Making the Boob Tube Your Ally

19 Feb
Decisions: Getting up to burn a few calories or snuggling on the couch with him.

Decisions: Getting up to burn a few calories or snuggling on the couch with him and my remote.

I learned early on in the fitness process that working out at home might not be in my best interests. If I planned on doing an exercise video, of course I would have to use my television. My television sat in my living room not eight feet from my couch. My couch has a fluffy throw blanket on it. And you know what’s hooked up to my TV? My DVR. How can I work out when I have a backlog of “The Vampire Diaries” to catch up on?

I began my journey in Atlanta, where the winters—at the time—weren’t too terrible and I had a car. I’ve continued my journey in New York, where 11 inches of snow is followed by subzero wind chills on gusty days. Living here, you tend to carry a lot of stuff with you because sometimes you just go where the day takes you and it’s good to be prepared. That can become a problem when I get impromptu drinks/dinner/party plans and I have a giant gym bag with me.

As I’ve said before on this blog, I sweat profusely. My clothes need to air out and dry. Leaving my drenched clothes at the office isn’t really an option for me, but how do I get a workout in and still be able to hang with my peeps later?

When I moved here, I brought with me a set of exercise DVDs I’d bought from an infomercial (don’t judge me). I barely used them in Atlanta figured they’d get equal use here. Then the winter doldrums came, as did the pounds, and I needed something else to do. My gym is closed on the weekends, there’s waist-high snow on the ground and I needed to burn some calories. So I cleared some space in the living room and popped in the DVD. It was only 30 minutes, much less time than I’d spend on run. But I was sweating so badly when it was over. My towel got great use and my glass of water was gone. And did I mention it was only 30 minutes.

That necessity for change sparked something that I long thought impossible. I am a self-confessed couch potato. I like curling up in a corner of my sofa with a blanket, book and remote control. I binge-watched “House of Cards” this past weekend because it’s something I like to do. But I also took 30 minutes out of my day to burn a few calories.

Most experts will tell you that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Well, there you have it. It will take you more time to shower and pick out your clothes for the day than to do some exercise videos. But that’s not all you can—or should—do.

There are plenty of exercises you can compile into a half hour. Try doing sets of different exercises. A combination of jumping jacks, hip hikes, crunches, squats and lunges. Do a few reps of each and then repeat the set. There, 30 minutes and you’ve done some work.

Just remember that staying active is only half the battle to losing or maintaining your weight. And while 30 minutes is a good pat on the back, you should try to challenge yourself to do more. But don’t let the winter blues get you down in the process.

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