How to Exercise While Watching TV

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:13
Don't have time to go to the gym but still want to lose weight and/or tone your muscles? Do you get bored easily when you're working out? Don't fret - you can put those muscles to work even as your eyes are glued to your favorite soap...
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Don't have time to go to the gym but still want to lose weight and/or tone your muscles? Do you get bored easily when you’re working out? Don't fret - you can put those muscles to work even as your eyes are glued to your favorite soap opera or sitcom. Many people have discovered the joy and ease of exercising in front of a television. With a little bit of effort, you can turn your couch potato time into a workout!

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Exercising with a Machine

  1. Step 1 Position your machine safely.
    Make sure that you can comfortably see the television while you’re working out. If you have to crane your neck to watch TV, you need to move your machine. Keeping your neck at unnatural angles for long periods of time can cause neck injury.[1] If you’re watching TV on a laptop, elevate the laptop to shoulder height. You should be able to look at the laptop with your back and neck straightened.
    • Make sure you follow manufacturer instructions whenever you use a workout machine. If not, you could hurt yourself!
  2. Step 2 Use a treadmill for cardio.
    Start your workout by walking for five minutes to warm up your legs. Next, increase your speed to 4 mph and begin running. Run for ten minutes and then walk for another five minutes, repeating until you’re done watching television. If you’re an experienced runner, you can run for longer intervals of time and walk less to burn more calories. For example, if you run for an entire a 44-minute episode of a TV show at 4 mph, you’ll burn approximately 152 calories.[2]
    • If you’re a beginner you can walk throughout the entire workout and slowly increase your speed every week.
  3. Step 3 Use a treadmill to build leg muscles.
    Building muscle helps elevate your metabolism and keeps you burning calories all day![3] Start your workout by walking for five minutes to warm up. Then, increase the incline on your treadmill to 3-10%. Walk at 2.5-3 mph for about thirty minutes. This is the perfect exercise for a shorter TV show and it’s surprisingly difficult!
    • This workout is especially good for toning leg and buttock muscles.
  4. Step 4 Use an elliptical machine.
    Warm up by putting your machine on a low-resistance setting for five minutes. Make sure your back is straight and you’re not leaning on the handles. Next, increase the resistance and speed to make the workout more difficult. Engage your arms by pushing and pulling as you step and engage your core muscles by flexing your stomach tightly as you exercise.[4] Continue this exercise for as long as you are able, but try to do it for at least ten minutes.
  5. Step 5 Visit a gym with a cardio cinema.
    If you don’t want to buy expensive exercise equipment or don’t like the idea of large machines cluttering up your house, consider getting a gym membership. Many gyms now have “cardio cinemas” or movie-theater like rooms that have exercise equipment instead of seats. These cinemas play popular feature length films that you can enjoy while you sweat. Check your local gym’s website to find out if they have a cinema.
    • This is a cheap alternative to purchasing your own machine. However, you won’t get to choose what you watch while you work out.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Exercising without Weights

  1. Step 1 Arrange your workout area in advance.
    Before you start watching TV, make sure that you can comfortably look at the screen while exercising. If you hold your neck in a strange position while you work out you could injure yourself. Adjust the elevation of your TV or laptop to allow you to see the screen comfortably.
    • If you have hard floors, try exercising on a yoga mat. Yoga mats can be found at most department stores in the sports section.
    • If you plan on doing more than one exercise you need to set up the separate stations in advance. Make sure the TV can be comfortably seen from each position.
  2. Step 2 Do some sit-ups.
    This is a great exercise to do during commercials as you won’t be able to watch TV while you do it. To do a proper sit-up, lie on the floor with your back straight and your knees bent. Cross your hands over your chest or rest them on your hips and sit up using your stomach muscles. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat this process ten times to complete a set. Try to do two or three sets during each commercial break.[5] [6]
    • Make sure you don’t pull your head with your hands or you could injure yourself! Try to relax your arms as much as you can and only engage your core.
  3. Step 3 Do some jumping jacks.
    This is an excellent way to burn calories while you watch TV. To do a jumping jack, stand with your back straight and your arms at your side. Jump into the air, lifting your straight arms above you and landing with your feet a shoulders-width apart. In this position, your body will be in an “X” shape. Jump again, returning to your original position. Repeat these motions quickly to raise your heart rate and burn calories.
    • Start out by doing two minutes of jumping jacks and resting for one minute. As you improve, increase the time you exercise and decrease the resting time.
  4. Step 4 Do some planks.
    This exercise builds muscle while allowing you to watch TV. Get on the floor in a sit-up position with your back straight and your arms extended. Hold this position for one minute. Make sure your behind doesn’t dip towards the ground and keep your stomach flexed tightly. After the minute is over, rest for about thirty seconds and repeat the process. This exercise will work out your core muscles.[7]
    • Do as many as you are able; this exercise is harder than it looks!
    • Don’t crane your neck to watch TV. If you have trouble seeing your television from a plank position, consider doing this exercise during the commercial breaks instead.
  5. Step 5 Use exercise games.
    Exercise games involve specific TV shows and actions the viewer has to complete when specific dramatic events take place. For example, if you watch Game of Thrones, you could do twenty jumping jacks every time one of your favorite characters dies. That would be an exhausting workout! Sample workout games can be found at the end of this article.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Exercising with Weights

