DOWNTOWN — For Santa Monica lawyer Jonathan Blau, exercising is not only a healthy habit, it’s the law.
Blau, who is a certified personal trainer, has a new exercise regiment which is featured in his book “TV Workout,” comprised of simple exercises people can do while watching their favorite show, sports team or movie.
His exercise book contains exercises focusing on strength, flexibility and aerobic workouts for the upper body, lower body and the core. Each section of his book contains step-by-step instructions on how to execute each exercise, along with information about which muscles are being strengthened.
“All of the exercises are easy to learn and simple to do,” Blau said. “They don’t take a lot of concentration.”
The typical American spends 144 hours and 54 minutes watching traditional television each month, which is a little over four and a half hours per day, according to the 2012 Nielsen United States Consumer Usage report. Blau is looking to capitalize on this fact.
Blau was going to the gym three to four times a week before he began practicing law. As his schedule got tighter, he began doing more workouts from home, performing simple exercises with minimal equipment.
“But it got a little bit tedious sometimes, doing rep after rep, and I started watching TV when I was doing some of the real simple exercises, like the curls and the tricep extensions,” Blau said.
That led him to take an eight-month fitness course at UCLA, which got him thinking more about the possibility of exercising every major muscle in the body while watching TV. He then took an exam from the American College of Sports Medicine, a program which provides certification for those interested in careers in health and fitness, and passed.
Even though Blau acknowledged that those who go to a gym are also provided with televisions while they work out, he feels that his book takes things one step further.
“The difference is that the home TV workout is an extension of the idea that the gyms have adopted,” Blau said. “What the home TV workout does is it starts with that concept, but it extends it beyond the cardio exercises to all kinds of strength and resistance exercises, as well as flexibility exercises. You can do so much with just a little bit of equipment.”
However, Blau does not feel that his TV workouts would replace gyms entirely.
“It could be a replacement for the gym, but it can also be a supplement to the gym,” he said.
Adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, which can equate to 30 minutes per day if they work out five times a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The length of the average television show, with commercials, is 30 minutes.
“You can kind of link your workouts to the TV shows you like to watch,” Blau said.
Over 68 percent of Americans are overweight and obese, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
“This may not be for everybody, but if a lot of people do it, it could … reduce this health problem in this country,” Blau said about his TV workout plan.
Dr. Denise Sur, chief of staff at UCLA Medical Center — Santa Monica and director of the UCLA Family Medicine Residency Program, said that prolonged sitting can cause weight gain and obesity.
“It’s just impossible to try to keep yourself in shape and to keep your weight at a good weight and be inactive,” Sur said.
With his book, Blau is looking to join the fight against obesity by advocating “getting some exercise in during the week in a convenient, entertaining way.”
“TV Workout,” which was released in July 2012, is available in print and as an e-book on amazon.com.