Many people find it difficult to find time to work out. It can be tough to make the commitment with all of the other things that you have going on, but if you think about all of the non-productive things you do during the day you may find that you have more free time than you realized. Ask yourself, for example, how much time you spend watching TV on a daily basis. Time spent watching TV is a luxury that you are wasting — unless you take steps to make the most of it.
If you want to improve your fitness but don’t want to give up your down time, consider working out while you are watching TV. It’s a simple and fun solution to the problem! It’s all about getting creative and finding ways to incorporate fitness into or around your favorite shows. You can either earn that TV time, use this as your time to work out, or mix in different interesting exercises to make it all come together.
10 Tips for Working Out While Watching TV
If you want to watch TV while you work out, here are some helpful tips to keep you on track. These will ensure that you stay fit, enjoy some TV, and create a truly valuable experience for yourself.
1. Earn an episode with a reward system.
If all else fails, make it so that you have to earn your TV show. If you don’t feel like working out during your show, then use your fitness regimen to earn that TV time. For every hour that you work out, you get an hour to watch your favorite show. This is a huge motivator and may very well transfer into watching your show while you work out.
2. Set up intervals to perform during commercials.
If you are new to the concept of working out during your TV time, try using commercials to your advantage. Every time commercials come on, this is your time to get in some intervals. You can move quickly from things like mountain climbers to jumping jacks to push-ups, and keep the momentum going.
You may get so used to this that you want to keep moving throughout the entire show. The point is that you continue to move through the intervals, you add to the intensity level, and you try new exercises to keep it interesting. Intervals are a great way to get in some workout time even if you’re just watching TV. This is how to make the best use of your time in a fun way!
3. Do squats and lunges as you watch your favorite show.
Squats and lunges work your lower body which is one of the largest muscle groups. Even better, these exercises serve as a great foundation to build upon as you move forward. You can add side lunges, back lunges, or add weights – you can perform jump squats or add jumping lunges as well. These exercises are some that can keep with for a long period of time which will help you to get fit. You won’t even realize you’re doing them but they are going to burn in a good way.
4. Put on a show while you run on the treadmill.
If you are lucky enough to have a piece of equipment like a treadmill, elliptical, or even a rowing machine or bike, then this is the time to use it. Hit play on your DVR and then get moving. This is something you could do at the gym or in the comfort of your own home, if you have the equipment. Make this your dedicated workout time so that you are always in motion while you enjoy the added benefit of your favorite show.
5. Do sets of compound exercises instead of sitting while you watch.
You are probably used to sitting and relaxing during your favorite show but it’s time to take it up a notch! This time around you are going to perform some compound exercises that work nearly every body part. This is strength training at its best and it’s going to serve you well when you combine body parts. This goes to show that you don’t have to hit the gym to get a good workout in.
Dedicate this period of time during the show to lifting weights and combining multiple body parts. Compound exercises can include things like squat with a shoulder raise, lunges with bicep curls, crunches with a lat raise, and so on. You can get creative or find a guide to help you in figuring out which compound exercises seem like the best fit for you. The point is that you don’t just work one body part at a time and this helps you to burn calories and add muscle—truly the best combination!
6. Move through your own “obstacle course” during certain parts of your favorite show.
This can be a fun way to work out and an added bonus when you time it with your favorite show. Use the comfort of your living room or basement to set up your own obstacle course. Have different stations or areas set up with things like a jump rope, a resistance band, weights, a pull up bar, and a mat. Whatever type of equipment you can have, use it and turn this into little obstacles that you have to move through.
Set it up so that you have to try to clear each obstacle in a certain amount of time. Use the timing of the show to guide you through this course that you create. It can be a fun way of staying fit, watching TV, and mixing it up with your workouts.
7. Never stop moving until the show is over.
Make it your mission to keep moving for the half hour or hour that your show is on – you don’t let yourself stop moving until you reach that goal. This can include running or walking in place; it can include cardio or an ab workout; and it can include weight training. The point is that you don’t stop moving until you get to the end of the show.
8. Sit on a medicine ball as you watch with equipment nearby.
You are much more likely to work out if you have the equipment you need nearby. This is particularly true when it comes to working out during a favorite TV show. Instead of sitting on the couch, try sitting on a medicine ball during the duration of the show – this forces you to use your core and perform different movements with ease.
You can also try keeping a resistance band and a couple of different weights right next to your TV-watching chair. Then you are likely to just pick them up and use them without even thinking about it. This is a great way to sneak in some workout time, and you may even be doing it without any thought at all.
9. Make your show time your workout time for serious productivity.
When you set an appointment, you are likely to keep it. When you have a favorite show to watch, you tend to tune into it each week. So, when you set your workout time for when your show airs, you help to kill two birds with one stone. This is your dedicated time to enjoy some TV but make the most out of the time with a workout. Think of this as your special time and just as you wouldn’t miss a show, don’t miss a workout either. This is how you dedicate yourself and enjoy a favorite pastime but in a very active way. It’s the best of both worlds meet and that’s what it’s all about!
10. When certain things happen, have an exercise waiting for you.
You know how your favorite shows tend to go and sometimes they can be predictable. This sets you up for a great way of working out so that you can add exercise into the foreseeable twists and turns. When a certain character says a recognizable catch phrase, you go into a predetermined exercise such as a 60 second plank.
If a certain scenario occurs or a predictable situation comes up, then you go into push-ups. This can be a fun way of watching your favorite show because you never know the order of the events or the exercises. You make it interesting and yet very active as you watch for the next occurrence.
You get to enjoy your favorite show, but incorporate exercise into some of the obvious things that happen on your show. Set this up as a workout and it will help you to catch everything that happens — and all the while you can get fit during the predictable situations.
Megan is a freelance writer who loves to share recipes and write about women’s health and beauty.