Television has long been vilified for its power to distract us from more important pursuits, but it doesn't seem all that bad when you harness that enormous power of distraction into a tool to help you lose weight or get in shape.
Photo by SashaW.
The vast majority of people don't get enough exercise to ensure optimum cardiovascular health and keep unwanted pounds off. Couple that with how terribly boring logging hours on a treadmill or elliptical machine can be and most people aren't in any hurry to make sure they work enough cardio time into their day.
At self improvement and productivity weblog Stepcase Lifehack, they undertook a simple experiment in weight loss. During every commercial break they would use an aerobic step to do mini bursts of cardio activity. Over the course of a year all those little bursts add up. While squeezing in a little activity during the commercial breaks is great, we have a different approach in our household. You don't watch television unless you're exercising.
We've got an elliptical machine and free weights at a comfortable viewing distance from the television and the standing rule is, when watching television you have to be doing something fitness-related. Want to watch every season of Desperate Housewives? Not only do you get to indulge in some trashy and entertaining television, but you'll also run hundreds of miles in the process. Need to catch up on How It's Made? You'd be amazed how many curls and squats you can fit into a couple of episodes.
Whether you're working out at home or at the gym, you may be surprised at how powerful of a distraction television can be. There is no way I'd log 20 miles on the elliptical machine just staring out the front window at my lawn, but watching Chappelle Show re-runs? An hour easily flies by without notice.
Have a favourite show that keeps you on the treadmill? Maybe podcasts are more your thing? Sound off in the comments with the tools you use to take your mind off the monotony of some exercises and keep yourself trucking along.
How to Lose Weight Watching TV [Stepcase Lifehack]