I can see the skepticism on your face from here, so don’t think you’re getting away with it just because you’re hiding behind your computer, laptop, tablet or phone!  Some of you are wondering if you’ll also get a set of Ginsu knives free when you send for my $19.95 program (free shipping and handling, today only).  And some of you, who shall remain nameless, are simply scoffing.  Get in shape while watching TV? If it were that easy, everyone would be fit.

jogging

But I didn’t say get fit while sitting down watching TV, did I?  You infer what you hope to infer!

All kidding aside, I’m going to share a very simple way to redeem the time while watching TV or movies.  I’ve already mentioned that you can improve your upper body strength while maybe not watching but listening to TV by doing pushups (https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/fitness-friday-weight-less-fitness-the-pushup/) or working on your balance (https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/fitness-friday-balancing-act/.)

I’ll tell you right up front that this isn’t for those already in amazing shape, who run miles every day, and do triathlons for fun.  This is for those of you who are out of shape (to whatever degree), who won’t venture out of the house in Spandex (and believe me, there are many who shouldn’t), who don’t want to be seen in public until some of the weight has come off, or just for those who haven’t been active and there’s ice and snow outside and it’s freezing and….well, you get the idea.  But for anyone, it’s better for you than sitting down while watching TV.

It’s also for any of you who are at risk for osteoporosis-female, white, under 127 pounds, family history.  This will give you a bit of weight-bearing exercise while not putting too much stress on your bones.  If you already have osteoporosis, check with your doctor to get his OK to do this, just to be on the safe side.

Here’s the idea.  Get a good pair of jogging shoes and, if you’re female and better-endowed than I, a supportive sports bra, don your ratty-looking sweats and jog in place while watching “Downton Abbey”, “NICS”, or whatever your favorite program is.   Set a time for 15 minutes.  Then jog in place.

You don’t need to lift your feet high; you don’t need to jog quickly; you won’t huff and puff.  Just lift your feet off the ground and jog.  During the commercials, jog around the rest of the house for a bit of variety.  If you haven’t been active at all for a long time or don’t do much walking, start with 5 minutes or so. That will help you not be too stiff the next day.  Add a minute each day until you reach 15.

As it gets easier, you can lift your feet higher, do some stairs during commercials, or just jog longer.  I jog forwards and backwards sometimes.  But the point is that you’re moving, not sitting.  You’re doing weight-bearing exercise and burning calories.  All while watching TV.  How bad can that be?

A couple of last reminders:

1.  Don’t snack after this because believe me, you aren’t burning enough calories to allow for snacking.

2.  When you’re done, walk in place or around the room a bit, not so much because you need to cool down, but to let your muscles relax.

3.  Stretch your legs when you’re finished.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Step forward with one leg about 1 1/2 feet or so.  Lean forward so your weight is more on your front foot (without letting your knee move past your foot).  When you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of the back leg (which is straight with the heel on the floor), hold that pose for 20 seconds.  Then without moving your feet, move your weight to the back foot, keeping the heel down but bending the knee.  This stretches the ankle area.  Hold for about 10 seconds.  Repeat, then switch and do the same on the other side twice.

Here’s the general idea:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/SM00043&slide=2

You can also stretch the quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your leg like this:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/SM00043&slide=4

4.  Pat yourself on the back or, if that’s too difficult, have someone else do it for you.  Good job!  Do this every night or day and you’ll be on the road to better fitness.

Comments
  1. C.J. Black says:

    As I’m not a television person I’m hanging a copy of this on the front of the units which house the sets in our house so the rest of the family will get the exercise when walking just to see what the heck he has posted now!!

  2. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Excellent idea! Thank you!

  3. 😀 I’m just trying to picture hubby’s face whilst I jog in place and then around the living room whilst he’s watching tv. I think the laughter would give us a workout.

  4. Yep, very smart tactic! I used to do this too, completing as many crunches as I could fit into each commercial break… And then I got lazy. I haven’t exercised in about 5 years now, and it’s really a shame. Seriously gotta get motivated again!

  5. […] the title of my first article, “Get in shape while watching TV” is a bit tongue-in-cheek, it has the advice you need to begin improving your fitness easily […]

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