According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend at least 2.8 hours watching television every day. Other estimates put the number of hours of television watching at 34 every week, according to a Nielson report. Unfortunately for seniors, being sedentary can have negative health effects. To turn a television habit into constructive time that is beneficial for your senior wellness, check out a few of these easy exercises while watching your favorite show.
- Bicep curls
With a few lightweight dumbbells, it is easy to do arm exercises while still sitting and watching television. Bicep curls are a great activity to strengthen arms and stay fit. While sitting, extend your arm holding the weight, keeping elbows tucked close to the waist. Pull up, bending only from the elbows, toward your shoulders with palms facing toward the ceiling. Do several repetitions to get the full effect. Bicep curls can also be done with a heavy book instead of a free weight.
For strong forearms and wrists, hand grips are an excellent and convenient piece of equipment that will tone. For seniors, grip strength is a good way for doctors to test physical fitness levels. With a hand grip, grab the two sides and squeeze together several times. The resistance will help build up muscle.
- Tricep dips
This exercise doesn't require any other equipment, as you can use a chair or couch. Tricep dips work the backside of the upper arm and require you to lift against your own body weight. To do a dip, sit at the edge of a sturdy piece of furniture and place both hands on either side of your body. Bring your legs out so your body weight is resting on your hands. Legs should be bent and feet planted about hip-width apart. Bend 90 degrees at the elbows and lower your body before rising back up and straightening the arms. Do this exercise until you become tired. Straightening the legs can increase the intensity.
- Exercise ball
Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair or couch can work your core muscles even without you realizing it. Exchanging the couch for an exercise ball can also improve your posture and balance. You can also stretch while sitting on the ball to improve flexibility.
To make the most out of watching television and getting some exercise into the mix, try challenging yourself using the natural breaks on air.
When a break comes on, use it as a time to get moving. Work hard for a few minutes before sitting back down to watch. While commercials only last a few minutes, the amount of time you exercise will build up quickly.
During a commercial break or see how many repetitions of a certain exercise you can complete. At the next break, try to beat how many you did the time before.
- Jog in place
While doing this exercise isn't as effective as walking or running outside, jogging in place can still add up. If you wear a pedometer, track the number of steps you take while in place.