The Best of Both Worlds: A TV Workout
It’s fall: the air is filled with the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin, and there’s a new season of shows on every TV channel. By the time you have gone to work, shopped for groceries, picked the kids up, and made dinner, it seems like there is barely any time left in the day. So, you’re presented with a choice: watch TV or hit the gym. You know how important exercise is to your health and that you feel better after working up a sweat, but you don’t want to miss another episode of your favorite show. Rather than debate which choice to go with, why not do both? Sometimes, you need to adapt your habits so that they work for you—and a TV workout is a good way to stay active in the evenings, especially if the alternative is skipping exercise altogether.
There are many exercises that can be done at home without missing a second of your favorite shows. You’ve heard of TV dinners— why not try a TV workout? Here are three routines that you can try at home.
The Commercial Cardio Challenge
Commercial breaks are usually around five minutes. Mix and match the following cardio exercises during the breaks:
- 1-minute jumping jacks
- 1-minute mountain climbers
- 1-minute jog in place
- 1-minute high knees
- 1-minute burpees
- 1-minute side-to-side jumps
- 1-minute squat jumps
- 1-minute box jumps
- 1-minute jump rope (if ceiling is high enough)
Upper Body Workout
These upper body exercises don’t require weights and can be done while you watch TV.
- Plank up (Start in high plank position. One arm at a time, go down to lower plank, then go back up. Repeat.)
- Triceps dip (Using a sturdy chair, place your hands on the seat with fingers facing you, and walk your feet to a comfortable distance from your body. Lower your body to the ground, then push back up.)
- Plank jacks (Start in high plank position, then move your feet outward and inward like you would in a jumping jack.)
You can also do exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder presses using the following household items. (Just make sure you put the cold items away when you’re not using them!)
- 1 lb: can of soup/beans, unopened salad dressing or vinegar, stack of ~10 spoons or forks
- 2 lb: carton of soy milk, small bag of rice
- 3 lb: standard bag of apples, oranges, or onions
- 4 lb: four-pound bag of pet food, medium pumpkin
- 5 lb: large bag of rice, standard bag of potatoes, standard bag of flour
- 8 lb: gallon of milk or water
- 10 lb: large container of laundry soap
Lower Body and Core Exercises
Lower body and ab exercises can be very easy to do at home, and fit right in with a TV workout routine. Try these on their own, or add weight using some of the household items listed above.
- Plank and side plank
- Calf raises
- Side lunges
- Side leg raises
Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness routine to make sure it is right for your needs. Learn how to safely perform these and other exercises using the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Exercise Library.