The TV as a Workout Tool
You've heard of using dumbbells, resistance bands, treadmills, and a pair of good shoes to workout for weight loss, but what about a TV as a tool to lose weight?
The fact is, a TV can be a great tool as part of your overall workout routine. There are a number of reasons that you might consider using a TV when you work out. For some, it has a lot to do with the weather outside. For others, proximity to a gym is the issue. For new mothers and fathers, it might be the baby asleep in the other room that prevents them from working out away from home as much as they used to.
Whatever the reason might be for you, the TV can be your friend in exercise and weight loss.
Ways To Lose Weight Watching TV
OK, so maybe you have to do a little more than just watch TV, but the point is, your TV screen can be on without you just sitting on your couch. In fact, a plan to make that a rule would not be the worst idea for some of us. Here are three great ways to lose weight watching TV.
Play A Video Game
Now I don't just mean any old video game. I mean truly active video games that get you on your feet. The newer game systems that make you get up and move like the Wii, the Xbox 360 with Kinect, and the Playstation 3 with Sony Move can be very active.
In addition to games that are just fun but not necessarily a real workout, there are all sorts of titles available that can give you a good workout. You can find everything from aerobics to yoga to strength training. Other options that have even more group entertainment value but still can count as a workout include dancing games where you have to do all the moves and sports games where you will end up feeling like you really played the sport. In fact, be careful, you will want to wear tennis shoes and make sure you are warmed up before playing some of these games.
If you haven't checked out the latest motion sensing game systems on the market and seen the types of games that are available to allow you to train in your target heart rate, go check them out. You might be surprised at how far they have come.
Watch A Workout DVD or Stream It
The concept of watching an exercise video has been around for a long time, but it is still a great way to use your TV to get in a great workout. You can find a terrific value on used DVDs to build up your library or, if you still have VCR plugged in, you can get those even cheaper.
A guided workout in front of the TV is a great way to get your form and timing down right since you can stay on track with the trainer and mimic the movements that you see. That is much more difficult, especially for the beginner, without the visual aide of video on your TV.
Now that we have such things as Roku, AppleTV, Boxee and other video streaming services directly to your TV, you have even more options than before to get a whole variety of workouts delivered right to your TV without the need to store them in your home. This is a great option because you can try different types of exercise types without buying a DVD. If you don't like it, you just browse for another one. When you find ones you really like, mark them as favorites and pull them up as often as you like - just like that.
Watch Your Favorite Shows During a Workout
Perhaps the greatest way to use the TV for weight loss for the former couch potato is to exercise while watching your favorite shows or following your favorite sports team.
Now that we have DVR and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and many more, the options for watching your favorite show, a movie, a sporting event, or even a whole season of a TV series are great.
Here's the plan. Instead of pressing "Play" on your DVR or streaming service from your couch, press it from your treadmill, recumbant bike, or elliptical. Make the 45 minutes that it takes to watch a 1 hour show a 45 minute walk, run, bike ride, etc. By the end of the hour, you will be caught up on your series and be guilt free because your workout is done for the day.
I'll even submit to you that for many people, you won't realize you just did a 45 minute workout because your mind was following the show or the score of the game. Instead of thinking about the next treadmill workout, you will be focused on the next episode of your reality TV show.
But If You Really Want To Lose Weight
Keep in mind that adding these workouts to your day won't help you to reach a healthy weight if you don't make them count. That means you need to put in 30 minutes or more at an intensity that is right for you but that is aerobic. If you work at an unusually low rate you are simply not burning the calories you need to to make a big difference.
Also, make sure you don't compensate for your good deed by shutting down the treadmill, turning off the TV, and heading to the kitchen for a reward snack. You will only lose weight if you keep those extra calories burned off, so eat responsibly, and make your calories consumed good ones.
I realize for some athletes or big-time runners out there the idea of working out in front of the TV seems unbearable. For you, I understand. This article was not written for you. For the rest of us, including me, this is a great tool in your toolbox for getting in a workout when you can't make it to the gym, the weather doesn't cooperate, or whatever your personal reason is.
If you aren't maximizing use of your TV to help you lose weight, why not get started with one of these methods now?