Many people have trouble finding the motivation to get off the couch and exercise. For them, couchersizing is one way to get moving, reports the December 2013 Harvard Health Letter. That means staying on or near the couch and exercising while watching television.
"A growing body of literature connects the amount of time you spend sitting to illness and even death. Minimizing long periods of inactivity, like exercising during commercial breaks, can help reduce the risk of injury and may even help you live longer," says Kailin Collins, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
It's possible to work many different muscle groups while seated on the couch. To boost heart rate, work the oblique muscles on the sides of the abdomen, and whittle the waist, twist your torso from side to side for the length of a commercial break. It's also possible to exercise while lying on the couch: with legs extended, squeeze the quadriceps on the front of the thigh for a count of 10, then relax. Repeat several times. Try leg lifts while lying flat to build abs, or side lifts to strengthen hip muscles.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Or subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.