Couch Potato Workout

I have discussed the concept of rules before, so you know I am very into rules. As long as I get to make up the rules! And one of my rules is no television during the day. You may or may not know that I am deeply in love with the television. I never miss a single day of watching my shows. Not soaps. No, I am currently addicted to Food Network. And Biggest Loser, of course!

But all this is beside the point.

If you are going to watch television, whether it is during the day or in the evening, it is good to place some rules around that activity. Why? Because every time you sit your butt down on that couch and settle in, your metabolism slows to a crawl. Sitting is pretty much the worst thing you can do if your goal is weight loss. So I have a few suggestions to limit and constructively improve your television time.

1) Limit yourself to a MAXIMUM of 2 hours of television per day/evening. Choose very carefully when picking your programs! Make sure you are wasting your time well!

2) Whenever possible, move your body DURING the television time. It is possible to dust, fold laundry, sweep, dry dishes, and perform many other mildly active household chores while watching TV. It is also possible to stretch, do yoga, foam roll, do Pilates, hold a plank, do sit up's, and tons of other exercises while still catching most of your favorite show.

3) Use each and every commercial interlude for a VIGOROUS workout. The commercial breaks are normally about 5 minutes each, although they can vary. The rule for this couch potato workout is that you need to get up off the couch and push yourself HARD for the full duration of each break. When your show comes back on, get a drink of water, mop up the sweat, and take deep breaths until the next commercial.

Couch Potato Workout:

Perform 30 squats with your feet about 12 inches in front of the couch. Reach back with your tailbone and lightly touch your butt to the couch seat on each repetition. Feet should be hip distance wide and knees should point directly forward. NEVER collapse knees toward each other. Weight should be in the heels and outer edges of feet. (If squats are easy for you, add a jump at the apex of each squat for extra challenge!)

Lift your knees high to the front and alternate touching the knee with the opposite elbow, creating a slight twist through the waist. After each elbow touches the knee, the arm reaches up to the sky. Keep a brisk pace to get the heart rate up. Repeat for at least one full minute.

Jumping jacks for at least one full minute.

Jog in place for one full minute. Alternate between lifting knees to the front and kicking your heels toward your butt.

Place your palms on the couch and execute a set of push-up's. (If couch push-up's are too easy, do regular push-up's on the floor.) Hug the elbows against the rib cage and keep a straight line from the heels, through the spine, to the crown of the head. Try to do at least 10 or more if possible.

If you can't fit all of this into one single commercial break, then choose 3-4 exercises for each break. Mix it up and make up some of your own! The important thing is that you are moving and sweating and pushing yourself to achieve a higher level of fitness. So do enough to challenge yourself, but not so much that you can't move at all the next day!

And make it fun! Invite your children to workout with you. Or get your spouse up off the couch with you. See if you can get through an hour of television this way. Even a 30 minute television show has about 3 commercial breaks! So get those workouts in!