OPERATION: COUCH POTATO

Even though watching many hours of video content — or binge-watching — has become a common pastime, it can be more harmful to our health than we realize. When we binge-watch, we are often sitting for long periods of time. This kind of sedentary behavior increases the risk of a variety of health issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

You can reduce your likelihood of developing these issues by replacing sitting time with as much physical activity as possible. It can be intimidating to feel like you must start a complicated workout routine, but practicing this healthy habit doesn’t have to be hard—it can be as simple as taking active breaks while watching TV. Even brief movement is important when you’re sitting for three or more hours a day, and being active while watching your favorite shows can feel like less of a trade-off. Your goal is to get your heart pumping and your muscles engaged for an effective workout.

A type of training called Tabata can help you reach this goal. Tabata consists of alternating 20 seconds of exercise with 10-second rest periods for 4 minutes. You can ideally do these 4-minute routines without interrupting your binge-watching session, or you can hit pause while you get a quick workout in. Feel free to do one exercise for the 4-minute sequence or cycle between different options.

Here are some exercises to choose from:

Wall Sit

Stand against a wall with your feet flat and hip-width apart. Then walk forward until your back slides down and your knees are bent and aligned over your feet in a seated position. Keep your back straight and abs tight for best results.

Lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and step forward with one leg until it is bent at a 90-degree angle and your knee doesn’t go past your ankle. Your back leg will be bent with your knee just above the floor. Step back to stand again and repeat with the same leg for the rest of the interval. Then lunge with your other leg forward for the next interval.

Pushup

Get on the floor and extend your arms straight with your hands on the floor for support and your wrists shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor. Extend your arms to push yourself up again and repeat.

Plank Series

Lie on your side with your legs and feet together and prop yourself up on your elbow. Lift your hips from the floor and hold for 20 seconds. When resting for 10 seconds between reps, either turn to face the floor and prop yourself up on both elbows for a standard plank or lower your hip to rest on one side for a lower-impact option.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from https://www.consumerreports.org/exercise-fitness/binge-watch-workout-plan/