Don’t feel like prying yourself away from your phone, TV or your computer for a workout? Here are some ways to enhance your fitness by using your gadgets and screen time in smarter ways.
1. Use a standing desk. Being on your feet burns more calories than sitting down. If you have a sedentary desk job, using a tall desk that needs you to stand can add a bit of activity to your day.
2. Sneak in some calisthenics, cardio or weight training during commercial breaks. Jumping jacks, jumping rope, crunches, lunges, squats, punches and other exercises increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. By hopping up and sweating through the commercials, you can easily complete a solid workout over the course of a one-hour TV show.
3. Use a treadmill or exercise bike while watching television. Watching your favorite show as you walk, run or bike helps the time you spend working out pass more quickly. This form of multitasking allows you to keep up on your shows while burning some calories, and it also prevents you from snacking mindlessly as you watch.
4. Replace your desk chair with a balance ball. Unlike slumping a standard office chair, sitting on a balance ball needs you to engage the muscles in your core to stay upright. This tightens and tones the muscles in your back and abdomen, which improves your posture and reduces the likelihood of back pain and injury.
5. Perform stretching or yoga while listening to your MP3 player. The slow, relaxing movements of yoga and stretching are the perfect way to unwind while you catch up on your favorite podcasts or listen to your favorite online stations. For an even more relaxing routine, load your MP3 player with tracks that feature nature sounds, trickling water, chanting or other meditation-friendly sounds.
6. Use your smartphone as a training partner. With the multitude of fitness-oriented apps available for iOS and Android, you can use your smartphone to track your workouts, motivate you through a routine, and share your results with friends on social media. Many apps use your phone’s GPS to track your route and speed when walking, running or biking–all you need is an armband or a secure pocket.
7. Get fit with a video game. While that first-person shooter isn’t doing your body any favors, there are loads of fitness games available on all the latest consoles. Whether you like to dance, box, do aerobics or perform yoga, you can find a game to suit your interests. These games provide a great way to work out in your living room using the equipment that you already own.
8. When all else fails, fidget. Movement is movement–whether you’re kicking your feet under your desk or twiddling your thumbs, you are burning some calories. While fidgeting alone won’t give you a chiseled physique, it can help to keep your metabolism up, and it’s better than doing nothing at all while you’re glued to the screen.
Whether you’re glued to the television or chained to your computer, you can improve your fitness without sacrificing your precious screen time. When you incorporate these tips into your routine, no one can accuse you of being a couch potato!