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RISMEDIA, August 14, 2010—(MCT)—The average American watches about five hours of television a day, industry studies have shown. Instead of being a total couch potato, the following moves, recommended by fitness experts will help you burn calories while watching your favorite shows.

Keep equipment on hand. Stash small weights, resistance bands, yoga mats and fitness DVDs in your TV stand or in a nearby container so you can grab them quickly during a favorite show. If you have a stationary bike or other machine at home, set it up in front of a television.

Take advantage of commercials. If you get up and move during each break, your exercise minutes will add up quickly.

Create competitions. See how many sit-ups, push-ups, crunches or jumping jacks you can do during a commercial break, and try to top your best number every time.

Wear a pedometer. Walk or jog in place throughout a show—or just during commercials—and track how many steps you can take. You can also do some shadow boxing.

Sit on a stability ball. These large inflatable balls help improve balance and posture and work abdominal muscles, as opposed to the couch, which does nothing for you.

Find a good music channel. Put on your favorite tunes and dance away.

Fidget. People who move around even while they’re sitting can burn hundreds of extra calories a day. Tap your feet, shake your legs, stretch your arms and rotate your neck regularly.

Clean. Get some housework done during commercials. Dust the room you’re in or run upstairs and see how much you can finish before the break is over.

(c) 2010, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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