College was a new start for me in many ways. A new school, a new state, and plenty of new activities now dominated my life. Most notably, for the first time in twelve years, I had decided not to swim competitively and instead try some new forms of exercise. Unfortunately, my choices are fairly limited due to my weak knees (I’ve had four knee cap dislocations in the past two years). Thus, an inclined treadmill and stationary bike have become my new best friends in the past four months; however, while these options have proven to be great workouts, they can get a little boring. Rather than continuously stare at the ceiling, I have turned to a website that's almost every college student’s best friend -- Netflix.

Watching addicting TV shows while I work out not only makes my time at the gym go much faster, but it also keeps me heading back. In order to keep my workouts consistent, I force myself to only watch my new show at the gym or following my session. With some of the series on this list, it can definitely be tough not to sneak in an episode during a lazy Sunday morning, but getting a friend to hold you accountable for your actions can definitely help prevent cheating. Don't get me wrong, I would still workout even if I didn't have access to Netflix shows, but the addictive power of these series sometimes supplies some much-needed motivation for me to keep exercising regularly. Most of these shows consist of forty minute episodes, which usually translates to one episode per workout, but the twenty-minute shows can simply mean either a shorter workout or more episodes in a session. So, without further ado, here are seven binge-worthy shows on Netflix that can actually get you off the couch and in the gym.


1. Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars details the lives of four teenage girls that are haunted by a mysterious tyrant posing as their dead, queen-bee friend. While it does have the reputation of a show that should have ended abut two years ago, this doesn’t take away the fact that the first several seasons are extremely addicting and exciting. It’s perfect for anyone who loves plenty of romance plots, teenage drama, and spine-tingling moments.

2. The 100

This dystopian thriller details the lives of 100 teenage delinquents that are sent to a potentially radioactive Earth to discover if the planet is habitable. Of course, they meet plenty of dangers from outside and inside their group. The character development in this series is phenomenal and there’s just enough bloody action to keep it interesting. Plus, Season 3 is due to air in just a few short weeks. Start here if you’re a fan of the Hunger Games or the Divergent series.

3. The Office

The Office, at its most basic, is simply about the lives of workers at a mid-range paper company; however, the antics these incredibly hilarious characters find themselves in may cause you to fall off the treadmill from laughing so hard. In addition, it features one of my favorite love stories of all time in the form of Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. The Office is a perfect mix of comedy, drama, and romance, and definitely inspired shows like Parks and Recreation.

4. Breaking Bad

It’s not possible to talk about addictive Netflix shows without mentioning Breaking Bad. While I personally have never seen the show (it’s on my list), I’ve witnessed plenty of friends disappear off the face of the Earth for several weeks in order to completely submerge themselves in the world of Walter White. While it’s certainly not for anyone looking for a lighthearted story, it’ll likely keep you working out everyday.

5. Reign

Reign is a CW show that details the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her time spent in French court. Nonetheless, before you go thinking that this is simply another tedious history lesson, give the first episode a try. With belligerent villains and plenty of scandalous affairs, Reign is exceedingly entertaining and definitely addicting. While the various love triangles can become somewhat tedious, charismatic characters like Catherine de Medici will keep you coming back.

6. Doctor Who

A staple of science-fiction television, Doctor Who received a much-needed reboot in 2005 and has been going strong ever since. This British series details the adventures of the Doctor and his companions as they travel throughout time and space constantly saving the galaxy. While the earlier seasons can be a bit cheesy, especially in their special effects, the heart of this show will get you invested in the series despite. For fans of sci-fi, it’s a must. For those who are not, it could very well be the show that gets you started.

7. Orange is the New Black

A Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black describes the lives of several women residing in a modern-day prison facility and turns their experiences into heartfelt narratives. While the series is definitely crude at times (you may want to find an isolated corner of the gym), it’s far too addictive to be left off this list. If you can handle the explicit material, the show’s discussions on what exactly it means to be human are exceptionally moving and worth witnessing for yourself.


With so many of us embarking on exercise-related New Years Resolutions, I hope this list of TV shows helps you to continue achieving your goals and ultimately feel fantastic both due to the workout and the brilliant series above.