I like watching television, but find it hard to sit still for the duration of a show. So instead of slumping on the couch, I turn TV time into an opportunity to be productive. Here are some ways I like to stay active while watching television. Whether you’re tuned into a Real Housewives marathon or are checking the NHL scores on ESPN, try these activities to make your TV time anything but unproductive.
- Get limber. Sitting–especially slouching on the couch–causes muscle tightness, which can lead to chronic pain and injury. I stay loose by using the wall-space near my TV to stretch my hamstrings, and hit the floor with a foam roller to ease the tension in my IT bands.
- Exercise. TV time is the ideal opportunity to do crunches, push-ups, squats, planks, jumping jacks, lunges, yoga poses, and more. I work out during commercial breaks, but you might be tough enough to sweat through an entire show.
- Fold Laundry. This mindless activity complements my favorite sit-coms, and digging into a fresh-from-the-dryer basket keeps me cozy on chilly nights.
- Iron. Ironing is my least favorite chore, so I set up my ironing board in front of a funny show, and laugh myself through the whole pile of wrinkly clothing.
- Groom pets. I brush my dogs while we watch TV. I also clean their ears, brush their teeth, and check them over for any sore spots. The noise and visual stimulation from the television helps to distract them while I poke and prod.
- Handwork. I tackle the quick projects in my sewing basket while watching TV. I sew on buttons, repair seams, and mark trousers for machine hemming. I also like to knit, cross stitch, and make origami while relaxing in front of a TV show or movie.
- Pay bills. Whether you pay the piper online or via snail-mail, doing so while tuned in to your favorite show makes handing over your hard-earned money a bit less painful.
- Keep in touch. I always address my holiday card envelopes in front of “Christmas Vacation” to help me get into the seasonal spirit. I also use TV time to write thank you notes, send greeting cards, and make sure my address book is current.
- Organize. There is always something in my house that could be a little neater. In recent weeks, while watching the NBA playoffs, I’ve alphabetized my recipe box, straightened my craft bin, and dumped out and cleaned up the junk drawer.
- Plan ahead. I’m not a morning person, so I plan my outfits for the week while watching television on Sunday evening. I also make a menu plan for the week, and ensure that the fridge and pantry are stocked with what I need. Often, I get inspiration from an outfit or entree on the show I’m watching.
- Clean. I dust the family room and sift through that teetering pile of magazines on the coffee table while watching television. If need be, I vacuum and hit other rooms during commercials. I try to get my whole house straightened and swept by the time my show is over.
- Use that brain. I keep my mind sharp—even while tuned in to trashy TV—by working crossword and Sudoku puzzles.
- Have a spa night. I give myself a manicure, pedicure, or facial while watching TV. This is also a great time to let fake tanner dry without smudging.
Do you have any tips for making TV time more productive? Leave us a comment and let us know. Photo by ezs.