January 8, 2008

Couch Exerciser Roundup

Do you like sitting on your butt? Yeah, I do too. However, I try to watch fitness TV shows because they get me a bit inspired and make me at least lift a weights while I watch. Here are a few of my favorites:

American Gladiators (Monday nights): I have to say, it’s refreshing to see people in normal clothes when you look into the stands, rather than 80s outfits and hairstyles. I guess the protective gear looks a bit safer this time around too. Otherwise… not much has changed. But I don’t know – I kind of miss laughing at the cheesy 80s vibe. At least there is a gladiator named Hellga who looks like a stereotypical Helga. She also has ridiculously huge boobs. Is it possible to use your boobs to lift weights? Hellga looks like she might do that.

The Biggest Loser (Tuesday nights): this is the ultimate motivational show for me. Tuesday nights are always my biggest exercise nights, and it’s all thanks to this. Unfortunately, the tips they pass along aren’t that great – they’re usually either common sense or product-placement (Jennie-O Turkey anyone? Apparently that’s all you can eat if you’re dieting. To see why that’s not true, just read the rest of my blog). However, it’s really inspiring to see these insanely heavy people working hard, sweating a lot, and losing a ton of weight. Makes me feel bad for getting tired on the treadmill when I know they’re hefting twice my weight.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – Making the Team (used to be Friday nights; all episodes are now available online at CMT.com): I used to be a dancer, so I really enjoy this. It basically profiles the group of girls in training camp to become Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and it’s really dance/exercise focused. I enjoyed season 1 a lot more than season 2, but both were decent. The messages they pass on aren’t that healthy (they require the girls to have kind of unreal bodies), but if you’re a featherweight trying to lose the last few pounds, it can be inspiring to see the near-perfect bodies and know what you’re striving for; just make sure you keep a healthy perspective.

And what do I do while I’m watching? I have a pair of 5 pound dumbbells and a pair of 8 pound dumbbells, as well as a stretchy band and a pair of 1 pound wristweights. None of that is very heavy, but if I do lots of reps I do feel like I’m getting a workout. I don’t know if I’ve ever really detailed my fitness regimen on this blog, but in general I do one muscle group per day and I alternate between three groups: arms/upper back/chest, abs/lower back, legs/butt. That gives each group two days before I go again, which is good because I’m a creature of habit and generally work out every day (if I skip a day, I find it hard to get back on track, so that’s why I work out very day. I figure alternating the muscle groups will make it okay). I have to admit, I stole the rotation from one of my favorite fitness DVDs, Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom. If you are new to working out/light weights, it’s a good DVD to help you learn a few moves and get you going. Plus, each segment is only about 15 minutes long, so it’s something I can wake up early and do!

I go down to the gym and watch TV on the elliptical a lot, but sometimes when the gym is closed or I want to watch something that I’ve DVRed, I just do basic aerobics while I watch. Jumping jacks, running in place, grapevines, hamstring curls… these are all things you can learn from any aerobics class or even a book or online exercise video. As long as you’re keeping your heart rate up, I say it counts!

In general, I make it a point to never just watch TV. I always either blog while I’m watching (hi!!), eat (yes, I know that’s bad, but I’m careful with portions), or work out. None of this couch potato nonsense for me! I’m a couch exerciser, and proud of it 🙂


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