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Do Things During TV Commercial Breaks

plank

Let’s start by saying that spending hours in front of the television is probably not the best use of time! However, we all want to occasionally binge watch our favorite show or take in a double header of games where we find ourselves in front of our televisions for longer than normal.

So, how can we incorporate movement and activity into the most coach potato-like of all activities? We can, of course, plant a treadmill, stationary bicycle, or rowing machine in our living room in front of the TV and knock out some real exercise while watching TV. However, for some of us, exercise equipment may not fit in with our existing home decor.

With that in mind, here’s a simple workout routine to help you use commercial breaks to incorporate a decent workout. We’ve dispensed with the need for a treadmill or other big piece of gym equipment. We would recommend a yoga mat or gym mat that you can rollout when needed and roll-up and put away when you’re done. A mat will be particularly useful if you have abrasive carpet or hard floors.

Most commercial breaks last between 2 and 3 minutes with between 4 and 6 30 second commercials. Let’s try to use that time the best we can to get our heart rates up.

Here’s the routine:

  1. Simple squats - stand up straight and bend at the knees keeping your back straight and your hands straight in front of you. Try to do between 5 and 10 during the first commercial. Go for more if you can. Take a break for the second commercial. Pickup with another 5 to 10 squats during the next commercial break. Alternate between doing squats and breaks between commercials until your show comes back. You can try holding a small dumbell or weight to make the exercise a bit more challenging.
  2. Planks - get into a position similar to a pushup. With your back as straight as possible and with your feet on their toes, hold the position using your forearms to prop you up. Try to hold the position with your core and abdomen tight for the entire first commercial. Take a break for the next 2 commercials. For the fourth commercial, go back into plank position and try to hold for the duration of the commercial. Repeat the cycle.
  3. Sit-ups - get into a sit-up position. With your hands behind your head, lift your head to your knees while keep your feet on the ground. Keep your core and abdomen tight. Try to do as many as possible during the entire first commercial. Take a break for the next 2 commercials. For the fourth commercial, try again to do as many sit-ups as possible. Repeat the cycle.
  4. Pushups - get into a pushup position. Try to get as close to the ground as possible and push up so that your arms are fully extended. Keep your back as straight as possible with your toes on the ground. Try to do as many pushups as possible during the first two commercials during the commercial break. Take a break for the next 2 commercials. Repeat the cycle.

Repeat these four exercises until you’re done...or your show is! As always, check with your doctor before engaging in any new physical activity to make sure you are healthy enough to partake in these exercises.

So, you say you don’t have time to get in a workout. Well, if you have time to enjoy your favorite TV shows you have time to do a little work during commercials with plenty of breaks in between. Although not a great replacement for a dedicated exercise session where you work to get your heart rate up over the course of 30 minutes, any and all activities counts. Doing these commercial break routines are definitely way better than doing nothing. You will get your heart going, improve your endurance, and make a positive impact on your health.