How to Get Fit While Watching TV

Learn exercise routines that you can do while watching television!

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #061

Let’s choose an abdominal workout for this example. So Character 1 would represent a plank, Character 2 a side plank, Character 3 a bridge, Character 4 a bicycle crunch, and Character 5 an elastic band twist. Each time a character appears, you perform 10-15 repetitions of that exercise. It’s like a drinking game, but without the hangover!

You could easily do this with a leg workout as well. For example, use squats, reverse lunges, side lunges, forward lunges, and calf raises, and similar to the ab routine, every time a character associated with an exercise appears, you perform that exercise. During the commercials, you can perform cardio intervals, such as jumping jacks, step-ups, jogging in place, or an exercise that doesn’t require you to face the TV, like squat-thrust-jumps. Finally, use the opening and closing credits for stretching.

Of course, you could also simply do a cardio session during the TV show. For an example, see my Glee Indoor Cycling Workout.

#2 Sporting Event Exercise Session

Sporting events, which usually include changes of possession, are quite conducive to cardiovascular exercise. For example, let’s say that Team A is competing against Team B. Set-up a treadmill, bicycle trainer, or elliptical in front of the TV and get ready for action.

Anytime Team A has the ball, the puck, or any other kind of possession, you do an intense interval, such as pedaling faster, increasing the treadmill speed, or increasing the elliptical strides per minute. Whenever Team B has possession, you decrease to an easy, aerobic, recovery pace. When the commercials appear, you can do a tempo effort, which is a moderate pace at a medium intensity. Alternatively, you could do intervals during the commercials, so that every time a commercial break begins, you increase the resistance or incline for the first commercial, decrease for the second commercial, increase for the third, and so on.


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.