You might think of exercise vs. TV as one of the epic rivalries of our time. These two activities don't really need to conflict, though. There are plenty of ways to get your heart rate up while making sure you can keep up with your favorite show at the same time.
Many common exercises require no equipment at all, and are easy to do whenever you have a moment, including while watching TV. If you narrow the possibilities down a little -- say, to exercises you can do standing or sitting while facing mostly forward -- you still have plenty of options. For example, try a combination of jumping jacks, lunges and standing leg lifts to get your whole body moving and your heart rate up.
While many types of weight-lifting exercises can be done while watching TV, choosing light wrist and ankle weights may be the best if you want to focus on aerobic exercise. Perform any calisthenics with weights for additional resistance, or focus on simple leg and arm lifts while sitting or standing. For the greatest aerobic benefits, choose relatively light weights that you can lift quickly for many repetitions. Combining muscle groups -- for example, lifting wrist and ankle weights simultaneously -- will give you the most thorough workout.
Exercise machines are a convenient way to get a workout while watching television. You will generally be facing in one direction while using one, performing simple exercises that don't require much attention. Good choices for an aerobic workout at home include a stationary bicycle, treadmill, elliptical machine or stair climber. If the pace of exercise is controlled by the machine, choose a speed at which you can still carry on a conversation.
Other Aerobic Exercises
As long as you get your heart rate up, pretty much anything counts as aerobic exercise. You can come up with plenty of other moves that you can do while standing in one place and facing forward -- for example, running in place, dancing or even standing up and sitting down in a chair again and again. If you have a few props available, do step exercises in front of the TV, or add light wrist or ankle weights while performing some of these moves. Whatever exercise you choose, try to keep your heart rate up for at least 20 to 30 minutes for the best heart-healthy results.
Laura Gee has a B.A. in history and anthropology, but now spends more time blogging and producing web content. She has worked and/or trained as an illustrator, crafter, caterer, yoga teacher, child-care provider and massage therapist, and she loves to travel when she gets a chance.