Couch Potato Fitness: 8 Ways to Stay in Shape while Watching TV

ExerciseHomeBy Dr. Phoenyx Austin

Life is about mastering the art of multi-tasking. We learn to multi-task at work, and we even try to multi-task at play. But I’ve found so few of us apply the art of multi-tasking when it comes to fitness.

For example, when faced with the realization that they need to lose weight, so many women feel like they only have 2 options: a) skip the gym, come home, and plop on the couch to catch the latest episode of Scandal or b) hit the gym, get in shape, but then miss said episode of Scandal. Grrrrrrrrr!

But I say, why not do both?

Case in point, there are certain TV shows that I absolutely love and can watch for hours on end – like Man vs. Food, Top Chef, and the awesome-ness that is… Walking Dead! Now in addition to a large plasma TV, I also own a treadmill, which I’ve strategically placed in my living room so I can easily hop on for a leisurely stroll while I watch my favorite TV shows. As you can guess, it’s a very smart way to nonchalantly burn calories while zoning out on what’s on the tube. In fact, during just one hour long TV show, it’s not uncommon for me to walk at a pace that covers more than 3 miles, which equates to a very nice 250+ calorie burn. And over a few days, those calories do add up ladies and gents!

Fun Fact: A Netflix survey reveals that 45 percent of people think they’d be more motivated to exercise if they could simultaneously binge-watch their shows. The average American watches three hours of television per day – mostly in the evening. And if you did the same as I do, every day for 1-3 hours a day while you watched TV, you could lose about 1 pound a week without even breaking a sweat!

Bottom line, I always teach the importance of being “fit savvy” or approaching fitness in a simple and effective way. And there are many exercises that can help you lose weight and get fit while you watch your favorite TV shows. Plus, none of these exercises require a treadmill. So the next time you start watching TV, be sure to put down that remote, get your buns off the coach, and get fit savvy with these 8 exercises that offer a great calorie burn.

Note: Calorie burn estimations are for a 155 lb. woman. (The heavier you are, the more energy you’ll expend, i.e. the more calories you’ll burn per unit of time.)

1. Jump rope while you watch TV. Jumping rope is an excellent exercise and offers wicked calorie burn. Plus, the faster you jump, the more calories you’ll torch. 372 calories/ 30 min

2. Jog in place. Very simple exercise, and no special equipment is needed. 223 calories/ 30 min

3. Do push-ups. If you’re just starting out, you might start with commercial break push-ups. But once you become stronger, challenge yourself and see how many you can do during a half-hour or hour long show. 223 calories/ 30 min

4. Do squats while you watch TV. Squats can be done in place or up against a wall in a sitting position while you see how long you can hold them. For even more calorie burn, grab a pair of dumbbells or two soup cans and do squats while you hold the weights in your hands.

5. Jumping jacks are another great exercise that offers a big calorie burn on par to jumping rope depending on how fast you go. 290 calories/ 30 min

6. Do lunges. You can do lunges in place or walking lunges around the room while your shows are on. For even more calorie burn, grab a pair of dumbbells or two soup cans and do your lunges while you hold the weights in your hands.

7. Do tricep dips while you watch TV.

How to do: Sit on the edge of the couch with hands just outside of your hips, fingers forward. Lift your body up and walk your feet out until your knees are directly above your heels. Bend your elbows about 90 degrees, lowering your hips towards the floor. Press body up, extending elbows. Keep your backside close and parallel to the couch during the entire movement, and don’t let your hips move away.

8. Set up a circuit training regimen of all the above exercises. If your living room is large enough, or if you’re fit savvy enough *wink*, you can set up “stations” to perform all the above exercises while your shows are on. For example, you can jump rope for 5 minutes, rest for 1 minute, jog in place for 5 minutes, rest for 1 minute, squat for 5 minutes, etc… This will add variety to your workout, and will be an even better total body workout and calorie burn.

What are your favorite TV shows and favorite exercises to do while watching TV? – Doc

Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, fitness expert, creator of the nutritional supplements BeautyElite & BodyElite, and the #1 bestselling author of If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair and And That’s Why You’re Fat: Health & Fitness Mistakes to Stop Making. Connect with the Doc on her YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter,  Pinterest, and Instagram.


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