Netflix has become as popular as kombucha, vegetarian options, and rescue dogs. Binge-racing entire seasons have made it socially acceptable to say things like “I’m going to pass on going out tonight — I want to stay in and watch the rest of ‘Stranger Things.’”
With riveting shows like “Riverdale” and “Black Mirror,” why would you need to go anywhere other than the comfort of your own home, with your own invited guests (or not) and snacks?
Sounds perfect, right?
Well, except when it comes to our health.
We’re already living in an era where we barely have to move to get anything. Want groceries? Instacart them. Need your dry cleaning picked up? TaskRabbit it. Forgot your lunch? Postmates some food right to your office. Add hours of watching Netflix to the list, and we’re in real trouble, muscle-wise, health-wise, and oh-my-back-wise.
Now more than ever, we must figure out a way to keep our bodies fit and healthy while keeping our precious “House of Cards” from folding. Here are some foolproof ideas that work and will work for you too.
Challenge: Stella works full time and has three children. She doesn’t have time to work out, but she does have time to watch “Breaking Bad.”
Solution: She can only watch “Breaking Bad” while on her elliptical. If she wants to see what happens next, she has to do so while swooshing her feet back and forth on the arched foot pedals.
2. Earn your reward
Challenge: Maliyah loves “Orange is the New Black.” She works from home and finds herself watching more episodes around the clock than she would like.
Solution: For every 60 minutes of exercise she performs, she earns one episode.
3. Get it done quick
Challenge: Sasha loves to binge shows, and fast. She takes pride in being the first to finish a story and will do so on any given Sunday.
Solution: On Sundays, Sasha must complete her hardest workout of the week and do so first thing in the morning. Bam. Knock it out, shower, and chill.
4. Make it a game
Challenge: Danielle loves to watch “Friends from College” — yet doesn’t even have time to talk to her real friends from college, much less make the time to sweat.
Solution: Every time one of the main characters does this particular action she must perform the matching activity:
Cry: 10 burpees
Get naked: 60-second plank
Fight: 20 reverse lunges and kicks on each leg
Eat: 50 situps
Use the computer: 40 squats
5. Build up to it
Challenge: Hannah loves “Game of Thrones.” Each episode, she gets more engulfed into watching the next. She finds herself replacing her running time to watch back-to-back shows.
Solution: Before episode 1, she must run for 15 minutes. Before episode 2, she must run for 15 + 5 minutes. Before episode 3, she must run 15 + 5 + 5 minutes, simply adding 5 minutes each time before she watches the next episode. 10 shows in a season? She will be up to a 60-minute run!
Some other tips
Still hungry for at-home, anytime workout ideas? Add these three effective workouts that you can do before, during, or after a Netflix session. Each clock in at under 10 minutes each.
1. Booty lifter
Perform the mountain climbers for 30 seconds, and all other exercises for 60 seconds each. Repeat twice.
Mountain climbers: From high plank, run your knees under chest while keeping your hips low.
Feet together, low squats: Drop your hips just below parallel.
Curtsy lunges, right: From standing position, step your right leg just behind your left at a slight angle and lower your right knee toward the floor.
Mountain climbers: Perform the same way as before.
Feet hip distance, low squats: Drop your hips just below parallel.
Curtsy lunges, left: From standing position, step your left leg just behind your right at a slight angle and lower your left knee toward the floor.
2. Shoulder envy
Grab some dumbbells. Go one minute for each exercise. Repeat three times.
High plank taps: From high plank position, bring your right hand to your left shoulder, and alternate sides.
Side shoulder raises: Using dumbbells, lift your arms out to the sides and back down.
Down-dog press: From Downward-Dog position, bend your elbows and bring your head toward the floor. Extend your arms and return to the starting position.
3. Ab carver
Go one minute for each exercise. Repeat three times for rocking abs.
Row your bow: From Supine position with your arms overhead, roll up into a bent knee “boat” pose. Return to start and repeat.
T abs: From Supine position and your arms in a “T” shape, bring your left hand to your right foot. The hand and foot should meet just above the middle of your body. Repeat on one side for 30 seconds. Then switch sides.
Side plank knee drive: From the left side forearm plank position, bring your right hand behind your head. Crunch your right elbow toward your right knee as the right knee is bending and moving toward your right elbow. Repeat this side for 30 seconds, then switch.
Angie Stewart, MPH, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She’s a former Division I collegiate athlete from Georgia and is now a celebrity trainer in Los Angeles. As a mom, Angie created an online fitness plan called the Road to Awesome to help women access fitness and nutrition plans from the convenience of their own home.