Staying Fit with Netflix

Staying Fit with Netflix

By Jenna Glover

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes the horrific realization that you have not accomplished any of your 2018 goals yet. Perhaps, you haven’t even started on some of them.

For many, one of those goals is to start working toward better health, and with warmer weather looming that desire takes on a new level of urgency. I am very happy to say that this is one goal I have accomplished with help from an unlikely source: Netflix.

I subscribed to Netflix several years ago and became fully addicted. I am naturally inclined to be lazy in my free time. After work, on the weekends, all I ever want to do is sit back and watch Netflix.

And that’s exactly what I did, and I assumed that I just wasn’t the type of person that would ever be toned and fit. Being young and with a decent metabolism anyway, I was okay with that, until life intervened.

I was diagnosed with incurable, but manageable GI issues. It wasn’t life-threatening, but it was certainly life-changing. I spent years doing tests, seeing doctors, and taking medications. Finally, a year ago, I decided to try this ancient method called diet and exercise.

If you’re like me, you just cringed at the word exercise.

I don’t like exercising. I don’t like lifting weights, doing repetitive stretches, or powering through cardio. I need someone there to distract me from the fact that I am deliberately doing something uncomfortable, exhausting, and boring. For a while, I tried running with a friend, but our schedules never matched up to make it a regular thing. I’ve never really been a music person, so that couldn’t distract me well enough, and if I went to the gym I’d end up people-watching instead of working out. Exercise and I had no possible relationship, it seemed.

Then one day, I was watching Netflix. I was curled up for hours on a binge and my shoulders and back started to ache, so I stood up and stretched and continued to watch my show while I did so (I didn’t want to miss anything). The episode ended, and I stopped stretching to click to the next episode when I realized something:

I had stretched for the whole episode and never even noticed.

My back and shoulders felt better, I was more refreshed, and I still managed to spend 40 minutes satisfying my love for superheroes. An idea began to form in my mind. I wasn’t exercising because I needed a partner. What if that partner wasn’t human? What if my exercise buddy was Netflix?

Excited by this new prospect, I began to plan. I needed something simple and effective that didn’t require my constant attention. I needed to be able to keep my eyes on a screen, not on my body.

Of all the exercise regimens I have tried, I like studio cycling the best. Just sit, pedal, and sweat.  Simple. So, I saved up and bought the smallest and cheapest stationary bike I could find and planted it right in front of the computer.

Now, four days a week I wake up early, turn on Netflix, and exercise. If I am not feeling too into it, I watch a 20-minute episode. If I am just sticking to the routine, I watch a 40-60-minute episode.  If I am feeling really hard core, I watch a movie. All my lazy desires to watch Netflix are satisfied along with my calorie burn for the day.  I’m happy.  My doctor is happy. And I’m sure Netflix isn’t doing too badly for it either.

It’s been a year and my GI issues have never felt better. I still have flare ups, and I can’t give Netflix all the credit (remember that sneaky, little word ‘diet’ from earlier?). But I credit Netflix for helping me actually enjoy exercising.

So, if you’ve made a goal to get fit, but you find yourself unable to get out from in front of that TV to exercise—don’t.  Just put your exercise equipment—weights, treadmill, bike, yoga mat—in front of it.

And stay fit with Netflix.


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