Making Commercial Breaks Healthier—One Step at a Time

March 30, 2012 | By | Comments (1)

I read about this cool study the other day, where researchers found that people watching one-hour TV show who simply got off the couch and walked in place while their program went to a commercial burned a total of 148 calories and 2,111 steps over a total of 25 minutes of ads. (To compare, a more concentrated, hour-long treadmill workout burned an average of 304 calories. At about half that amount, the spot-walking is not too shabby!)

What surprised me about this was not just how many minutes of boob tube are punctuated with advertisements (geez, 25?!), or how easy and effective simply marching in place could be—and to my mind, it sure beats other homegrown attempts at multi-tasking such as hoisting dumbbells, squeezing in crunches or reeling off push-ups during the breaks—but what really struck me was that with my current habits, I’m not likely to take advantage of this report.

Why? I hardly EVER watch commercials anymore. Ninety-nine percent of the time I watch television that I’ve recorded on my DVR. And almost all of the time I gleefully zoom through the ads—thereby allowing me to suck up less of my precious free time,  catch up on my shows, and simultaneously sharing the TV with my sports-obsessed husband a bit more fairly.

Guess if I want to burn some calories, I’ll have to either stop skipping ahead and start using that commercial-time, or instead try any of these 13 great suggestions for TV multi-tasking. (Or keep playing Words With Friends during the slow parts.)

How do YOU make the most of commercial breaks? Fast-forward, exercise, or something else?