I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but if you’re a couch potato, you could be shortening your life by around 22 minutes overtime you sit down for an hour of your favorite show. Shocked? Now might be the perfect time to do something about your inactivity and reclaim all of those lost minutes. The good news is that you can boost your lifespan, get fit and still enjoy the shows you love. Here are some suggestions how you can do just that:

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Get Physical in the Commercial Breaks

If you’re watching broadcast TV, you will have several minutes of commercials to endure. If you’re as bored by them as I am, instead of passively sitting through them, get up and get moving. You’ll burn a few calories per show, which although it might not seem like much, will add up over the course of a week.


If you’re the kind of person who sits rigidly on the end of your seat as you watch buildings being blown up or wait patiently to see who the murderer was, you should probably start moving around a bit more as you watch TV. The simple act of fidgeting, whether it’s getting up to change the channel manually, doodling while you watch or simply shifting your position regularly, can burn up to an additional 350 calories each day.

Squats and Lunges

Squats and lunges are easy to do in any space, which means you can do them when you’re in front of the TV. They will tone your core and legs, and you’ll still be able to follow the action as it unfolds on the screen, when you’re doing them.


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If you’re a keen cyclist, why not bring your bike into the TV room? Buy the best turbo trainer you can afford, and you’ll be able to use your bicycle in stationary mode while you’re enjoying a Marathon Netflix session, and you’ll be able to cycle outdoors as and when the mood takes you. If you don’t already have a bicycle and you don’t ever intend to ride on the road, investing in an exercise bike will give you most of the same benefits.

Hula Hooping

Hula hooping is fun, and once you get the hang of it, pretty simple. Because hula hooping requires very little concentration, you can easily do it throughout whole shows without missing out on the plot. To get the most benefit from hula hooping in front of the TV, buy a weighted adult hoop. You’ll burn 600 calories per hour, just by moving that hoop around your waist!

Snack Attack

When we watch TV, it is so often to start mindlessly snacking so that our hands have something to do. It is possible to mitigate against this by only having healthy snacks (hummus, carrot sticks, fruit, nuts) easily to hand. It might also help to take up knitting, drawing or doodling, which you can do as you watch TV.

What are your tips and tricks for staying fit while you watch TV?