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The Couch Potato Workout

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Now you may wonder why I presented this “sedentary topic” right after my little lecture about the everlasting benefits of fitness. Yes, we often picture a couch-potato person as somebody who forms pressure ulcers by sitting on the sofa and getting the most out of cable television. Well, that’s about to stop.

The great thing about this idea is the fact that we’re going to turn a bad habit into something really beneficial. If you can’t go without spending several hours in front of the TV set, why not make use of it then? Let’s manipulate couch quality time into a workout activity that produces gym-worthy results.

I’m going to teach you some tricks in making channel-surfing the ultimate hassle-free exercise! Scroll down to find out exactly how…

  1. Keep it comfy by wearing clothes conducive to movement. Remember, don’t treat this as a serious workout just yet. You’re at home, trying to relax while watching your favorite TV shows. That doesn’t have to change just because we’re on a secret mission to lose a few pounds. So go ahead and wear your favorite sweat shirt and those fluffy bed room slippers. Today, the tummy trimming begins!

  2. Don’t starve yourself. There’s nothing half as enjoyable as nibbling on something in between channels right? So don’t worry, this topic doesn’t deny you the right to gobble up! There’s a catch though (hmmm, were you almost jumping for joy?). We have to substitute your chips and dips for something healthier yet just as tasty. Here are some fitness-friendly suggestions:

    • Wrap up something raw. Now if the only vegetable you are acquainted with is potato (and only when it’s fried), then it’s time to refresh your memory and your diet. Chop up some carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, even peppers! To make it crunchier, make sure you store it in the refrigerator for a few hours first. If you choose fresh vegetables you will hardly miss the dips and dressings.

    • Please skip the Pepsi…or any other cola for that matter. Drinks like these contain caffeine, a substance that retains water in your body, making you feel bloated most of the time. Instead opt for water. That’s right, plain old water is the key to weight management. However, if you’re not a fan of plain iced water you can add a hint of lemon or honey to make the taste more appealing.

    • Are you screaming for sweets? You’d better put those candy bars down, or that thick slice of chocolate cake. Now I know it sounds so great but don’t let a moment of sinful sweetness on your lips lead to a lifetime of lard on your hips. And no, watching TV isn’t a “special occasion” to excuse yourself. To satisfy that sweet tooth of yours why not binge on fruits instead? A big plate of fresh pineapple, strawberries, mangoes, anything in season. Not too eager about that idea? How about a fruit shake using non-fat milk? If you don’t like it fresh you can also try dried fruit like raisins or dried mangoes. Fruits are rich in fiber which helps get rid of waste from the body. In no time at all, this simple switch will do wonders for your waistline.

    • Include some spice in your snacks. If you feel like having tacos or tortilla chips, get some calories burning by adding some red pepper to your taco dip. Cayenne pepper has thermogenic properties that will help improve your body’s metabolism. Isn’t this a tasty way to being “hot”?

  3. Get your butt off the couch for the right reasons. Now, to accomplish this one you have to fend for yourself. If you need something from the kitchen or from another room in the house, hold the urge to ask someone to get it for you. I’m sure your wife, daughter or household help will appreciate it too. In this manner, you will be able to move around during commercial breaks. By doing so, you’ll get to burn some fat during that jog between the kitchen and the living room. Remember, you can’t miss the next scene from the show so you have to walk at a fast speed in order to get back on time. Great sweat strategy, huh?

  4. Do things one at a time. This means you have to be off the sofa on most commercial breaks. For example, you’ve prepared a variety of snacks in the kitchen. What I want you to do is to take time going into and out of the kitchen by bringing the bowls or trays of snack one by one. That’s right, forget things on purpose! I know it may seem tiresome and not at all the “lazy way to getting lean”, but hey, you can’t get any lazier when you’re putting off errands right? Well consider the bowl-lifting an errand then, and be on your way to that next trip through the kitchen!

  5. I know most of you like game shows, there’s just something about them that keeps people glued to their seats and outwitting other family members by guessing at the questions. So here’s the double deal. While getting those neurons at work, why not give your muscles a workout just as well? OK, imagine you’re a contestant in a game show like Wheel of Fortune or Who Wants to be a Millionaire, you are in a mild stage of anxiety and adrenaline is pumping through your body just thinking about the big pot of money. When you guess correctly at the next question, you become so happy you need to jump up and do a little victory dance! Go ahead, bust some moves! Don’t worry. You won’t end up looking like a complete idiot, you’re just so happy that’s all. So move those arms, shake those hips, throw some punches in the air!

  6. Now this piece of advice would do well if you’re a guy who is a big sports fan. Let’s say you’re watching football or basketball with your buddies or your younger son. It’s the last two minutes of the game and your team is about to lose, but by stroke of impossible luck, your team shoots a three pointer and you just can’t help but whoop for joy! So yes, get out of that seat and do another victory dance again! This time incorporate some shooting moves. Act as if you’re about to score that last free throw or something, or show some football action as well. Hey, no problem here right? There’s nothing weird about it at all. But secretly, you’re making sure you give your body a bit of a workout just by being your couch-potato self. Not that bad so far, huh?

  7. Let’s say you got so over-excited you spilled your drink or that hot salsa dipping you made for the tortilla chips. What do you do? Do you ask your wife to clean it up or holler for a wet towel from your daughter? Oh no, couch potato, you get up, go to the kitchen, grab that towel or mop, and clean up that mess by yourself! It’s your fault so you had better do something about it. By doing so, I got you off that couch again didn’t I? and its perfectly excusable. If you are embarrassed by the fact that you’ve become weight-conscious, then they won’t have to realize that you’re actually on an exercise plan. Remember, any movement no matter how small is better than no movement at all.

  8. Here is another technique. Make sure the coffee table where you are putting those snacks and drinks is at least a good two feet away from you. That way you will have to get up and reach for whatever it is you need. Also, do remember to put the glass back down after you’re done drinking. In this manner, you will have no choice but to get up and go over the routine again every time you need another sip of that drink. Do the same with your snack too. Do not grab some chips and pile them on one hand while sitting down. One at a time, grab just a mouthful so that you’ll have to do it all over again.

  9. Chew your food well. That’s right, aid your digestive system by making sure you chew your food 20-30 times before it goes down your throat. So go ahead and munch on those carrot sticks! YUM!

  10. Do not forget to have some water in between the juice and the celery. Keep yourself hydrated. Also, thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so you might want to sip some water first before thinking of getting another bite. Besides, when you are drinking lots of fluids you will have lots of reasons to go to the bathroom. Hmmm…see? I got you off the couch yet again!

  11. If it is possible, be sure your phone or computer is located further away from the living room. That way, you will have no other option but to walk from the couch to the phone to make a call or to check your email. While on the phone, stand up instead of sitting down. At least limit your calls to five minutes or less, OK? Don’t fret, you can always make another call later. Another productive walk from the couch to the phone right?

  12. Get ideas from movies! That’s right, get yourself motivated. I do not know about you but each time I see Sandra Bullock or Jessica Alba’s famous abs it gets me really, really jealous. The solution? Work it out! OK, lets say you just tuned in to fashion TV, you see all the gorgeous swim wear they’re parading for the summer season. Doesn’t it make you wish you were a size smaller? Why not use that rage you have for size zero models. Get even by getting fit!

Well, are you thankful for being a couch-lover? It does not always have to be a disadvantage to your workout plan, you know. All you have to do is to make a few modifications so that channel-surfing can work to your advantage. You do not have to give up an activity you enjoy very much just because you have decided to uncover the healthier, leaner, and younger you! Ready for more tips? Read on…

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