Five Reality Shows that Can Inspire Your Boring Exercise Routine


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zumbaExercise can sometimes be boring as hell.  Treadmill, stairclimber, or aerobics class: who wants to feel like a hamster on a wheel?  You wouldn’t want to contemplate the hours you spend walking in place, waiting in vain for those stubborn pounds to fall off.  You probably much rather sit in front of the TV and watch a marathon of as many reality shows as you possibly can.

[spoiler title=”tl;dr – click to read summary” style=”fancy”] To spice up your sometimes boring exercise routines, you can get some inspirations from some reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Ninja Warrior, Jersey Shows and America’s Got Talent.  Some of the moves you can copy from them include dance steps, gymnastics and outdoor activities such as bicycling, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. [/spoiler]

Unfortunately, watching too much TV shows can be bad for you. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and avoiding just about every other big, horrible bad disease seem to be related to sitting around most of the time. But, hello, we still have the problem of boredom in exercising most of the time.  Luckily, those reality shows that so enthrall many of us have some great tips for breaking out of not exercising.  Reality shows can help you find a way to break out of boring exercise routines and save yourself from the terrible consequences of too much reality TV.

Dancing With the Stars

They twirl.  They samba. They trip all over themselves. While some contestants – primarily the experts – achieve flowing, graceful lines, the stars seem to do quite a bit of stumbling. We watch to see someone fall flat on their face, right? Like watching NASCAR for the crashes. However, those enterprising men and women from the realms of stardom don’t exactly have it easy. Have you ever wondered how they have developed their grace and precision in dancing?  They have such grace and precision because the work hard for it.  Dancing too is a work out.

Whether you are waltzing or mamboing, you need to have excellent cardiovascular health and strong muscles to propel yourself around the dance floor. The upside is that dancing is much more fun than a treadmill.  Some gyms are now offering dance based aerobics classes, such as Zumba, to tap into the fun and healthy dance craze. Of course, a turn on the dance floor at old standbys such as Arthur Miller can slim you down, as well. If you like dancing – or would at least like to try prancing around – you can give it a try. Here are three Dancing with the Stars inspired styles you can try:

  • Tap dancing
  • Hip hop
  • Ballroom


survivorSeveral ruthless people do disgusting things for the chance to have some money as their price or reward. No, it isn’t your office. It’s Survivor. Although it is not recommended that you starve yourself or walk around naked in the jungle, you can learn quite few exercise tips from the brave souls who endure hardship for a measly million dollars. You don’t have to go all crazy in attempting to emulate the Survivor folks, but some of what they do can spice up your exercise routine.

To survive in the wild, you need to be physically fit. In this case, it may help to actually head out into the wild.  Yes, that’s right, fresh air and blue skies, that glowing yellow orb hanging over your head which is the sun. Exercise outdoor and you’ll have so much fun. Think of it as paleo cross training. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are just few of the outdoor activities that can increase your heart rate, decrease your flab, and let you face off against the wild. Here are three activities that can help you face off with the wild:

  • Bicycling
  • White water rafting
  • Mountaineering

American Ninja Warrior

American Ninja WarriorAmerican Ninja Warrior is not as popular as the other reality shows, but it is hardcore about fitness.  These men, and few women, tumble through an unbelievably difficult obstacle course for the rare opportunity to tackle the ultimate obstacle course, Mount Midoriyama.  A group of diabolical Japanese athletes invented this course, and that’s where the show had its start.  Only a handful of Japanese citizens have conquered the fabled mount, but no American has yet accomplished it.

So, what does this have to do with fun exercise? Everything! It is not suggested that you take up Parkour or free running, but you can use the ideas presented in the show to take the dull out of your exercise routine. Many of the contestants are rock climbers, and they have rock hard bodies that propel them through the difficult upper body exercises. Some cities now have obstacle courses of their own that normal, non-acrobatic athletes can pit themselves against. It’s a great way to improve your upper body strength, have some fun, and possibly include your children in the excitement. Here are three extreme sports to help build your upper body strength:

  • Indoor/ outdoor rock climbing
  • Cave exploration
  • Snowboarding

Jersey Shore

Oh, they do so much wrong on Jersey Shore! You have the endless tanning, the fist pumping, the inexplicable oil – it’s just too much sometimes. That’s what makes it the most intelligent guilty secret of adults. You really shouldn’t like it, and probably shouldn’t watch it except to have some good laugh. But millions of people can’t get enough of the young, promiscuous, frankly idiotic denizens of the Shore.

You wouldn’t think that this fattening confection of reality television has anything to teach us, but you would be so wrong. Just look at those people. They are nearly obsessed with looking good, and that translates into working out. Although you may not want to be a muscle bound meathead, the idea of packing some well-toned muscles on your frame should inspire you to hit the gym. No, you don’t need to grease your biceps and flash your abs, but the show does make a good case for weight training. It can be a vital part of your total health picture.  Anyone can benefit from increasing body strength with dumbbells, and those weight room can also help. Here are few gym exercises inspired by the show:

  • Crunches
  • Biceps curls
  • Squats

America’s Got Talent

America's Got Talent - Season 7Finally, America’s Got Talent picks up where the variety shows of yesteryear left off. If you’re old enough to remember Lawrence Welk, the Gong Show, and Carol Burnett, then you can appreciate the resurgence of the bizarrely talented masses that march across this stage. America’s Got Talent is inspiring, amazing and unbelievable for many people.

Again, this is a case where mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery. This show tends to highlight acrobats, and you could certainly learn how to flip, flop, and flap your way to a slimmer body. Don’t be put off by the idea of gymnastics, either. You can start with a beginner’s program and work your way up to full out tumbling. Dance is another large part of America’s Got Talent, but risky behavior is their stock and trade. Who wouldn’t want to risk their life to drop a few pounds? Well, you wanted exciting, right? BASE jumping, extreme mountain biking, and circus tricks can help you to tone your muscle in all the right places, and you will surely get your heart pumping with these antics. If you are an adrenaline junkie who looks more like a McDonald’s junkie, you may find your sweet spot with the death defying, terrifying antics that parade across the America’s Got Talent stage. Here are a few terrifying sports that can improve your health and scare the hell out of you:

  • Gymnastics
  • Skateboarding/ Rollerblading
  • Aerial training

In the end, it’s all about finding something you love to do. When you wake up in the morning, you shouldn’t think, “Ugh, I have to exercise today.”  You should think, “Sweet, I totally get to exercise today, and I can’t wait!”  If you feel this way about reality shows, use their influence to propel you out the door, into the gym, and into the wide world of athleticism.