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How Commercial Breaks Can Improve Your Health

How Commercial Breaks Can Improve Your Health

According to research, the average American spends 2.8 to 4.8 hours a day watching TV.

Whether it is the big game, the Bachelor, or Seinfeld re-runs we spend way too much of our leisure time on the couch. However, our bodies were not designed for long periods of sitting.

Sitting for long periods of time can cause certain muscles in our body to tighten up and other muscles to weaken. This creates muscle imbalances that could lead to potential problems in the back, neck, or legs.

With that said, for every 30 minutes of television there are roughly about 8 minutes of commercials. This means that the average American sits through 44 to 75 minutes of commercials every day!

We have two choices. We can either let these commercial breaks control us or we can use them as an opportunity to improve our health all while relaxing and enjoying our most popular past-time.

Quick Exercises to Do During a Commercial Break:

Here are quick exercise sets you can do to promote your health while waiting for your show to start back up.

All you need is your favorite chair or a couch:

1. Seated Piriformis Stretch:

  1. Duration: 30 seconds
  2. While seated, cross one leg on top of the other so the distal shin (the lower part near your foot) is resting on the opposite knee.
  3. Slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt on the leg that is crossed.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg.

2. Seated Glut Med Stretch:

  1. Duration: 30 seconds
  2. While seated, cross one leg on top of the other.
  3. Pull the knee of the crossed leg inwards towards the opposite shoulder.
  4. Hold once a stretch is felt on the outside or back of the hip.
  5. Switch legs after 30 seconds.

3. Seated Hamstring Stretch

  1. Duration: 30 seconds
  2. Sitting on the edge of a chair with one leg straight and the other bent.
  3. Slowly reach towards the foot of the straightened leg.
  4. Breathe into the stretch and hold once a pull is felt on the back of the leg.
  5. Switch legs after 30 seconds.

4. UT Stretch

  1. Duration: 30 seconds
  2. Sitting on the edge of a chair, grab a hold of the chair seat with one arm.
  3. Rotate your head towards the armpit of the arm holding the chair seat.
  4. Reach with the opposite arm over your head and gently pull head to your side while keeping your head rotated.
  5. Hold once stretch is felt on side of neck.
  6. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

5. Chin Tucks:

  1. While seated, slowly tuck chin and draw neck backward, giving yourself a “double chin.”
  2. Hold this position for 10 seconds and relax.
  3. Repeat 20 times.

6. Pelvic Tilts

  1. While seated, slowly rotate hips backward like a dog tucking its tail under its legs.
  2. Pause briefly, and then rotate the hips forward.
  3. You should feel your body weight.
  4. Repeat 20 times.

7. Sit to Stand

 

  1. While sitting at edge of seat with arms crossed on chest, slowly bend at hips until shoulders are directly over knees.
  2. Lift hips off seat until knees and hips are fully extended.
  3. Slowly bring hips backwards and bend knees until hips reach seat.
  4. Repeat 20 times.

8. Heel Raises

  1. Standing behind a chair (for balance), slowly lift your heels off the ground until you are only on your toes.
  2. Pause briefly, then slowly lower heels to ground.
  3. Repeat 20 times.

9. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Duration: 30 seconds
  2. While standing, place one foot in front of the other.
  3. Tilt your pelvis backwards; think of a dog tucking its tail between its legs.
  4. Once your pelvis is tilted, slowly shift your weight forward until a stretch is felt on the front of the hip.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other side.

Using these exercises between commercial breaks is a great way to improve your health without going to the gym!

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Daniel Burke, PT, DPT
Daniel's hobbies and interests include painting, graphic design, snowboarding, basketball, cooking, and spending time outdoors