No Excuses: Five Tips That Turn Screen Time Into Lean Time

Making The Most Of Screen Time

Do you have time to watch Undercover Boss, but no time for exercise? By double-dipping you can work out while you watch your favorite television shows.

The networks will be rolling out all of the new fall shows in the next few weeks and chances are we’ll find ourselves in front of the T.V. a little more. Here are five ways you can turn your screen time into exercise time.

Make the most of your screen time.

1.  Strength Training – Purchase a set of dumbbells – anywhere between five and 10 pounds each – and use them during the first half hour that you watch T.V.  With the weights, work up to doing two sets of  12 repetitions of a series of upper body exercises:  bicep curls, tricep extensions, chest presses, upper back flies, lateral shoulder raises, and shoulder press.  (I posted pictures of each of these upper body exercises awhile back. You can view them here.)

Next, work up to two sets of 12 repetitions of the following lower body exercises: alternating lunges, basic squat, calf raises, side leg raises. (Pictures of basic lower body exercises found here.)  All of the exercises mentioned – both upper and lower body – can easily be done in 30 minutes. Strength training will increase both lean muscle mass and bone density, and will have a positive impact on your metabolism.

2.  One Mile Walk – Put on a pedometer and walk in place or around the room.  Keep going until you complete at least one mile. Leslie Sansone has made a career out of ‘living room’ walking.  Many of the DVDs in her Walk At Home series let you choose one, two, three, four or five mile programs.  You can purchase a Leslie Sansone Walk At Home DVD at Wal Mart for less than $10.  Once you do the workout with Leslie a couple of times you’ll be able to do it (without Leslie) while your watch you favorite program.

3.  Yoga – Learn, practice and perfect at least four yoga poses that you can do each time you turn on the T.V.  Through yoga you can strengthen and lengthen your muscles and practice mindfulness.  If you’re new to yoga check out Yoga for Beginners, Part 1. You can listen to the instructions and practice the poses, then do them on your own while you watch a Sex and the City re-run for the fifth time.

4.  10 Minute Abs – You can get a decent abdominal workout in about 10 minutes.  I posted a 10 minute ab program from Workouts On Demand on Monday. (Click here to view.)  This workout starts out with a set of basic crunches then progresses to more difficult exercises that you’ll find to be very effective if you do them on a regular basis.  This workout can be done on its own or it can be done after the strength training, one mile walk, or yoga workouts.  It’s a perfect in-front-of-the T.V. workout.

5.  Tabata – Don’t feel like messing around?  A Tabata workout can be done in front of the T.V. and it will only take up about ten minutes of your time.  Remember Tabata workouts are high intensity cardio sets that last 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Create your own or follow the one posted here.  These short, high intensity workouts have been proven to be very effective and don’t require a gym membership.  You’d be surprised how fast the 10 minutes will go.

What’s Your Excuse?

I feel like playing devil’s advocate today.  I happen to think that these are really great tips for getting between 10 and 30 minutes of exercise in every time you watch television.  In fact, I can’t really think of a reason why someone that has a goal get more physical activity, improve their health, have sexier arms, and tighter abs wouldn’t be able to apply these ideas and make them work.

What are some of the reasons you have for not using at least 10 minutes of your screen time as workout time?