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How to Lose Weight Watching TV

How to Lose Weight Watching TV

We are fast becoming a society of statues. A curious species who seem to have our collective asses permanently attached to a chair. Or preferably, a couch. We discovered that within a few years many of us will have identical movement patterns and daily activity levels to that of the oak tree. Yep, it appears that many of us have become fat (seated) spectators in the game of life. Heavy sigh.

Fat sigh.

Moving towards a Solution

    So as I’m an Exercise Scientist and Personal Development Bloke, I thought it might be timely and appropriate for me to throw out one simple suggestion which might be a practical and realistic strategy to offset a little of that collective inactivity. A simple way to burn a bunch more calories, lose some weight and fat, improve our health, increase our fitness and get us in a better place emotionally and psychologically without even having to leave our lounge room (although we could do it anywhere). No use talking about problems unless we’re serious about finding a solution. Otherwise we’re just complaining.

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    Keeping it Simple

    Note that what I am about to outline is not a global answer to obesity (of course) or a one-program-fits-all solution for the fat asses of the world. No, it’s my way of showing how simple and effective exercising for weight-loss can be when we find a way, rather than find an excuse. While the moaning masses might be problem-focused, you and I are gonna be solution-focused. So there.

    The following example is exactly that; an example of how practical and uncomplicated we can make the process of increasing our daily energy expenditure.

    Some Interesting Facts:

    1. The average person watches about three hours of television per day – mostly in the evening. These figures are similar in the U.K. (according to the research I have).

    2. Every hour of commercial prime-time television is programmed with about fifteen minutes of advertisements. Forty five minutes of show, fifteen minutes of ads – with the ads typically being broken up into five three(ish) minutes blocks.

    3.
    An individual who regularly watches TV from 7.30pm – 10.30pm (for example) will be subjected to approximately forty five minutes of mind-numbing, ass-expanding ads every night.

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    The Suggestion

    Use those three minute blocks to change your body and life.

    A Question

      What would happen over the course of a year if our average TV watcher got off the couch and did some simple, easy-to-do step-ups (stepping up and down on a box, step, platform) every time the ads were on? The answer is quite staggering.

      Some Hypotheticals

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      The following hypothetical scenarios are based on the assumption that the only change in the subject’s lifestyle (diet, incidental and occupational activity) is the inclusion of the fifteen three-minute bouts of stepping. The step height would be either eight or twelve inches (20 or 30cm). The estimated annual weight loss was calculated by dividing the total calories expended for the year (via stepping) by 3,500. See my recent article for clarification on the significance of the 3,500 figure.

      Example 1.

      Weight of subject: 150 lbs (68 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 460 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 552 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 167,900 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 201,480 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      48 lbs (21.8 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box): 57.6 lbs (26.1 kgs)

      Example 2.

      Weight of subject: 200 lbs (90.7 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 614 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 737 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 224,110 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 269,005 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      64 lbs (29 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box):
      76.9 lbs (34.9 kgs)

      Example 3.

      Weight of subject: 250 lbs (113.4 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 767 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 921 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 279,995 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 336,165 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      80 lbs (36.3 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box):
      96 lbs (43.5 kgs)

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      Wow!

      Freaky huh? Now, of course I’m not suggesting that we would, should or could (well, I guess we could if we really wanted to) step for forty five minutes every day for the next year, but what I am suggesting is that when we remove the emotion and the bullshit excuses, increasing our daily energy expenditure (thereby losing weight and fat) really ain’t that complex. Unless of course we find a way to make it so. And no, what I’ve written above is not (in any way) intended to be a personal exercise prescription for any individual.

      Who said disclaimer?

      Some Final Thoughts

        Naturally the heavier you are the more energy you will expend (cals you will burn) per unit of time, so simply adjust the numbers up or down by using the above weights and figures as a guide. Of course you could replace the step-ups with a number of alternatives and use your three minute intervals any way you choose. Activities such as stair walking, skipping, treadmill and stationary bike could all be viable options. There are a few other variables which will have some impact on precisely on how much energy you expend over your three minutes (like technique and intensity) but overall, the above figures will give you a good idea of what’s possible.
        I chose the old-fashioned step-up because it’s cost effective, practical, convenient, requires no equipment (okay a box), no skill and is suitable for most fitness levels. It’s also pretty handy at targeting the ass, hips and legs – per chance you should know somebody whose lower body is in need of some attention!

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        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

        But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

        Sight – Visual Stimulation

        The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

        1. Maximize your exposure to light.

        Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

        Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

        2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

        Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

        Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

        Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

        3. Take note of your environment.

        Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

        By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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        Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

        What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

        4. Engage in conversation.

        Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

        Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

        Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

        Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

        5. Listen to upbeat music.

        Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

        Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

        Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

        If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

        6. Work your nose.

        Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

        If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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        Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

        Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

        If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

        7. Have a good breakfast.

        Start off with the most important meal of the day.

        Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

        Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

        Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

        20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

        8. Drink lots of water.

        Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

        So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

        How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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        Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

        3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

        9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

        Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

        Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

        Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

        25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

        Touch – Tactile Stimulation

        Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

        10. Splash cold water on your face.

        Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

        This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

        5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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        11. Use acupressure.

        Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

        Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

        12. Get moving.

        Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

        And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

        You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

        Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

        Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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