How to get fit while watching the hockey game

Local trainer offers tips to help you not become a 'couch potato'

Not everyone follows hockey and gets all wrapped up in our national pastime this time of year, but this works for many different sports and shows.

It doesn’t take much to do this, and the benefits are massive while you get your fix watching the playoffs.

First you need to set up a few objectives on a small whiteboard or piece of paper that you can read at a glance.

You need to take into account what equipment you have on hand. Some folks have a treadmill, elliptical or bike in a room with a TV – certainly that makes this easier. If you don’t have that, no worries, there are other ways.

You would do well to have a set of simple dumbbells on hand, those are pretty easy to get ahold of at several stores in town, or on the Buy and Sell groups.

In a pinch, jugs of water or large books work. A floor mat that has a good view of the TV helps. If you have the ceiling height, a skipping rope is gold, but you can also get a ropeless skipping rope set of handles – they have a small weight and a short chord to simulate the action.

Next we have to pick the exercises and if at all possible, we need ones that allow you to watch while doing them, so that rules out burpees, front planks and push ups.

But not entirely.

Here’s a list you can pick from for the most basic elements.

We will call these ‘Element 1’ exercises: skipping, jumping or stepping jacks, cross-country skier jacks, running on the spot, elbow to knee crossover steps and floor to ceiling touches.

‘Element 2’ exercises: dumbbell (DB) bicep curls, lateral DB shoulder raises, DB shoulder presses, couch tricep dips, squats, alternating lunges, sumo squats, butt kickers and calf raises.

‘Element 3’ Exercises: crunches with static holds, Pilates boats, side planks, scissors and one hand DB side bends.

OK, now we need to break the game down into parts. You can do this for TV shows as well – it just takes a little creativity.

For the Stanley Cup playoffs, let’s call the teams ‘the good guys’ (GG) and ‘the bad guys’ (BG).

First part: for each period – choose two ‘Element 1’ moves and assign them to a team. For example: period 1 is skipping and jumping jacks. Period 2 is cross-country skier jacks and running on the spot etc. Whenever the Good Guys (GG) have the puck, you skip and whenever the BG’s have the puck, you do jumping jacks.

If someone scores for the GG’s, during the commercial break – you do 15 burpees. If the BG’s score, push ups.

If the GG’s go on a power play, you perform an ‘Element 2’ exercise for the entire power play. If it’s the BG’s on a power play, then a different ‘Element 2’ exercise. So could be GG: biceps curls and BG’s is shoulder raises.

When play is stopped to arrange a faceoff, whether center ice or left or right of a goalie, then while they are getting into position and dropping the puck, you perform an ‘Element 3’ move – you can even include the commercial time to make it last longer.

As soon as the play is called offside for example, you start your crunches until they are in position, face off and someone has the puck, then it’s back to ‘Element 1’ moves depending on who has the puck.

For TV shows, create your own rules based on which character is talking, which room they are in, if there is a dog in the scene, or a car or whatever you choose.

If you do this, you will end the season in better shape, and a few less excuses.

If you don’t know what some of these exercises are, I would be happy to explain, just send me a note.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.