The SparkPeople Commercial Break Workout


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  72 comments   :  184,977 Views

Americans watch, on average, almost five hours of television per day, according to the Nielsen Corporation.  Actual programming only accounts for 42 minutes of every hour, meaning that as part of our time in front of the tube, we see nearly 90 minutes of advertisements. In addition to being exposed to ads for things we don't need or want--like double bacon cheeseburgers and soda--it's taking time away from the shows we tuned in to see.
You've probably heard the tip to fit in a workout during commercial breaks, but what should you do? It can be hard to spontaneously decide which exercises to do, so we decided to take the guesswork out of it. We created a workout game of sorts that you can use when you're watching TV. Each time you see one of the commercials listed below, do the exercise that corresponds to it.
If you already work out while watching TV, consider shaking up your routine by jumping off the elliptical or recumbent bike during commercials and fitting in some strength training.

Click here to download the graphic or print it! (Psst--don't forget to share, like and pin this!)

Will you try this workout?

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  • SUNSET09
    I work out during commercials, normally with my weights and like this set up as it makes it more challenging, thanx! - 1/16/2018   3:00:44 AM
  • 71
    Interesting. Definitely something that I will work on. Thanks! - 12/30/2017   10:41:52 AM
  • 70
    This is such a funny & cute idea, makes me wish I had access to t.v. programming just for the commercials! - 11/13/2017   10:59:02 AM
  • 69
    thanks - 9/18/2017   9:48:43 AM
  • 68
    these are awesome! - 9/18/2017   7:12:35 AM
  • 67
    Thank you for sharing this! Great ideas! - 9/11/2017   9:45:30 AM
  • 66
    Great idea and fun - 7/31/2017   1:08:24 PM
  • 65
    Thank you - 7/16/2017   11:23:42 PM
  • 64
    I'm printing this out and going to try it at least once a day. I don't watch much TV but will see how it goes. - 6/9/2017   9:09:56 PM
    printing out the list - 4/4/2017   2:04:13 AM
    Great idea, thanks!
    If you don't watch commercials, adapt it to the program you are watching. - 4/3/2017   8:46:52 PM
  • 61
    Who watches commercials anymore? - 4/3/2017   7:00:29 PM
  • 60
    What a fun thing to do! - 4/3/2017   11:13:38 AM
  • 59
    Fun and clever! - 4/3/2017   11:06:05 AM
  • 58
    fun idea! - 4/3/2017   7:49:34 AM
  • 57
    *Burpees* for *politics*? I'm thinking that more of a cardio-kickbox or punching routine would be the way to go for that ;) - 4/3/2017   4:04:37 AM
  • 56
    Nice - 4/3/2017   1:07:40 AM
    Wouldn't have enough time to finish some of the exercises within each commercial and with 4 or more commercials, I'd be too pooped to watch tv afterwards. - 3/15/2017   9:19:08 AM
  • 54
    I think this is a GREAT idea! But I am going to have to look up what some of these exercises are. I haven't heard of a lot of them. However, it would be better to substitute familiar ones than to do none of them at all!! ; ) - 2/3/2016   9:14:18 PM
    I really like the idea of this, but it's certainly not for every fitness level, especially people who are beginners looking to add more activity! I agree with another poster that I like the idea of this, but will modify the list. - 1/24/2016   12:44:56 PM
  • 52
    I do this now, but I LOVE the idea of doing different exercises depending on the subject of the commercial. Definitely going to give it a try! - 5/5/2015   12:52:48 PM
    I love the idea but this seems complicated. I would probably just do something simple like squats, crunches, and pushups off a chair or wall. - 5/5/2015   8:56:16 AM
  • 50
    I do not even do 50 crunches! That seems like a huge amount. - 1/27/2015   8:18:17 PM
    this is awesome, great way to get a quick workout without really planning for it! - 1/6/2015   12:19:04 PM
  • 48
    looks like fun so yes I will try a few - 6/1/2014   12:41:26 AM
  • 47
    I have to agree, don't know what a lot of these are, but will do some! - 2/10/2014   6:25:32 AM
  • 46
    I don't even know what some of these things are....what on earth is a burpee?

