When I moved to Asia a few years ago, my already busy life got a lot busier. With teaching, writing for travel magazines, an active social life and keeping up on my favorite TV shows, the first thing I stopped doing was working out. Rapid weight gain was the obvious result. After months of being overweight and complaining I didn’t “have time to to go a gym”, it dawned on me I could work out, while not giving up the little entertainment time I had left. So, I devised a workout routine that would allow me to have daily exercise at home, while still enjoying the TV shows and movies I love to watch.
Workout Equipment I Use – I first looked at several gym memberships all of which, with sign-up fees and monthly fees, were at least $75 a month. Too expensive, particularly for the cheap Asian country I live in, I worked out that buying a stationary bike and a few pieces of workout equipment would cost the equivalent of only three months gym membership fees, yet I’d be able to use them for years, and at home, while watching TV.
The first piece of equipment I purchased was a stationary bike. At only $140 on sale, it has varying speeds you can ride it at, as well as different tension settings. Thirty minutes on this bike gives me a wonderful workout.
Next, I bought two sets of hand weights, 2lb and 4lb weights, and a length of exercise tubing with handles. For all of this, at my local hypermarket, I paid less than $20.
My TV Workout Routine– I enjoy watching documentaries in the evenings, as well as TV shows on DVD and movies. So, my daily workout routine (I work out every day except Sundays) begins at 8pm and finishes at 9:15pm.
8-8:45pm– After turning on my favorite TV show or movie, I set up my stationary bike in front of the TV and get on it. The first part of my workout routine is a 45 minute bike ride. The first 15 minutes, I pedal at a fast speed with low tension, to get my muscles relaxed and working. The next 15 minutes, I increase the tension so pedal slower but work my muscles more. The next 10 minutes, I stand in the stirrups and pedal standing up. This is wonderful exercise for my butt and thighs, as well as my stomach. The last five minutes is a cool down, pedaling slower at a low tension. Then, I have a five minute rest.
During the time it takes me to exercise on my bike, I can watch one episode of a TV show on DVD and, if the bike is loud, I turn on the English subtitles so I don’t miss any of it.
8:50-9:05pm – As stationary bikes only exercise the lower part of your body, if you want to be in shape all over, you have to find an upper body workout you can also do in front of the TV. I use the hand weights and exercise tubing.
I do repetitions of various hand weight exercises beginning with the 2lb weights, then moving up to the 4lb weights. On alternate days, I do different exercises, so every muscle in my upper body gets a workout. While I’m doing these exercises, plus the final ones with the exercise tubing, I usually watch a half hour comedy show or news program. If you want to follow this workout routine, devise some hand weight exercises that would work for the fitness goals you want to achieve.
9:05-9:15pm – The final part of my workout is using the exercise tubing. I spend 10 minutes doing exercises that tone up my arms, my back and my chest. Just 10 minutes six times a week is enough to keep my upper body toned and in shape and I can do it standing in front of my television.
While this might seem the lazy person’s way to exercise, it’s really not. In an hour and 15 minutes, I get a superb workout, designed to exercise every muscle in my body, and that also gives me a great 45 minute cardio workout. In the two years I’ve been doing this workout, I never get bored as, while I’m exercising, my mind is occupied with documentaries, comedies and movies. It’s a great way for a busy person like me not to miss out on some fun and still stay healthy and in shape.