Exercise for free, in front of the TV!
Everyone who knows me, knows I despise physical exercise. Well, that’s not entirely true… I rather enjoy walking (I walk everywhere) and I never say no to dancing the night away at Palms on Oxford St, but actual exercise where I’m required to put on sneakers and exert myself to the point where I’m hot, sweaty and my fringe is stuck to my face? No thank you.
Also, for me, half the barrier is actually putting on the outfit (the tshirt, the leggings, the sneakers) and going outside. Especially because it’s dark by the time I get home most nights and I just want to sit inside and watch the telly.
One of the things that’s always motivated me to exercise is to pay for it, but there’s only so much I can fork out on weekly dance classes (I will not go to a gym, so boring!), before I gotta start looking at the cheapskate options that I can do while watching Q&A and The Bachelor (yes, I know). Because I’m a cheapskate, obvs.
I have several things I do, all of which are highly embarrassing and yes my housemate laughs at me, but I swear I sleep better afterwards – especially if I’ve walked two and from work.
- Lie flat on your back, bring your knees up to a right angle and suck your stomach in so your spine is as flat as it can get on the ground. Then slowly, keeping the right angle shape, lower your right toes to the ground and back up again, then do the same with your left. I’ve built up to doing 40-50 and they’re excellent for your lower stomach.
- Lie flat on your back, bring your ankles up to your bum and then slowly lift your stomach upwards until you’ve create an isosceles triangle with your body. Keep your stomach tense while doing this and don’t lift too high. Lower yourself slowly and repeat. 30 reps.
- Do the ‘grapevine’ across your lounge room at a steady pace for the entire ad break, every ad break. Clap at the end of each lap, as if you’re part of a one-lady line dance.
- Sit ups and push ups are ideal for telly-exercise time. You can do sit ups especially while your head is rolled to one side so you can still see the telly. It’s very important you keep watching the telly to distract yourself from the pain. With push ups, if you struggle, put your legs up on the couch and your hands on the floor and ‘push up’ from there, this is an easier option for those of us who have jelly arms.
- Lie flat on your back, knees up at a right angle and ‘cycle’. Put your hands to your ears and your elbows in front of you, moving them so they meet your knees each ‘cycle’. This is a good one for during the ads, because it’s harder to watch the telly.
- Tricep dips. Yeah you know how to do them and yeah they’re the most painful. For excellent summer arms.
- On the spot lunges. Put one leg behind you, the other in front and lower yourself steadily, repeating until you just HAVE to watch the rest of your show frozen in one place because the pain.
- Squats. Make sure you stick your bum out, don’t let your knees creep over your toes and feel the BURRRRRRRRRRRN! For something a bit different, push down into the squat and as you come up, bring your legs together to your right, then step out to your left, squat again and bring your legs in to your left side. Repeat.
- Even just fidgeting and constantly moving is ok, even if it doesn’t technically constitute ‘exercise’. According to several reports, people who regularly fidget burn an extra 350 calories a day. So the next time someone tells you to sit still, tell them you’re ‘exercising’. Boom!
- Nothing good on telly? Dance around to music like there’s no one home. You should build up quite the heart rate, it’s perfect for trying out new moves or routines and there’s nothing more fun than singing away the day’s frustrations, even if you’re tone deaf like me.
Yeah, these are all pretty lame and they’re not going to leave you ripped, but short of buying a Jane Fonda exercise tape and working out to that (which, while Fonda is fabulous, is not as fun as watching The Bachelor), these definitely fill the gap for those days where you know you haven’t moved enough but really just DON’T want to do much else besides telly.
Oh telly, I love you.