Progress report: "How to Watch TV and Get Fit"

Winner of  a copy of "Ice Mountain"by Dave Bonta: Patsy!
Patsy, please contact me to provide a postal address to which you would like your book shipped, and I will contact the publisher. My address is under my photo in the right sidebar.


In early February, I began to exercise using with Debbie Rahman and Linda Killian's book, "How to Watch TV and Get Fit, Three Minutes at a Time".  

I added this to my usual routine of walking or biking for an hour several days a week and a pinch of weight work, because that winter cushion which I like to think is caused by my longjohns—but is not—has not been helped by sitting.

There were times, oh, there were a number of times, when I was tempted to skip a day, but knew I had to report to you, even if you'd forgotten about it.

Bottom line, pun intended: My waist and hip measurements are down one and nearly two inches respectively; my thigh measurement and weight stayed the same.

I improved in every section of the fitness test except the devil of a sit-on-floor-and-get-up-without using-hands-or-knees one. I remain an 7 out of 8 in that, despite consulting YouTube for tips. (Some spry British seniors bounce upright like Tommee Tippee cups.)

These results surprised me, because the routine is fairly gentle.  I'd planned to stay at Level One for the initial six weeks to see if even the beginner routine would yield results, but after a month became curious about Two (not all that different, but some exercises add weight by using cans of peas or whatever you have.)

Of course the results for each person will vary, depending on your fitness level when you begin and whether you can be pried away from Facebook notifications and adorable animal videos.

If so, you can insert a roughly 40-minute workout that combines strength, balance and agility into your day, in small increments. No travel, no changing clothes (but loose pants help), no disheartening comparison to the yogi next to you who can put her leg behind her head.

You have done a workout with hardly realizing it.

The downside is that you have to do them; as my friend in AA says, "It works if you work it." But I enjoyed taking a break from my desk and knocking off two or three sequences, a total of 10 or 12 minutes at a shot, more satisfying for me than doing a single sequence at a time—the method you'd use if you spent each TV commercial break during a couple hours of TV doing the micro-workout.

The videos in which Linda Killian demonstrates each exercise are concise and show both front and side views. Linda is supremely buff; don't let it deter you.


In Level Two,  one sequence involves floor exercises, but the view of dust bunnies demotivated me, so I did them standing.

I purposely kept my eating the same, retaining a moderate intake of treats for the sake of more accurate research, and because Le Duc made this absolutely delicious Orange Savarin.

Minor quibbles:
1. The sound (without supplemental speakers) will be low for anyone who is hearing-impaired.
2. The Excel spreadsheet:  I could not input the data for the second evaluation, but I am not a crack Excel user. I built my own chart.

The fun factor is subtle. Many forms of exercise are more engaging, but TV Fitness gets it done, and besides, you will still have energy for riding your bike or walking the dog; this is not CrossFit Bold.

So that's pretty good, isn't it?  The iBook cost $US 10, a bargain for more breathing room in my jeans, and improved strength and balance.

I'm into it now, buoyed by the results—and besides, I want to get up off the floor without using hands or knees. Can you?


And: another draw! Debbie Rahman has graciously offered one copy of "How to Watch TV and Get Fit" to a reader.

This is an iBook, so you will need an iTunes account (free), and one of the following:
1. An iPad with iBooks 2 or later and IOS 5 or later
2. An iPhone with IOS 8.4 or later, or
3. A Mac with OSX 10.9 or later.

I will ask the winner to send me an e-mail address, which I will forward to Debbie, and she will use the "Gift" feature on iTunes to e-mail the link for your book.

If you could like to be in the draw, say so in a comment (by March 10, please). I will announce the winner on Tuesday, March 14.

21 comments

Laura Jantek said...

Well!the enticement is getting up without help! Sadly I expect the arthritic /damaged knees may make that an impossible activity. A move from urban core to more burbsy area plus cold weather has discouraged my walking hence there is, ah,shall we say growth in some areas. This sounds like a doable program Pleased it has had benefits for you.

Susan said...

I would love to win this book, as I've spent way too much of the last few months staring at screens of various sorts, and gardening season will be here before too long...and I wouldn't mind trimming an inch or so off my waist. It seems to have disappeared.

Kristien62 said...

Sounds like my kind of program! This winter, I have developed a nasty TV habit using the long and boring afternoons to binge watch design shows and the occasional "real housewife" masterpiece. (I am not proud of that, but don't judge.) Your post actually came as I was sitting here trying to find out if my fitbit has an app to get me up and moving periodically.

On a serious note, I have been reading that sitting for long periods is very deleterious to your health, and I want motivation to break this habit. Illness and boredom overtook my usually active lifestyle. I am not a fan of winter and this year
took a toll.

SewingLibrarian said...

Oh yes, please enter me! I am in serious need of this book and of some exercise. And I spend way too much time reading on my iPad. Congratulations on the improved fitness you have already achieved.!

Cathy said...

Sounds good because it helps you fit exercise into your day. My biggest problem is making time for it.

Duchesse said...

Laura Jantek: Though many of the moves in the book are OK for my knee (meniscal tear, arthritis) I have modified a few. Getting up without help: it's not necessary to be at 100%.

Susan: When I had a garden I would hobble myself by jumping in cold!

Kristien62: I too read that- sitting has been called "the new smoking".

Sewing: ,Me too, drat that Pocket app! If you happen not to win, buying it is IMO a bargain.

Cathy: That's exactly it. I used to "plan to do something today" and then it would be bedtime.

