Cooler temps got you hanging indoors, and binge-watching your favorite shows? That’s cool, but whenever you settle in for a marathon, you may want to consider doing a little physical activity in front of the tube. Here’s why: New research presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association suggests that the more time you spend watching TV, the greater your risk of blood clots (even if you get the recommended amount of exercise each week). Yikes!
But here’s the good news: It’s possible to squeeze in a workout without ever hitting pause. In the video above, Chelsea Potter, an instructor at Solace in New York City, demonstrates a sneaky set of calorie-crushing intervals and feel-good stretches you can do right in your living room. “The intervals keep your heart rate up so you burn more calories, while the stretching will help keep delayed-onset muscle soreness, as well as potential injuries, away, ” she explains.
Potter recommends performing the stretches during the show, and then cranking things up a notch with the 90-second intervals during commercials. We can guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better after your next bingefest.
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Can’t take your eyes off the screen? Don’t worry. You can do these six simple poses as the plot unfolds. Aim to hold each for 90 seconds.
Sit tall with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place hands at sides; palms face back. Walk hands back until torso is at a slight angle. Cross right ankle over left knee, and pull left leg into towards body. Repeat with opposite leg.
Sit tall with shoulders relaxed, knees bent and soles of feet touching; place hands on feet. Tighten abs and then fold forward slowly. Hold; return to start. For an even greater stretch, lower elbows to inner thighs and push down on thighs.
Start in upward-facing dog, keeping legs on floor. Step right foot to outside of right hand, coming into a low lunge, and hold. Bring left foot back to plank and then repeat movement on opposite side. Want a deeper stretch? Lower down to forearms.
Lie facedown with elbows bent and palms at sides. Push into hands, straightening arms. Push into the tops of feet to lift thighs. Hold, and then release.
Sit tall with legs bent, feet flat on floor and hands next to hips; palms face back. Slowly walk hands backward as far as possible so that torso begins lowering down toward floor, and hold. Walk hands back in to return to start.
Sit tall with legs crossed. Grab hand towel between hands, pulling until taut. Raise arms over head, and then lower until towel is behind head. Pull towel to right so right arm is straight and left arm forms a 90-degree angle. Pull towel to left to repeat motion. Continue alternating back and forth.
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Now it’s time to really work. These three combos will get your heart pumping and that calorie furnace burning. Start with 2 reps of each exercise and increase in a ladder, going to 4 reps per exercise, 6 reps, and continuing for as many reps as possible for 90 seconds.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest high, abs drawn in, and hands clasped in front of chest or straight out with palms down. Once hips are slightly below parallel, jump up explosively, swinging arms behind you. Upon landing, squat back down, and repeat.
Squat down and place hands on floor in front of you. Jump feet out so that you’re now in a plank. Jump feet back in towards hands. As you rise to stand, jump up explosively. Make it harder: add in a pushup after the plank.
Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on floor, and hands lightly behind head. Press lower back into ground, pull abs in and lift head, shoulders, and upper back off of floor. Twist torso as you simultaneously bring left elbow and right knee in toward each other while straightening left leg. Draw right knee back in and immediately repeat the movement with the opposite side; continue alternating.
Lie faceup with legs and arms straight. Reach arms over head. Lift arms and legs slightly off of the floor. Engage abs, lift torso and legs as if trying to touch hands to toes. Lower back down; don’t let legs or arms touch ground. Repeat.
Start with feet hip-width apart. Step right foot forward about 2 feet and lower into a lunge, making sure knee does not go past ankle. Jump up, switching position of legs in the air, so that you land in a lunge with left foot forward. Continue alternating.
Towel Ski Jumps
Place a rolled-up towel on floor, standing to the left of it with feet together and hands on hips. Jump up and over the towel, landing lightly on the floor so that you are now standing to the right of the towel. Continue jumping over the towel as quickly as possible.