{From Left to Write} Downton ABbey Workout

December 16, 2013

It’s book club day! Well actually yesterday was book club day but my book arrived late and life has been overwhelmingly crazy so finding the time to read has been a struggle. Fortunately the read was easy and I thoroughly enjoyed every page. This was to be expected considering the book this month was Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

17345207We’ve already discussed my affinity for terrible British reality TV but my love of British TV extends beyond the trashy variety. I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey. I consider it the only TV show of substance that I watch. Okay so it’s filled with it’s own set of drama, but if it airs on the BBC and PBS I’m calling it quality television. It was a no-brainer that I would participate when From Left to Write chose this book. Here’s a short synopsis:

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, tells the story of Catherine Wendell, the beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina’s son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. The couple presided over Highclere Castle, the grand estate that serves as the setting for the hit PBS show. Following the First World War, many of the great houses of England faded as their owners fortunes declined in the new political and social world of the 1920s and 1930s. As war loomed, Highclere’s survival as the family home of the Carnarvons was again in the balance—as was peace between the nations of Europe.

Using copious materials—including diaries and scrapbooks—from the castle’s archives, the current Countess of Carnarvon brings alive a very modern story in a beautiful and fabled setting, paying particular attention to the staff who provide Highclere Castle with continuity between generations.

For any Downton Abbey fans and/or history buffs you will love this book! 

Now that I’ve come clean about my TV habit, I thought I would put a twist on today’s book club post. When I watch TV I tend to go on a bender and after 6 hours of TV watching it’s easy to feel pretty sluggish. One thing I’ve adopted is trying to be a bit more active while lounging on the couch. Sometimes this means tricep dips or squats during commercial breaks and other times I’ll just sit on my stability ball and bounce (true story!). But why not get a little more creative? 

I’ve adapted some classic Downton Abbey moments to make your abs burn and your body sweat. Because nothing makes you think of a six pack quite like Downton Abbey, right? Have fun!

downton abbey workoutThis post was inspired by Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon. Learn more about the family who lived in Highclere Castle, and where the popular British series Downton Abbey is filmed. Join From Left to Write on December 17 we discuss Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? Do you ever workout while watching TV?


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  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    This is so funny and way better than a drinking game! I should marathon-watch the last season in preparation for the new one, and do these exercises!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    December 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Working out while watching TV would require actually watching TV, whiiiiich is something I’m not that great at. I got cable when I first moved into my new place because I thought it’d be a nice thing to have around in case I got lonely, but I cancelled it after a few months because I never actually turned my TV on. I’ll watch the odd movie here and there, but I’m usually either reading or on the computer when I’m hanging out at home.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

      By TV I mean illegally watching on my computer haha. Also I don’t know what I’d do without Netflix. I have a problem…

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Since I’ve never seen a single episode of downtown abbey (we can still be friends right?), i’ll have to use it for another show… which may be hard because I don’t watch too much tv. Hmm!!

  • Reply
    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living
    December 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve heard so much about Downtown Abbey but yet to watch it. I do love having the TV on when I work out – makes the treadmill time go a lot faster. It’s also probably the only time I get to watch TV during the day, which makes it a special treat.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I used to watch oprah on the treadmill almost everyday! I swear I started working out less when Oprah went off the air haha.

      Don’t be upset with me when you get addicted to DA 😉

  • Reply
    Sarah Pie
    December 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I’ll admit to sit ups and planks while watching trashy tv… makes me feel a little better about my life 😉

    Now what I really need is a workout I can do while I’m bingeing on a book!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I’m exactly the same! Since I’m deteriorating my mind I may as well improve my body haha

  • Reply
    holly ; the hobbit kitchen
    December 17, 2013 at 3:40 am

    hahaa this is genius, davida! 🙂 i did watch downton abbey fanatically until a certain somebody died… then i just couldn’t bear to anymore!
    the hobbit kitchen x

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I love this! I am a huge Downton Abbey fan! I want to read this book! The AB routine is clever!!

  • Reply
    kathy @ vodka and soda
    December 17, 2013 at 6:29 am

    haha this is fabulous. i don’t workout and watch tv or it’ll just be me lying on the ground watching tv instead of working out.

    Vodka and Soda

  • Reply
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
    December 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Haha love this! So clever. I’m not a Downtown Abbey fan (haven’t even watched it once to be honest) but drinking.. err.. workout games like this are the best!

