Attention all couch potatoes - Kathleen Alleaume shows you how to turn on, tune in and tone up.
Recent Australian research shows for every hour you watch television, you can shorten your lifespan by 22 minutes. But stay tuned, as there are ways you can still enjoy your TV fix without compromising your health and longevity.
The trick is to avoid spending long uninterrupted stretches being totally still.
With an average of 20 minutes of commercial time per hour of TV, you have a great opportunity to get moving ñ this is multitasking at its best!
Use the ad breaks
Using your body weight is just as effective as using hand weights. In the ads, try exercises such as squats and lunges to tone the lower body, push-ups and tricep dips to strengthen the upper body, and planks to strengthen the core. Choose one exercise per ad break and aim for three sets of 15 repetitions. This can add up to six different exercises over the hour.
Keep gear handy
Stash small weights, resistance bands, skipping ropes and yoga mats close to the couch. Choosing equipment like this means you don’t need much room to get moving!
Or, if you have a treadmill or stationary bike in the corner, now is the time to set it up in front of the TV. Little bits of exercise strung together add up to kilojoules burned.
As well as staying active while watching telly, it’s important to watch what you eat. Eating when distracted can cause you to ignore your body’s natural fullness signals and overeat. Activity can help distract you from temptation.
See how many sit-ups, push-ups, or how much marching in place you can do during an ad break and try to top your best number every time. Need an incentive? Thirty minutes of circuit training can burn up to 1250 kilojoules, which is equivalent to burning off a serving of home-made lasagne.*
*Based on a 70kg person. 1 serving (250g) = 1178kJ
Did you know? On average, adults watch three to four hours of television a day. With an average commercial break of three minutes, you could be racking up at least an hour of exercise during commercial breaks.