  1. Step 1 Arrange your weights in advance.
    Each exercise should have its own station. Make sure that each station has a good view of the TV; if you crane your neck to watch television while you exercise, you may injure yourself. Furthermore, if you don’t set up your stations in advance, you may “forget” to exercise while you watch TV!
    • Be careful not to drop your weights while you exercise. Consider watching programs that are less intense so that you can focus some attention on holding your dumbbells.
    • If you drop your dumbbells, don’t try to catch them. Move your feet and your hands out of the way and let them fall on the floor. Otherwise, you may hurt yourself.
  2. Step 2 Do a set of lateral raises.
    This exercise targets your shoulders. Start with a pair of dumbbells that you can easily lift. Stand with your back straight and your arms by your side. Lift the dumbbells, keeping your arms straight, until the dumbbells are even with your shoulders. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Do eight to ten of these to complete a set and try to do two or three sets. As you improve, increase the weight of the dumbbells and the number of sets you do.[8]
    • Make sure to raise and lower the dumbbells in smooth, controlled movements. If you swing your arms, you could injure yourself.
    • Warm yourself up before you do lateral raises by doing some arm circles.
  3. Step 3 Try some overhead presses.
    The overhead press is a great compound exercise you can do in front of a TV. To do an overhead press, hold a barbell at your chest with your palms facing out and your chest raised up. Then, raise the bar straight up over your head. Exhale and lower the bar back to the starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.[9] [10]
  4. Step 4 Do some seated bicep curls.
    This exercise is great if you want to sit on a chair while you work out! Choose some reasonably heavy dumbbells and sit on a chair that allows you to keep your arms straight at your side. Hold the dumbbells so that your palms are facing your body. Lift the dumbbells to shoulder-level, rotating your wrists so that your palms face your chest. Keep your upper arms tucked against your body. Do ten of these to complete a set and try to do two or three sets.
    • Don’t swing your arms when doing this exercise or you may injure yourself. If you can’t do this in controlled motions you may need to use lighter weights.
    • As you improve, increase the amount of sets that you do or increase the weight of the dumbbells.
  5. Step 5 Do some weighted squats.
    Choose some heavy weights. They should be light enough to pick up but difficult to use otherwise. Stand in a squat position with your knees bent, feet a shoulders-width apart, and your back straight. Hold the weights loosely at your side with your arms straight and lower your body into a low squat. Keep your feet flat on the ground and your hips over your feet. Stand slowly by using your leg muscles and flexing your glutes. Repeat this process eight to ten times to do a set and try to do two to three sets.[11]
    • As you improve, increase the weight of the dumbbells or the number of sets you do.
    • If you have joint issues, try doing some regular squats first. When you can do 20 reps, gradually add in weights.
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Sample Exercise Games

The Bachelor Exercise Game
Survivor Exercise Game
Downton Abbey Exercise Game
Jeopardy! Exercise Game
Doctor Who Exercise Game
The Apprentice Exercise Game


  • Always warm up before exercising to avoid injury.
    Helpful 15 Not Helpful 1
  • Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
    Helpful 7 Not Helpful 4

Things You’ll Need

  • A television
  • A treadmill (optional)
  • An elliptical machine (optional)
  • Dumbbells of varying weights (optional)

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