Couch Potato Fitness

Maintaining your good health in front of the tube.

Do you find it difficult to find time to exercise? Does the mere thought of exercising after a long, hard day at work make you tired? Does the couch call your name each evening? Is all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch your favorite TV programs? Well, there may be some good news.

Because every once in a while, it may be okay to answer the call of your couch and forego your trip to the gym. Especially if you’re willing to get a workout while sitting on the couch watching your favorite television program.

The first step to improving your physique on the couch is to realize that it’s okay to need a break after a long day. But after a snack and a short rest, your body should be rejuvenated enough to get in a little movement. Given the amount of TV most of us watch each day, exercising at the same time is a great way to multitask, even if it’s just during the commercial breaks. Got your interest now? Then leave the bags of chips and cookies in the cabinet and try out these simple exercises from the comfort of your favorite TV-watching spot.

Just remember – these exercises will help you maintain what you’ve gained in the gym. They will not cause your body to become ripped if you don’t spend time working out most days of the week.

Chair Squats

To start off, try this exercise during the length of one commercial. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms straight out in front of you. Slowly sit down, and then return to a standing position. Repeat. To get even more benefit out of this, don’t sit down all the way.

Leg Raises

Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow. Slowly lift your leg as high as you can, then slowly lower it back down. Do this several times, then flip over and do the other leg.

Hip Lifts

Lie on your back on the floor and prop your heels up on the couch. Leave 12 to 18 inches between your bottom and the couch. Cross your hands on your chest and raise your hips as high as possible. In this position, your head and shoulder blades should be the only parts of your body touching the floor. Slowly lower yourself and repeat.

Couch Crunch

While lying on the floor with knees bent, squeeze your toes under the couch. Cross your hands across your chest and sit up part way. Be sure you don’t lift with your neck or you will strain your neck muscles.

Weights

Using small dumbbells, books, or even cans of soup, try these exercises while sitting on the couch to work your upper body: bicep curls, side arm raises, overhead shoulder presses, triceps extensions, or front-arm raises.

Push Ups

Lie straight face down on the floor. Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and use your arms to push your body up. Hold for a second and then lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground. Repeat.

Chair Dips

Put your hands on the edge of the couch and your feet a comfortable distance away from the couch. Hold your body up with your hands. Start with your arms straight and then lower your body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Straighten your arms and lower again.

Add Variety

These are just a few of the exercises you can do while watching TV. To get the most of your workout, try something new every day. Adding variety and doing the things you like will increase the likelihood of sticking with a fitness program during commercial breaks. So when you can’t get to the gym, stay fit with your remote control in hand!

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