by Anne Finch, Accredited Practising Dietitian for LiveLighter


Sitting less and moving more works wonders for our health. It helps us get fitter, boosts our mood, improves sleep and reduces the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes. We’ve put together some fun little exercises that build on the moves we’re already doing when we watch sports.Try a different move every ad break or set a timer. Get the whole crew involved – a little healthy competition never hurt anyone... 

#1 Fist pump aka shoulder press  

The ever-popular fist pump! Any number of household items work as weights; cans of food, water bottles or even bricks. Even empty handed, this is a nice one to warm up creaky shoulders. Add a balance component by trying it standing on one leg.

cheering on the couch

#2 The lie-and-cheer aka contralateral limb raises

Sometimes lying down is what we need to be doing! This is a great one for coordination as well as strength and flexibility.

an adult and 2 children lying on a bed and cheering

  If it’s a crucial moment and looking away from the screen isn’t possible, try this lovely back stretch.

forward dog back stretch

#3 On-the-edge-of-your-seat aka chair squats

There’s nothing like that nail-biting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling in sports! Here’s a few variations on the humble squat to try (from easiest to hardest).

leaping out of chair excitedly

Here’s one for when things are going our way!

#4 Cheers aka invisible jump rope

Running around, jumping up and down, hopping from foot-to-foot… however you celebrate, channel that energy into some big whole body moves.

family with raised arms cheering

This is a no-jump version for sore knees, nervous pelvic floor or apartment living.

And this one is great for coordination and balance.

#5 Decision fury aka arm circles

OK, I’ll admit that the link between the frustrated arm waving at a decision and arm circles is a stretch… but it’s also a lovely stretch! Do one arm at a time if you’re in close quarters, and for a real mind bend, try moving your arms in opposite directions.

man shouting at the tv

#6 Winner dance aka overhead punches

I think even those of us who consider ourselves not-very-competitive have a great winner dance buried deep inside. Unleash yours! Start with alternating fist pumps in the air, add some jogs… and see where the feeling takes you!

colleagues dancing

Remember that every little bit of movement helps us meet our daily recommended dose, and helps break up long periods watching sports on the couch. These sorts of exercises are great to do while watching the news, waiting for the kettle to boil or supervising kids at the playground

We've also got loads more workouts (like this beginner one), exercise guides (like this couch to 3km run one) and ideas about how to be active every day on the website

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