Health Hack #1: Netflix and Uphill

If you’re anything like the majority of human beings living on planet Earth and you get bored just thinking about hopping on an exercise bike, here’s a simple but effective way to ensure that not only do you make your cardio routine more consistent and results oriented, but also an enjoyable experience to boot: watch tv.

It may seem obvious due to the rows and rows of flatscreens lined up along the machines in practically every gym in America nowadays, but there does remain a lot to be desired from this type of overt and costly setup. Often times, the remote for starters. Where is it? Decent channels too maybe? Headphone jacks. Who uses headphone jacks anymore!? Clearly, there has to be a better way. And there is.

The hack: If you have a phone or tablet and some good wifi, you can burn calories while you binge on the latest and greatest shows, or take a step back and catch up on some classics. According to Netflix’s “Watch it While You Work It” campaign, ‘Breaking Bad’ could net you around 13,483 calories on a bike and a whopping 38,668 calories (that’s approximately 10 pounds) on an elliptical if you marathon the entire series. Or if you prefer to laugh while you lose, ‘Arrested Development’ clocks 24,517 calories for the series on elliptical, and ‘Family Guy’ comes in at 334 calories per episode.

The takeaway: In an ideal world, keeping fit and healthy would be effortless. But in the world we have, that’s unlikely to ever be the case. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and entertaining. Perhaps even educational. Because when it’s workout time, we all are familiar with that dull ache emanating from the depths of our innermost being that screams with a whimper, begging and pleading with us not to leave our cozy digs and physically exert our bodies when, strictly speaking, we really don’t have to.

The trick is, you have to want to. Utilizing a vast streaming selection of titles and genres curated to your own personal viewing preferences can help to overcome exercise aversion by making your workouts something that you look forward to every day.

Is watching tv while you work out lazy? Sort of. Does it violate the stringent standards and mores of your average iron-willed gym-junkie? Probably. Will your personal trainer ever tell you to do it? Hell no. But who really cares? It gets the job done. And it beats sitting around eating popcorn.

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