We all know how it goes: you come home from a long day of work or school, starving after only having eaten a granola bar and a bag of vending machine chips for lunch, make yourself a quick dinner, and plop down in front of the TV. It’s wonderful. What’s not so wonderful is when you realize you haven’t gone to the gym since… well… forever ago, and your muscles are non-existant while you’re pretty sure you are developing cellulite around you butt. You stress about finding time to get to the gym, knowing it’s probably not going to happen (or at least it’ll cut your Friends marathons down drastically, and that’s just unacceptable).
Then, the summer magazines come out saying things like “How to get the perfect beach bod” or “Exercises for your bikini body” and you FREAK out. Because sure, working out isn’t that hard, but you know yourself, and you know you like Teen Mom reruns more than you like gym machines. You submit to the idea that the bikini bod lifestyle just isn’t for you, but you sometimes wish you remembered what it felt like to be sore. Fear not, friends! I am going to provide you with five easy couch potato exercises that can all be done WHILE watching TV.
1. Stairs: During commercial breaks, run up and down the stairs as many times as you can. You really don’t need to watch the commercials anyways, so why not use these breaks to do a mini-workout? When you hear the laugh track come back on, sprint down those stairs as fast as you can and jump back onto your couch spot.
2. “Squats”:While the show is on, stand up and sit back down on the couch to do a modified squat. If you’re feeling motivated, do full-on body weight squats! Do this for a minute each time, and do as many reps as you want to.
3. Tricep Dips: Put your feet on the floor, legs out straight in front of you; place your hands at the edge of the couch and scoot your butt off the edge. Then, bend your arms, lowering yourself as close to the ground as you can get before lifting yourself back up again. Again, do this for a minute as many times as you want for a simple tricep exercise. If you have an armchair you can treat it like a dip station and put your hands on the arms of the chair.
4. Sit-Ups: Lay flat on your back on the floor, bending your knees and putting your feet flat. Cross your arms across your chest and do some sit-ups. Do these in reps of ten anytime the credits roll, alternating with some of the other exercises on this list.
5. Jumping Jacks: Every time a new show starts, challenge yourself to do as many jumping jacks as you can before running out of steam. Try to up the number you do each time – who knows how high you could get if you’re watching a marathon.
Despite what many people think, you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. A lot of exercises can be done in your own home, while entertaining yourself with TV. If these five exercises aren’t enough for you, feel free to add in push-ups, crunches, calf raises, running in place, wall sits, planks – anything you can think of! This can be even more fun and effective if you work out with a family member or friend; they’ll keep you motivated and you can push each other to go for longer. Remember to keep yourself hydrated, and enjoy that Law and Order: SVU marathon!