  • Reply
    Karen @karenlovestorun
    December 17, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I love this! I am a HUGE Downton Abbey fan! I’ve head about this book but haven’t picked it up yet. I workout and watch tv if I am on the treadmill 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Nothing better than getting lost in a run and TV show! Oprah used to be my running buddy haha

  • Reply
    Elise @
    December 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

    workout like this are great. I like working out while watching tv because it distracts me and also doesn’t make me feel so bad for just sitting in front of the TV

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    December 17, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Omg, this is AWESOME! Lol! I love me some Downton Abbey, but it’s been FOREVER since I’ve seen it…and it’s not available on Netflix streaming! Gahhhh! #firstworldproblems

  • Reply
    Jen @ SavedbytheKale
    December 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Love, love Downton Abbey…actually have the theme song as my ringtone 🙂 Can’t wait for it to be back on, January right? Usually I workout to music but ever now and then I’ll watch something on tv.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Obsessed with the fact that’s your ringtone. I think we should be friends!

      • Reply
        Jen @ SavedbytheKale
        December 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        Definitely! I sent you an email with the guac recipe and also let you in on a little obsession of my own, ha! Let me know if for some reason you don’t get it email.

        If I lived closer we would have to have a Downton viewing party! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    December 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I love this! I’ve never thought to switch a drinking game into a workout, but boy I’m on board! I’ve never seen this show, but I’d love to try working out during a tv show. Hm maybe Keeping up with the Kardashians. That could get funny!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    December 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

    you already know that I adore this show, so I absolutely love this! I usually just have music going while I work out, but once in a while I’ll watch TV….if I’m on a treadmill/elliptical with a TV, I tend to throw on the food network!

    And side note: my stability ball never gets use anymore, but I love the idea of bouncing on it while watching TV!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    December 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Love the workout haha. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, but I’ll need a new show obsession with Christmas vacation coming up. It sounds really good so I might need to start watching it!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    December 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Ok, is it just me, or does that also sound like a pretty funny drinking game? 😉

  • Reply
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    December 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Obsessed with Downton Abbey and I cannot wait for it to come back!! I must read this book!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

      I may or may not be up to date on the new season…Not like I do any illegal downloading or anything….whoops!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    December 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Love this post. I really enjoy TV themed workouts. They’re like drinking games but healthier! Haha. I have an affinity for ones that go with what type of commercial you’re watching. Also Harry Potter movie workouts are fun!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

      A workout that duals as a drinking game is my style haha. I’ve never seen an HP movie! Don’t hate me!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Haha I love how creative you got with the workout! I have actually never watched Downtown Abbey. I do love to workout while watching T.V. though. I record every episode of Dr. Oz, so I have really started to like working out while watching one of those episodes.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

      I think Dr. Oz would make me want to workout too! I used to workout to Oprah before she went off the air 🙁

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

    This is great. Love it!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    December 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I want to watch that show! I love working out with TV. Last winter I always had the TV in front of me when running on the treadmill. I’m a big fan of watching old Grey’s Anatomy episodes on the elliptical or Sex and the City. Have a great day!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am

      I used to run while watching Oprah before she went off the air! Loved it. You need to start watching DA but don’t get mad at me when you get hooked 😉

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    December 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I’ve never watched Downton Abbey but I think I might start! People seem to love it. Have you ever seen The Mighty Boosh? That’s the kind of really terrible British tv I like!

  • Reply
    Reba- Not So Perfect Life
    December 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I am obsessed with this show! I can’t wait for the season to start! Have you ever read the Luxe novels? If not you should!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Well now I know my winter break reading…I may or may not be up to date on the new season 😉

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I’m lame and have never jumped on the Downtown Abbey band wagon but now I sort of want to watch it just so I can play along with the fun workout!!!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I am currently obsessed with Downton Abbey even though it take me until this Fall to jump on the bandwagon. To get really hooked on a show, it seems like I require commercial free episodes to really get good and hooked to shows. Thank goodness for OnDemand. I don’t really watch enough television to worry about working out while watching.

  • Reply
    Cailee @
    December 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    What a great idea!! I love love love Downton! Such a great, well made show!

