Exercises for Couch Potatoes

Cartoon Humor Concept Illustration of Couch or Coach Potato Saying or Proverb

Anyone can improve their heart health and enjoy other exercise benefits even if you spend most of your time on the couch. Get tips to help fitness newbies start exercising.

If you have trouble finding the motivation to break away from the television and exercise, try couchersizing staying on or near your couch and exercising during commercial breaks. Why bother?  a growing body of evidence links the amount of time spent sitting to illness and even death. “Minimizing long periods of inactivity, like exercising during commercial breaks, can help reduce the risk of injury and may even help you live longer,” says Kailin Collins, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

You can work many different muscle groups while seated upright on a couch. Want to get your heart rate up, work the oblique muscles on the sides of the abdomen. To whittle your waist, try twisting your torso from side to side for the length of a commercial break. You can even exercise while lying on the couch: with your legs extended, squeeze the quadriceps on the front of the thigh for a count of 10, then relax. Repeat several times. Try leg lifts while lying flat to build abs, or side lifts to strengthen hip muscles.

Here are more ideas for the couch potato set. Consider trying some of these exercises during the typical three-to-four-minute TV commercial break.

Get a Pedometer

Pedometers keep track of how far a person walks or runs. They also keep track of the number of steps a person takes. That plus advice to take 10,000 steps a day — seems to be the best motivation for people who don’t like to exercise.

To gauge how much moving you currently do and then motivate yourself to do more,we suggests buying a pedometer, an inexpensive gadget that clips on a belt and counts steps for you. Wear it all the time to track both at-work and at-home exercises. “There’s nothing like having a running tally of your steps per day staring at you from your waistband to make you want to move more,

Add in steps

Now that you have your pedometer, one of the best exercises for beginners is to find creative ways to increase steps every day, we says. You can easily add movement to almost every daily activity. “Park at the far end of the parking lot or get off the subway or bus a stop early,” we says. “Extra steps add up to significant calories over time.” And that makes them easy exercises for weight loss

Don’t force yourself to run every day if you hate running, and don’t spend hours cursing the elliptical machine or stationary bike at the gym if those workouts don’t appeal to you. “Finding an exercise that you enjoy is a part of a strategy to change lifestyle behavior and stay active throughout your life,The type of exercise you choose truly affects your motivation to get moving.” Maybe it’s a yoga class some days and tennis or hiking with a buddy on others. Doing a variety of exercises will help keep your workouts fresh and keep you interested.

Take The Stairs

If you want easy exercises for weight loss that really pay dividends, take the stairs whenever possible. “If climbing stairs seems too daunting, take the elevator up and walk down on your way out,” they suggests. “Or if you’re going to the fifth floor, walk up to 2 or 3 and take the elevator the rest of the way. Climbing stairs is a great way to burn calories and strengthen your legs.”

Dance While You Clean

Absolutely cleaning your house is exercise. While you may not be in a gym pumping iron or running on a treadmill, but it is still exercise and requires you do to work and burn more energy than being sedentary. Cleaning the house is an example of moderate intensity activity the kind the health experts recommend that you perform daily to maximize health and fitness. Daily chores like cleaning your house, mowing the lawn, cleaning the car, shopping for food and other things are all examples of moderate exercise, which helps improve health and fitness.

Carry Your Groceries

Combine strength training and errands on your next trip to the store: If you live within walking distance of your market, see whether you can carry groceries in your arms rather than a cart. If you have to drive, turn unloading the car into an at-home exercise, and add a few bicep curls every time you lift a bag out of the trunk.

Have A Ball

Plank suggests sitting on a stability ball as often as possible for a great work and at-home exercise that’s sure to help you build strength. “Sitting on the ball forces you to balance yourself so you are constantly using your core muscles,” she says. “Along with strengthening the core, the ball gives an opportunity to gently bounce and move during the day so you can burn more calories just sitting at your desk. If you can’t sit on a ball at work, try it at home while watching television, eating dinner, playing video games, doing laundry, or reading. Any time you can be sitting, you can be sitting on the ball!”


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