We admit it: working out can sometimes be a drag. There are days when we would much rather relax and watch TV than hop on a treadmill. So sometimes, we combine them — we get our calorie burn while zoning out to mindless (yet totally entertaining) television shows. To help you bust exercise boredom, we put together a list of six shows that get us through our hardest workouts — or at least the ones we’re just not in the mood for.
The Biggest Loser
If this doesn’t inspire you to take your workout to the next level, we’re not sure what will. Watching these contestants work their tails off to change their lives is totally inspirational. Plus, you get expert tips and tricks from celebrity trainers like Bob Harper and professional athletes like Anna Kournikova (and you get it all from the comfort of your own home — or gym).
Now in its 23rd season, the show about a motley crew of castaways thrown onto an island together remains a great way to escape for an hour as you reluctantly sweat it out. Whether you marvel at the enviable scenery, the backstabbing among tribe members, or why perennial host Jeff Probst never seems to age, there is enough here to distract you from the fact you don’t feel like exercising.
Each episode has contestants creating garments in a (very) limited amount of time and then sending them down the runway for judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, and Marie Claire Fashion Director Nina Garcia to critique. The snarky banter between contestants (and judges), and eye-rolls from Kors when something horrific comes down the runway, are enough to make this a worthwhile workout watch.
Anyone who has ever bought a house or even entertained the idea has likely had to answer the question: city or suburbs? This new HGTV show has realtors (one city advocate, one championing the suburbs) meeting with prospective home-buyers and helping them make the ultimate dwelling decision. The city-versus-suburbs debate is always fascinating.
Top Chef Just Desserts
You might think that watching a show about people creating sugar- and chocolate-laden treats would send you straight from the treadmill to the cupboard for a handful of cookies, but this fast-paced show is less about finished desserts and more about the pressure to win. Pastry chefs can be opinionated, bossy, sarcastic, and prone to dramatic outbursts — all before they even touch a whisk or get out the stand mixer, which is a lot more entertaining than cake baking.
The Real Housewives of New York City
We all have guilty pleasures and this show, about the crazy lives of a group of Manhattan housewives, is one of ours — and a great way to escape treadmill boredom. From the infighting to the escapades only bored, over-privileged women could get themselves into, this is one show that you can’t help but laugh (and shake your head) at as you wonder a) who found these women and decided to give them a show, or b) why you can’t take your eyes off of it.