. Just like you see in the picture, with a lunge, you move one leg forward while bending it. Your other leg, meanwhile, is bent behind you. Keep your knee just above the toes of your foot and try not to lean forward. Stay with the lunge for as long as you can, preferably as close to a full minute as possible, before stepping back into place. Do several repetitions and then give your other leg the same workout.
Embrace the Commercial Break
If you stream your shows or still have cable, try to hold yourself back from skipping commercials. Instead, use the commercial break to your advantage. Have a mini workout session during each commercial break, combining fast jumping jacks, marches, jogging in place, overhead stretches, or even dance moves! Have stairs? Go ahead and run up and down them a few times (just make sure the neighbors aren’t home). Really work yourself during the commercial breaks, and then collapse happily back onto the couch until the next one.
How do you turn TV time into fitness time? We love hearing your own tips and ideas in our Weight Loss Motivation Facebook group. Stay motivated through it all by joining our Happy Mail email list.