    I think I'm going to make my own chart XD - 2/2/2014   10:07:33 PM
  • 45
    I've been in hibernation longer than any bear. Don't watch a lot of TV but, this sounds like fun so I'll try it. - 10/5/2012   8:05:09 AM
  • 44
    sorry, between now & 11/4, no way can I do 10 burpees per politic ad - 9/29/2012   12:19:55 PM
  • 43
    Love the blog. What a great way to get through the mindless commercials.
    And there are so many commercials, it will be a great quick workout. - 9/28/2012   11:10:52 AM
  • 42
    My daughter and I had a great time doing these last night. Lots of giggles.. .... Switched exercises each time the commercial changed instead of counting them though, but had so much fun. Thanks!!!! - 9/26/2012   6:55:43 PM
  • 41
    What a great idea/game. I've been meaning to do some exercising when I watch TV anyways, but you know how it is when you just don't have a start/plan, now I have one. Thanks so much! - 9/23/2012   8:59:56 PM
  • 40
    FUN! - 9/23/2012   1:29:06 PM
    Love this, but I barely watch an hour of TV a week. When The Biggest Loser comes back on, I'll try this! - 9/23/2012   10:27:15 AM
  • 38
    With it being presidential election season I think I'll be doing a lot of burpees with all the political ads LOL. - 9/23/2012   9:08:12 AM
    What happens if you are watching PBS? Which I do a lot. - 9/22/2012   3:13:44 PM
  • 36
    I live in a battleground state so I don't think my body could take all the burpees I'd have to do. LOL Seriously though, I did put my weights right in the front of the TV directly in my line of site, so strength training is definitely a possibility. All good suggestions though. Thanks. - 9/22/2012   7:24:10 AM
  • 35
    I never watch commercial TV. So much for the Nelson's. I never fit their views of Americans. - 9/22/2012   1:31:00 AM
  • 34
    Love the idea! But 75% of these i physically can not do due to my weight(close to 400 pounds) and my poor knees would not let me do some of these and I can not get on the floor and back up again so I will just have to creat my own exercises for each item that i can do. - 9/21/2012   11:36:42 PM
  • 33
    I'm showing my age here, but in my day, burpees were called squat/thrusts. - 9/21/2012   10:28:24 PM
  • 32
    At least most of these are not high impact. If you live in an apartment an have downstairs neighbors, high impact exercise is often going to result in noise complaints! - 9/21/2012   7:16:21 PM
  • 31
    Hahaha, no I won't do these - but that's because I do not watch TV at all, and the rare times I see bits of it are at the gym anyway and my eyes move on the instant a commercial comes on. - 9/21/2012   12:07:10 PM
    I'm going to have to find out what a burpee is. We'll be doing a lot of them the next two months.

    @DEBIGENE, there's a great free program called CutePDF. If you have that downloaded and installed, then you can print like normal, but choose CutePDF as your printer and save the printout as a PDF file. It's pretty easy to use. I would go to CNET ( to find it, because you won't get any viruses or additional malware from them. - 9/21/2012   11:25:21 AM
  • 29
    I only watch cooking shows, but I will definitely do this. Better for me would be after every chapter I read (I read every night) I should do some sort of quick five minute thing. I'll start this tonight! - 9/21/2012   11:24:31 AM
    Sorry....we don't have television. - 9/21/2012   10:45:35 AM
    @DEBIGENE: Right click and select copy image. Then paste and print. Or click where it says "click here" to download and print. - 9/21/2012   10:29:11 AM
  • 26
    I love this and want to copy and paste it so I can print it out and SP won't let me do it !!!! I don't FB, TWEET, PINTEREST or any of those other things. SP is my social network of choice and I'm sure I am not alone with this request. Perhaps SP should take a survey of it's members to see what percentage of the members here would like options for information available. Thanks for letting me voive this opinion here. - 9/21/2012   9:45:59 AM
  • 25
    Love it! I'm going to do these plus I might pull out my mini-trampoline and incorporate that in also!! - 9/21/2012   9:37:52 AM
  • 24
    I love this idea. I will do this workout this evening. - 9/21/2012   8:55:16 AM
  • 23
    VERY clever idea! Even if the exercises don't suit a particular person, the concept is adaptable. I'm going to use my creativity and come up with a list of my own--and include something particularly distracting for INSURANCE commercials! - 9/21/2012   8:54:37 AM

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