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As the seasons change and we find ourselves spending more time indoors, there's a good chance that your workout routine has followed a similar trend. Faced with fewer opportunities for lunchtime walks or jogs around the park, a trip to the gym (or your home gym) is in your future if you're looking for daily exercise.
Still, the days of staring at a blank wall during our workouts are well behind us. In the modern age of wi-fi tablet computers and home gyms you can unfold in your living room, there's no reason you can't use the time spent toning your body to also catch up on some television or movies. In fact, depending on what you're watching, some of it might actually make your routine better.
With that in mind, we've compiled a few recommendations for television series and movies you might want to make a regular part of your fitness regimen.
No Need To Go Solo
If you think your workout routine could benefit from the company of others and a little competitive spirit, why not tune in to one of the competitive weight-loss programs available to Xfinity TV subscribers? The most prominent of the bunch is probably 'The Biggest Loser,' in which overweight contestants vie to shed more pounds than their competitors using a mix of exercise and better eating habits. It might sound kind of strange, but each episode offers a new lesson in the best way to stay healthy and fit in your everyday life. There's also the added bonus of seeing the show's trainers encourage the contestants during their workouts — something that's easy to internalize and use as a motivating factor in your own routine. For alternatives, check out 'Shedding For The Wedding' and 'Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,' two series that offer a different twist on the weight-loss theme.
If competitive weight-loss programs aren't going to motivate you, how about an inspiring movie? Sure, films like 'Rocky' and 'Chariots of Fire' have long set the standard for athletically inclined cinema, but there's no shortage of recent films that offer a similar motivational experience. If you're a football fan, you can't go wrong with 'Invincible,' 'We Are Marshall,' or 'Friday Night Lights' for fist-pumping, cheer-worthy moments, and all three are available via On Demand. Likewise, basketball fans will want to check out 'Glory Road,' while anyone who incorporates boxing into their workout should make sure to watch Robert DeNiro's classic 'Raging Bull.' Heck, if you're not tied to any specific sport, there's always films like 'Gladiator' and '300' available via On Demand to keep you entertained, pumped up, and feeling the urge to conquer your home gym.
Your Brain Is A Muscle, Too
Look around the average gym and you're bound to see a number of people whose treadmill screens are tuned to television quiz shows. For many people, workouts represent a chance to give their bodies an all-encompassing exercise routine — and that includes their brains. Along with offering a nice distraction from reality (“I have how many miles left?!”), watching quiz shows can do for your brain what a bicycle or elliptical machine does for your heart. Xfinity TV subscribers can always find a regular dose of brain-boosting quiz shows, thanks to ongoing series like 'Jeopardy' and 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' as well as creative formats like 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?' Of course, keep your surroundings in mind while working out and watching one of these quiz shows. There's nothing quite like the embarrassment of shouting out an answer while you're in a crowded gym.
Of course, with any of these suggestions, make sure to keep safety a priority during your workout routine. While it might seem appealing to watch a movie while you're maxing out on the bench press, it's probably not a good idea — and no film is worth the potential pain incurred by a mishandled barbell. Also, if you're in a fitness center with other people, make sure to use your headphones when watching any television or movies, regardless of how positive you are that your fellow gym rats share your taste in programming. It's just good gym etiquette.
Finally, have a good workout! Your body will thank you for it.