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TV-watcher's Workout

Just when you're getting into it...another commercial break interrupts your favorite program. But that's no excuse to hit the fridge for another snack... Instead this could be your opportunity to whittle away at your waistline with the TV-watcher's Workout.

First...you need to move the coffee table. Then....

“Stand with your feet, shoulder width apart, know where the chair is behind you, and try and sit down into the chair...but, as soon as you feel it, come right back up.”

Brett McIff, Physical Activity Coordinator with the Utah Department of Health, says incorporating exercise into your busy life is easy when you do it 30-seconds at a time.

“We spend so much time at work..” says McIff. “One of the most common things to do is to go home, plop yourself in front of the TV and just zone out.”

A commercial break usually contains three or four 30-second commercials in a row, which means you can use the commercial turnover as a cue to move to the next exercise. Instead of doing three sets of 10 or 12 repetitions, you do one exercise for the entire 30 seconds, changing sides or exercises at the start of the next commercial.

Here's how it works: do both "A" exercises or "B" exercises per break

Use the theme song and opening credits to warm up

  • Arm circles while walking in place
  • Jumping Jacks

First commercial break

  • (A) Couch Push-Ups: place your hands on the back or arm of the couch, and while keeping your body in a straight line, lower yourself toward the couch, then return to the start position
  • (B) Decline Couch Push-Ups:  Place your hands on the floor and your feet on the couch.  Keeping a straight line from heels to head, lower your chest toward the floor, then return to the start position
  • (A) Run in place
  • (B) Run in place, high knees

Second Commercial break

  • (B) Couch Squat:  Place your feet about shoulder width apart while standing in front of your couch/chair.  Keeping your knees directly over your ankles, lower your hips until they touch the couch/chair, but don’t sit down.  Stand back up to the start position
  • (A) Couch Runner’s Lunge:  Stand in front of your couch/chair, placing one foot on the couch.  Keeping your front knee directly over your ankle, lower your body down and back slightly, then return to the start position
  • (B) Stand on one foot, switch foot on commercial changes
  • (A) Stand on a couch cushion on one foot, switch on commercial changes

Third Commercial Break

  • (B) Crunches:  Place your feet on a couch/chair, knees directly over hips.  Place your hands on your chest and curl your body forward until your shoulders are off the floor as far as they can go.  Return to the start position
  • (A) Bicycle Crunches:  Lie on your back, hands holding your ears.  Bring one knee in to your chest as you extend the opposite leg, bringing your opposite elbow to toward your bent knee.  Alternate sides in a pedaling motion
  • (B) Plank:  Place your forearms on the ground, then push your body into a straight line “plank” using your toes as the other support.  Hold that position throughout
  • (A) Side Plank:  Lie on your side with your right hand on the ground. Lift yourself up to form a straight line from shoulder to heel with your right arm straight and your left arm on your side. Switch sides at next commercial.

Other Ideas:

  • Do a quick set of 5 tricep dips every time you hear a show’s catchphrase, “Deal? Or no deal?”
  • Do jumping jacks whenever you see a certain person on screen or hear their voice, e.g., whenever Ron Bird is talking….

Use the Workouts on the Web to help you get started. These workouts can be done at home, and use the sofa, your chair, the wall and even throw pillows to help you increase body strength and flexibility. And don't be afraid to get the entire family involved... Turning it into a competition or “mini Olympics” can make it seem less like a chore, and more like a game for everyone.

You can find links to all of the workouts and PDF printouts of each exercise on the Workouts on the Web page.

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