Can you get fit without leaving your sofa?

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For many people the hardest thing about going for a workout is finding the motivation to get up off the sofa in the first place.

But what if there was a way you could have a workout and boost your health without having to stray from the comfort of your couch? Well one Irish entrepreneur has just launched a new device he claims will allow the wearer to burn calories from the comfort of their own sofa.

Louis Crowe, the brain behind BionicGym, first came up with the idea for the product when he was shivering with cold during a swim in the Irish Sea. He started looking into it and found shivering burns around 100 calories in 15 minutes.

Twenty years of research later, Mr Crowe, who used to work for Bio Medical Research, the manufacturers of Slendertone, launched BionicGym, which uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation to try and recreate the effect of shivering.

Electrodes inside leg wraps stimulate the user’s muscles using a series of pulses. But if you’re feeling a little sceptical, there are plenty of other ways you can boost your fitness from your sofa without spending a penny.

How to exercise from your couch

Exercises from your sofa can be done in all weathers so you won’t lose momentum when the bad weather comes. And because many physical activities can be a little on the boring side, you can take steps to get fit while watching your favourite TV show or listening to music.

For each exercise, start small and then gradually increase how long you do it for as you build up your stamina levels.

  1. The couch bike – Sit yourself on the edge of your sofa and lift your legs – just doing this will start working your core muscles. Then cycle your legs as if you are riding a bike and pushing the pedals.
  2. Sofa dips – Sit yourself down on the floor in front of your sofa, facing away from it. Put your hands onto the seat on the sofa with your thumbs pointing inwards and lift your body up. Lower yourself back down slowly and make sure your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Do this 20 times if you can.
  3. A pleasant plank – Get the benefits of a plank without all the discomfort by doing a sideways plank on your sofa. Lie on your side and lift up your hips and knees, supporting yourself with one arm. Pull your stomach muscles in and keep your body in a straight line. Hold this position for as long as you can – aim for 60 seconds and then turn over and do the same on your other side.
  4. The toe grabber – Sit yourself down on your sofa and stretch your legs out straight in front of you. Try to grab hold of your toes without bending your legs, alternating between each foot.
  5. Living room lunges – Stand facing your sofa and put one foot on the seat with the other remaining on the floor. Bend the knee of your supporting leg into a lunge and then straighten it back up. Alternate between sides.
  6. Push yourself with push-ups – With your hands on the edge of the front sofa cushions and your legs straight out behind you, resting on your toes, straighten your arms and lower yourself down until your chest touches the sofa. Repeat, with a slow action for maximum effect.