Stand up and watch TV - HashOut
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Stand up and watch TV

Since we all got cable connections, the average number of hours spent watching TV has shot up. A new study hints that the increased couch time could have a deadlier downside than anyone thought.

French researchers in Nice reviewed more than 65,000 cases of deep vein thrombosis - potentially fatal blood clots in the legs -- and found that hospitalisation were 18 percent higher than average in the winter, when people watched more TV. These clots form relatively quickly -- the condition is a hazard on long airline flights -- so cutting your risk is as simple as getting out of your chair. "You need to get your blood pumping," says Kevin Burns, a trainer and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. His suggestions:

Join a club
Get outdoors and join serious walkers in a park. Fellow exercisers will offer support and camaraderie.

Go shopping
At the supermarket, walk every aisle. If there are carts, retrace your steps once you have filled: Pushing a full cart is a better workout.

Once an hour, take a break and try this chair workout: With your big toe as your pen, write a message in the air ("Picky up dry cleaning" or "Call Mum"). Follow up with the other leg.

Jumpstart your heart
Spot jog through one commercial for every 30-minute programme you watch.

Rent a video
If you don't want to take a gym class, pop a tape in your VCR and learn yoga, kickboxing or do a stationery jog while you watch.

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