  • Reply
    Tonya@Healthy, Fit, and Frugal
    December 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Someone dies…LOL! But how am I supposed to do 2 min planks when I’m bawling my eyes out!? I absolutely love this show. Totally addicted!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 17, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I just pictured you crying hysterically in a plank and it made me burst into laughter. Thanks for that hahaha

  • Reply
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
    December 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Haha this is great! I don’t watch Downton Abbey but this would work for a lot of other shows. I also like the suggestion of turning this into a drinking game too 😉 so many possibilities!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Start with the workout and then you can justify the drinking game 😉 Or try it the other way around…could make for an interesting night haha!

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    December 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Because I do not watch Downtown Abbey, does this mean I don’t have to do this workout?! LOL!!!!

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    December 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I have never seen Downton Abbey but I hear it’s amazing! AND I love that you turned it into a workout! Hilarious!

  • Reply
    Shashi @
    December 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    “Someone dies = 2 minute plank” waaat???? how many times does someone die? The reason I ask is cos planks are my nemesis!
    I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, other than tivo-d episodes of Nashville or something my daughter records, its on as background noise sometimes or when I am on the treadmill. So glad to know am not the only one who bounces on their stability ball 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      You don’t even want to know how many times they’ve killed off my favorite characters…they are ruthless!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    December 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    i have not seen a single episode of this 🙁

  • Reply
    Melanie @ HappyBeingHealthy
    December 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve never seen Downtown Abbey, but it seems like everyone loves it. I love, love, love the workout you created. Soooo hilarious and such a great idea!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    December 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Bahaha- you crack me up! At first, I thought you accidentally hit the caps lock when you typed ABbey.

    I’ve never seen Downton Abbey but I hear I’m missing out. I don’t know what it is about British accents that turn me off. My brain just automatically assumes it’s boring. I realize how horrible that sounds but it’s true!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Sometimes the show seriously needs subtitles. I have issues with every single accent. And don’t get me started on impressions. I’m like Paul Rudd in “I love you man”!

  • Reply
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
    December 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I haven’t watched Dowton Abbey but I’ve heard good things about it 🙂 I really should get onto it.

    I used to workout whilst watching tv shows on my phone when I was on the bike or cross trainer, but since I don’t do as much cardio anymore I don’t do it so much. Love the idea of your workout though as you watch.

  • Reply
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
    December 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Haha this is great! I’m not a fan of Downton Abbey but I can easily change this into a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills workout.

    I’ll just change “Every time someone says poor Edith” to “Every time Brandi calls Joyce, Jacqueline.” And every time “someone dies” to every time “someone says F@#$ Off.” Perfect!!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    If I’m going to get a good workout in, I may need to take up watching this show. And join the rest of the world. I’ll tell my hubby about the book, I think he’ll like it. Since he also likes Downtown Abby. He’s not likely to do the workout though.

  • Reply
    Madison @ Eating 4 Balance
    December 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Haha. Oh, I SO need to do this with some of my favorite shows!

    I’ve never watched Downton Abbey but I promised my mom I would since she loves it. Now I need to email her this workout. Too cool Davida.

  • Reply
    Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet
    December 18, 2013 at 12:17 am

    This is so cool! I remember when Harry Potter came out and they had workouts for the movie while you watched. Pretty cool stuff! And I really need to read more, I am slacking 🙁

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Don’t hate me but I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie! But a 2 hour workout with wizards sounds pretty intense haha

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy
    December 18, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Though, I haven’t seen Downton Abbey, I love the workout! I used to enjoy working out while watching TV, especially running on the treadmill, but since I have been doing CrossFit the past two years, I only workout to music!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    December 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I LOVE Downton Abbey and this book sounds awesome! I’m totally getting it when I finish the book I’m reading now. Thanks for letting me know about it!!!

  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    December 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I love love love love love Downton Abbey!! Seriously, that show is amazing. It’s the only one I ever watch, actually ; )
    I’m definitely trying this workout next time I watch it. Yay, it sounds so fun!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    This is SO FUN. I love Downton Abbey but I’m a failure when it comes to all TV and haven’t finished the last season (nor the last season of Mad Men, 30 Rock, or the Office.)

    I work out while watching Good Morning America in the morning… does that count?

  • Reply
    Ksenija @ With An Open Mind
    December 20, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Hahaha awesome. Might also serve as a drinking game… just sayin 😉 Too sad I don’t watch Downtown Abbey. You really got me curious here. I might start in France.

  • Reply
    Luv What You Do
    December 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Love it! I am watching the BBC marathon of Dr Who! We are huge Downton fan’s in our house and I am reading another one of the author’s books right now!

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