Sweating out to television?

By: Health Local Staff Aug 17, 2012
watching tv while working out

Television gets a bad rap for creating and supporting lazy behaviour, but don’t be too hard on your old “boob tube” just yet.

Is it possible that entertainment and television can in fact HELP us lose weight? According to Prevention magazine, Cosmopolitan and fitwatch.com, Television has the ability to distract us from the often tedious, time-consuming cardio workout. Television gets a bad rap for creating and supporting lazy behaviour, but don’t be too hard on your old “boob tube” just yet.

Waistlines continue to grow with a million and one TV channels, giving us 101 excuses not to exercise. However, it is not the television’s fault so much as it is the way we use it. If you have the time to watch the news or even catch up on your favourite television shows you DVR’d the night before, you have the time to exercise. It is all about finding a way to make the television work for you, rather than against you. 

We can all agree cardio zaps time and can be boring. However, given a choice, climbing stairs while watching someone else climbing stairs isn’t as exciting as climbing, running or spinning while watching a sitcom, crime drama or reality show. The lack of distraction is often to blame for why people choose to sit in front of the television instead of working out watching someone else working out. Who on earth wants to do that? That’s so 1980s! So instead of giving up 10 minutes into your 45-minute workout, flip on your favourite television show and change your whole concept of what it means to work out. And before you know it, you’ll be breaking a sweat while the CSI team looks for clues. And when they’ve sewn up the case and helped put the bad guy in jail, you’ve dripped your last drop of sweat and everybody wins! It is so simple and so obvious (when you think about it) that it is just too perfect not to work.

Maybe you actually prefer to work out watching someone else work out. This can be incredibly motivating for many people. If that’s the case, check out DVDs such as P90X or Insanity, yoga on Netflix, or get inspired to pump with a Jillian Michaels’ DVD. And if all else fails, there is always Richard Simmons and his good ol’ oldies. Granted it’s more fun to keep tabs on who George Clooney is “dating” these days, or to catch up on whether Lindsay Lohan has caused yet another accident. However if you want the perfect body to compare with Clooney’s bodacious babes, or achieve Angelina Jolie’s smokin’ hot legs, you need to do more than just click a clicker, or pretend the yogurt you had for lunch is really going to get you into that itty bitty blinged-out bikini. If, however, you can maintain focus while watching one of the celebrity gossip channels, you may have found your workout sweet spot.

Channel Flipper? There’s a Workout for That!
Maybe it is impossible for you to take a little man in tiny red shorts dancing to disco too seriously or have trouble concentrating long enough to settle on one program to sustain a good workout. Television has not failed your J-Lo butt-in-training just yet! According to fitwatch.com, fidgeting while watching television has the ability to burn up to 350 more calories than just lounging like a potato. So while you are playing console commando, maybe do some standing lunges. Invest in some dumbbells so you can do some curls while deciding what to watch. Television is a huge part of our world both socially and personally, and it can work for your health or against it. The choice is yours and your slamming body is only a click away!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.