Best TV Shows for 4 Workout Scenarios

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This week is Mind + Body week on full clutch, and the posts will be all about healthy ways to find your best self and incorporate them into your routine.  Finding the natural point of health for your mind and body can be a tough journey, but one well worth it.  When you’re comfortable in your own skin, finding and building your style can actually be a pleasure!  No matter your size or shape, we hope to leave you with some practical tips for a healthy body and happy mind!

If you spend your workouts in the gym (as opposed to biking or running or swimming outside), you know it can get old real quick. Same view, same machines each day. My motivation to stay on the Stairmaster comes in the form of entertainment. Specifically TV. My gym has televisions on about half the machines, but I also bring my tablet and stream through Netflix if there’s something I know I want to watch ahead of time. Here are four workout scenarios and the shows I recommend to keep you trucking:


For the quick, fit-it-in-between-meetings-on-a-Wednesday-afternoon workout:

Sometimes all you have is 20 or 30 minutes to work up a sweat. It’s still worth the effort to keep that routine going, and give yourself an endorphin boost. For these short, on the go workouts, sitcoms are your best bet. They’re usually about 20-25 minutes long, with a complete story arc. My personal faves? The Office for starters. Seasons 2,  3 and 4 are the best–the Pam and Jim storyline is still fresh and tension-filled, Michael is still in Scranton and acting like an idiot, Dwight is weird as ever, Ryan is a train wreck. Another pick? How I Met Your Mother. If you haven’t seen this show, it’s so watchable. The characters are unique and fun, and the maze of storytelling is a pleasure to watch. Plus, even though a lot happens in each episode, everything is neatly wrapped up by the end (of course, except for who “your mother” actually is), so there’s a feeling of satisfaction when you step off that treadmill.


For stop and go circuit training:

A lot of trainers these days are recommending what we used to call circuit training–intervals of high intensity aerobic activity, interspersed with weight training or power movements. So running on the treadmill for five minutes, then doing bicep curls for one minute, then burpees for another minute, back to the treadmill, and so on. If this is your style, you’ll need TV that really has no story line or plot, can easily be accessed and understood for five or ten minutes at a time, and is entertaining enough that you won’t think about the burn in your calves. Enter The Real Housewives franchise. It doesn’t matter who the “characters” are, which city they’re living in, or who’s in a fight with whom. Turn it on and get lost, briefly, in discussion of botox, redecoration of the house in Aspen, organization of the gala event benefiting diabetes, and why Taylor is always so drunk. It’s light! It’s frothy! It doesn’t matter if someone actually does explain to the camera why Taylor is always so drunk, and you miss it–they’ll be back on in fifteen minutes to talk about her drinking again anyway.


For the I-really-hate-every-minute-of-this-and-forced-myself-into-the-car-and-through-the-door workout:

We’ve all been there, right? You don’t want to workout today. You really, really don’t. But you know it’s going to make you feel better, and you’ll be glad afterward that you went. So you drag yourself there. You deserve a pat on the back–seriously, good for you. You also deserve really good television. A show with developed, complicated characters, great plot twists, equal parts action, drama, and romance, and amazing dialogue that distracts you from your misery. Sons of Anarchy has to be top on my list. It’s a modern-day Hamlet with a motorcycle gang, Peg from Married with Children, and the hottest bad ass on TV, Charlie Hunnam. I also think Breaking Bad is a great option. It’s full of surprises–you never know what high-school-chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-cooker Walter will do next.


For the endurance workout:

Training for a marathon? A triathlon? Just had a really stressful day and you need to burn up all of that excess adrenaline in a long workout? Pick a show that specializes in the cliffhanger. You know, the ones where if you’re watching them in real time, you feel like you might actually die because you have to wait a week to see what happens next. That way, you have incentive to binge watch multiple episodes at once and increase the length of your workout. My personal favorite is Lost. I watched that show the first time around while NOT working out, and let me tell you, that was a missed opportunity. I could not stop watching this show–if only I’d had the sense to hop on a bike while whiling away those hours. If you’ve still never seen it, give it a shot. There are so many subplots with the huge cast of characters (plus eye candy, helllooo Josh Holloway), so many secrets uncovered each week–it’s really the crack version of television. Try to stop watching.  A more current option: Scandal. What is happening on this show!?! Totally soapy, dark, crazy plot turns, full of sex, murder, and conspiracy–if this show doesn’t keep your body moving, I don’t know what will.

What do you watch while getting fit?

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