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FITNESS FOR THE COUCH POTATO!

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION |

For many people, it is difficult to motivate yourself off of the couch and over to the treadmill or down to the local gym for some exercise.

For any couch potato whose only exercise is a brisk walk to and from the refrigerator, you donít need to give up your favorite shows to add some fitness to your day. According to Nancy Wright, a lifestyle and weight-management consultant certified by the American Council on Exercise, you could burn as many as 360 calories if you exercised for the duration of a Lifetime Original Movie.

Next time you grab your morning coffee or evening meal and sink into the couch, think of these exercise tips to shed some calories and improve flexibility:

Side Crunches

Lie on the couch on your left side with your legs together and your knees bent. Place your right hand behind your head with your elbow pointing toward the ceiling. Wrap your left arm around your waist. Try to lift your shoulder off the couch and contract your stomach muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly return to start position. Repeat, and remember to switch sides.

Armchair Stands

Sit on the edge of a couch with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without using your arms, stand up and tighten your butt muscles as you rise. Keep your stomach tight and your back straight. Hold for 10 seconds, and then slowly sit back down. Before you touch the couch, stand up again.

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Armchair Dips

Sitting on the edge of a couch or chair, place your hands on the edge on either side of you. Move your feet out so that your butt is slightly off the chair, and your knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Position yourself so your elbows are pointing directly behind you and lower yourself until you feel the burn. Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly press up again.

Leg lifts

Lie on your back with your hands placed under your butt. Press your legs together and lift them into the air about 1 Ĺ feet off the couch. Hold for 15 seconds and slowly lower legs back to the couch. Repeat.

Did you know that in a 30 minute episode of your favorite show, there can be up to 12 minutes of commercials? If you exercise for every commercial during a two hour movie, that is an extra 30 minutes of fitness a day! Instead of heading to the refrigerator, use the break to supplement your workout with some great cardio exercises. Stand up and do some jumping jacks for the duration of the commercial. Donít walk to the bathroom- march or jog instead.

So now you have a few tips to help you shape up while youíre sitting down. Who said exercise couldnít be fun?

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