Everybody needs more exercise. Here are easy ways to work activity into your TV time.

by Amy Goldwater

(BHL) – For many people, finding time to work out after a long day at the office can be challenging. Running errands, preparing dinner, coordinating after-school activities for the kids, and more – all take up precious free time. But being even moderately active is a great way to live an overall healthier lifestyle, with increased energy and reduced stress. The “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults at least five days a week. Yet, some studies reveal that many adults watch an average of five or more hours of TV a day.

Although first published in 2008, the Guideline is still relevant today. The simple fact is that Americans do not get enough exercise and need more information on what they can change that.

The guideline is here: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx

Incorporate activity into your downtime with simple exercises that you can do in the comfort of your living room, Don’t use commercial breaks for trips to the fridge. Instead, approach the 15-plus minutes of ad time per hour as great opportunities to burn calories.

Great Ways to Get Moving!

Turn your regular TV shows into active workout routines and make a game out of watching them. Start by preplanning. For each workout, choose to focus on one part of the body – like your abdominal muscles – or incorporate a combination of exercises, as a sort of a TV-circuit workout. Or, even better, create several routines and switch them around for fun.

Keep workout equipment on hand by stashing small weights, resistance bands, and a yoga mat near the TV. If you have a stationary bike or other fitness machines at home, set the equipment up so you can watch while you exercise.

Break for Commercials

The following cardio and strength-building exercises require no special equipment – just floor space in front of a TV. Variations on this low-impact but effective routine can be adapted to fit almost any TV program that includes frequent breaks for messages “…from our sponsors,” like sporting events.

• 30 seconds of marching in place (or in a chair)
• 10 chair-dips (from the waist)
• 30 seconds of jumping rope
• 10 wall push-ups
• 10 crunches
• 30 seconds of jumping jacks
• 10 lunges
• 30 seconds of plank
• 10 front leg lifts
• 10 side leg lifts
• 10 water bottle curls

About the Author

Amy Goldwater is a fitness educator, former body building champion, and physical fitness expert for TOPS Club, Inc.. a weight-loss support and wellness education organization. At their clubs your first meeting is free, and after that the fee is an affordable $28 per year. That’s a bargain in the weight-loss business!