Healthy living

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Fitness Hacks for Exercise Haters


3 effective moves even couch potatoes can love

By Katie Lewin 


The importance of exercise is indisputable, but let’s face it, not all of us are chiseled, sweat band-sporting workout gurus. Some of us would much rather cozy up in our sweat pants than actually sweat in them. Luckily, there’s hope for the couch potato at heart. These three easy fitness hacks prove there’s something for everyone — even the chronically lazy. And best of all, you don’t even need to break (much of!) a sweat. 

Battle Belly Bulge from Bed 

While ab exercises may not be a favorite to most, they do have one great thing going for them — most require you to be on your back, which is perfect for those lazy Sundays (or Mondays, or Tuesdays...) when you don’t feel like crawling out from under the covers. The brilliance of this simple workout from Mary Ann Wilson, RN, founder of the non-profit Sit and be Fit, is that it can be done in bed! Here’s what to do:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Press your lower back into the bed and tighten your abs. Release. Repeat four times.
  3. Repeat the exercise, but this time raise your head slightly off the bed so you can see your knees. If needed, place your hand under your head for support. Put your other hand on your ab muscles to feel it working.
  4. Repeat the series as many times as you like (or as long as it takes to convince yourself to get out of bed!).

Calorie-Torchers for TV Addicts

Want to get a workout but not at the expense of missing your binge-watching session of House of Cards? Good news! You don’t have to choose between fitness and fandom. Netflix put together a guide called “Watch It While You Work It” that calculates the average calories that can be burned on the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical while you catch up on your favorite shows. 

The latest 22-minute episode of New Girl? 152 calories. Binging on an entire season of Orange is the New Black? 4,995 calories! Whether you invest in an elliptical or pace in place doesn’t make a significant difference, but be aware of a possible arch and hyperextension in your neck, which can occur from peering at a screen from unusual angles.

Watch It While You Work It — Netflix Image Courtesy of Netflix

Pump and Flex While Surfing the Net

You know the feeling. You’ve been staring at your laptop screen for hours, dazed and disoriented, eyes as glazed as a donut. Next time you’re fighting Facebook fatigue and need to take a break, why not pump some invisible iron? Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as strenuous as it sounds — you won’t even need to get up from your chair!

This exercise from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t involve any free weights, but still strengthens your upper body and your grip, and increases the flexibility of your arms, back and shoulders in just a few easy steps: 

  1. Stand, or sit forward in an armless chair or couch, with feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Movement 1: Imagine there is a wall directly in front of you. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall until your arms are above your head. Hold them overhead while wiggling your fingers for about 10 seconds and then slowly walk them back down.
  3. Movement 2: Next, try to touch your two hands behind your back. If you can, reach for the opposite elbow with each hand—or get as close as you can. Hold the position for about 10 seconds, feeling a stretch in the back, arms, and chest.
  4. Movement 3: Release your arms and finger-weave your hands in front of your body. Raise your arms so that they're parallel to the ground, with your palms facing the imaginary wall. Sit or stand up straight, but curl your shoulders forward. You should feel the stretch in your wrist and upper back. Hold the position for about 10 seconds. 
  5. Repeat this three-part exercise three times.

Oh, and an added bonus of strength training? Increased focus. A recent study found that in older women, strength and resistance training programs led to improved cognitive function. Which is perfect for those long, grueling hours pinning recipes for pizza and cupcakes on Pinterest. You got this, champ. 


Published on January 20, 2015. Updated on December 16, 2015.


Katie Lewin is a Bay Area-based health and lifestyle writer.

Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
What Is Hepatitis C?
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Diagnosing Hepatitis C
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
Just Diagnosed? Here’s What’s Next
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
Understanding Hepatitis C Treatment
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
Your Guide to Hep C Treatments
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
Managing Side Effects of Treatment
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
Making Hep C Treatment a Success
These tips may up your chances of a cure.