Doreen said...

Love to win this book. I'll have to check out this program.

donnyb said...

I'd love to win the book as well -- now I'm motivated to try this! I do get out for a walk each day with our dog, but could use some additional motivation to "shift" the weight and inches! Thank you! Lyn

Kai Jones said...

I would like to win the book! I have had trouble getting back to regular movement since finishing post-surgical physical therapy, and this would be great motivation!

Nelson Bartley said...

O please let me win! Just started a new job that I need to have...but it is boooorrrriiiiinnnggg. I sit all day long with only flurries of busy at the top of each hour, I could use a little sitting exercise!

Leslie Milligan said...

I purchased the book and started the program after your post, then was sidelined with a nasty upper respiratory infection for 3 weeks. I can't admit to doing this every day, but at least 4 days/wk. My weight is down 3 pounds (I am limiting carbs, so that is the primary weight factor), my thighs and hips down 1 inch each, no change in my waist. My balance and leg strength have greatly improved. I, too, can't get up from the floor without using my hands for the same reasons; miniscal tear and arthritis. The exercises are really very easy (except for my lack of coordination on the Step-back and Row), but, as you stated, one can work up a sweat if several are completed at the same time. I am graduating now to the Intermediate stage. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and I look forward to your next update - no pressure. :-)

J9 said...

Enter me for the book draw please! I enjoy walking and cycling, but winter on the prairie forces me inside - it's icy or cold or windy or all three at once! Still working full-time with over 1.5 hr commute (round trip), so before or after work workouts never seem to happen. During summer months it's easy & enjoyable to go for a 30 minute walk at lunchtime, but winter is such a beast! I'm interested in how the book would fit into my life.

LauraH said...

I'm happy to hear that the program is working so well for you. Inches off is quite an achievement, congratulations on sticking with it.

My preferred form of cardio work is a brisk walk. For the past few years muscle strain around the hip area on my right side has put a stop to anything faster than a stroll. I'm working on it - pilates, feldenkrais, conscious movement, shiatsu, laser treatments, etc. - there has been improvement but I want to be at least 90% again. So frustrating. Lately I've been thinking of other ways to get the cardio - jump rope, stair work? Whatever the choice, as you so rightly say, the challenge is actually doing it every day.

Given that there is no way on earth that I could get down onto the floor and/or back up again without using my hands or knees:-) ... please enter me for the draw.

Thanks for doing the grunt work and leading the way.

Susan D said...

I'm nine weeks into dieting and know I should add exercise into my new regime. Maybe this would be an ideal way to include it. It would be great to be able to get up from the floor without using hands - I fear this will never happen!!
Susan D

Mardel said...

Congratulations. That is a great recommendation. I manage to walk, but have slacked off on actual strength training, to my detriment. Perhaps I should check this out as it seems obvious I need some kind of external stimulus and motivation.

Duchesse said...

LauraH: I am always reluctant to say "Oh, this will work" for someone working on rehabilitation of an area. The book does say that if there are exercises that make you hurt or you do not like, to skip them.

Leslie Milligan: So happy to hear from you! I believe this approach gives remarkable results for its investment and ease of use. Just takes a floor and the commitment. I have written before how important balance is to our bodies as we mature, and is usually neglected as we women are after those inches off, or cardio fitness, as our primary goal.

Mardel and Susan D.: Definitely check it out, and- does this mean you want to be in the draw???? Work with me, sisters.

Mercerie said...

Oh, please enter me as well. I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate small chunks of exercise into my day. Even though I do yoga nightly, I get uncomfortably stiff during the day from too much sitting. Thanks for your report on this.

Jan Fawke said...

Hello, from the other side of the world!(Australia). I am intrigued by the sound of this. I'm quite keen to lose a bit round my middle, which has gently expanded since menopause. Please enter me in the draw!

Suz said...

Happy to see you posting regularly again! Sometimes incremental but consistent changes are the most effective. Sounds like this is worth giving it a go - kindly enter me in the draw!

How To Watch TV and Get Fit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
How To Watch TV and Get Fit said...

I love all of the interest in the book.

Duchesse, you are amazing! We are so happy you enjoyed the book and that you had positive results. We really believe in the program. As you said, “it works if you work it.”

The trainer Linda Killian who designed the program is unbelievable. Yes, she is very fit. Don't let that intimidate any of you though. The whole point of this book is to help the people that don't want to feel that intimidation at the gym, or don't have the time or for some other reason. Linda is super sweet and it comes through in her exercises. I wish all of you could meet her personally. You would fall in love with her. I personally have never worked with a nicer, sweeter and stronger person.

Doreen, congratulations on winning a copy of the book. We can't wait to send you a copy.

Leslie M:, I am thrilled you too are having success with the book. I am sure our Facebook followers would love to hear more about your progress.

For those of you that do purchase the book and the lucky person that receives the free copy, may I make a suggestion? Watch the video for the exercise a couple of times before actually doing the exercise. I think you will find it much easier to perform after you already have an idea of what to do. It will also help trying to hear Linda while you performing your exercise.

Regarding the Evaluation spreadsheets: They have been designed so that you only need to enter your data on the first page. All of your evaluations will automatically populate in the charts on the following pages. If this makes no sense to you, don’t worry, it will when you get the book.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a note via our website or our Facebook page. I will personally respond to any of your queries or comments.

Thank you,

David Rahman
Art Director and all around tech guy for How To Watch TV and Get Fit, 3 Minutes at a Time".