In fact, the television is an essential to any home gym especially as the weather gets cold. I emphasize to my patients this time of year the importance of having both an INDOOR exercise plan and an OUTDOOR exercise plan, so that weather can never be the deal breaker for a workout. TV is a good way to make that indoor plan a lot of fun. I am only moderately ashamed to admit that I viewed a few seasons of American Idol from the cozy conveyor belt of my home treadmill, not to mention 5 seasons of Sex and the City (ok, twice), and throw in a season of the Voice, and those dark cold winter nights are not so bad! Right!? Here are the steps to channeling your inner couch potato and using it to your advantage.
1. Pick 1 or 2 of your favorite TV shows and make a commitment to only watching them while on your treadmill, exercise bike, or any home exercise equipment. Be sure to stick to the commitment to only giving yourself access to the show if you are exercising (during all or most of the episode). As the plot thickens, your motivation to exercise will increase, knowing it’s your only chance to see what happens next!
2. Record your selected shows so that you can watch them when convenient or cue them up in Netflix or Amazon. Another idea is to find a whole season of a show you missed entirely but heard was great. Missed Breaking Bad? Catch up on the exercise bike!
3. Some is Better Than None – It is not necessary that you spend the entire hour working out hard, in fact you can spend most of it doing light to moderate intensity, modulating throughout the show as you prefer. The important thing is that you are burning calories and getting healthy while doing something that is entertaining and enjoyable.
4. Craigslist is the Equipment Goldmine – If you do not have home exercise equipment, search Craigslist.org in your area. Craigslist is a great way to find inexpensive, and only lightly used exercise equipment, because let’s be honest, the people selling their equipment are doing so because they never used it. We’ve all been there.
5. If You Build It, YOU Will Come. Put your treadmill (or other equipment) in a room that is inviting and in front of your best TV, not the one you have to bang on the side every 20 minutes to get the picture to come back. A huge problem with motivation to use home exercise equipment is that we put it in spider web filled basements, facing blank walls, or bury it under boxes and/or laundry. Make your exercise space special. A place you want to go, not a place that’s hard to get into and you can’t wait to get out of.
No longer feel guilty about your love of the Kardashians, Downton Abbey, or Real Desperate Housewives, enjoy enjoy enjoy while the calories melt away.
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