Match Fit: from your living room, or why I watch matches on the treadmill now

Today’s Pitch Talk hot topic: home fitness gear!


Alright, mates? Glad you’ve joined for another Pitch Talk blog! Today, we’re looking at home fitness equipment. I know what you’re thinking–we watch football because we never had it in us to do it ourselves. We watch it now, and maybe play at the weekend on the amateur circuit round the village green, but we wouldn’t dream of being any good at it. Well, this blog is my collective plea to all of us to get up and do something productive with our football obsession instead of letting it become a proxy thing.


The American comedian Bill Maher had an editorial a few years ago where he talked about how middle-aged men who watch sport have outsourced their masculinity. It’s the same thing Dylan Moran talks about with Jason Statham movies. We want to have fit, fast action heroes doing all the things we can’t do ourselves. It’s sad, really, when you think about it.


You can see it in sport culture, even though fewer of us are actually good at sport. We all wear leisurewear, tracksuits, and soccer trainers everywhere, but all the Premier League teams are full of foreigners, because lads in the UK seem perfectly content to go have a kick-round at the weekend and then pack in in.


Watching football as you get older and fatter, it becomes less fulfilling, knowing you’re sat round with a beer while you steadily realize your best days are gone, Well, this is a plea to get out of that mentality and make a change.

Are you ever going to make the Premier League? No, of course not. But you may as well be good at the amateur leagues at the weekend and show up with somewhat less of a gut.


It’s an odd thing that the more we idolize our heroes in some parts of life, like style or the way they talk, the more we try to emulate them. If you’re from my generation, you probably have more than a few parkas and harrington’s from Pretty Green, and you try your best Liam Gallagher swagger with your mates down the pub. Funny that none of us try to take a page out of the books of our football heroes, though, innit?


So, what I’m saying is, it’s all well and good to watch football, and be loyal to your team, and have fun with your mates when you’re doing it, but shouldn’t we all pick up on what we’re seeing on the screen and stop letting ourselves go a bit? Our wives would thank us, surely.


Here’s my suggestion: what we have to do is recapture that feeling of our youth, where you would watch a movie on telly, then go out and try it down the green. Practice and ignore that you’re running out of breath. Stop giving into the the adult urge to just pack it in and give up.


You don’t even have to make any extra time, if you just repurpose the time you already spend watching matches. Sure, go down the pub at the weekend, but for the weekday matches where you’re home anyway, watch the match on a treadmill e.g. find top rated treadmills on, or an exercise bike. You’re in one place anyway, probably having beer and crisps, but you may as well make it productive. Just in the time it takes for an average match, you can make up for years of lost time fitness-wise. Cardio machines are super inexpensive these days, and rowing, cycling and running are all easy to do while you watch. You might even fit into that Fred Perry polo without your gut poking out!

You stay more alert anyway, if you’re excuse for not doing cardio during matches is that you’ll get distracted. Please, tell me you don’t drift off at least once around the halfway mark. I found that it’s also perfect for Cup seasons where you know you’re going to be watching matches anyway. It’s the ideal way for those of us who hate gyms to have a fitness routine that actually works, and isn’t a load of bother.


Then you won’t feel like such rubbish when you watch Griezmann running about making amazing plays when you can barely get up off the settee without  huffing and puffing, three bags of crisps into the evening. You sad sod, get up and do something!


Again, Home Fitness Intel is the site to be, where you can find not just information on exercise bikes and treadmills — you’ll also find the best elliptical machine reviews!

Writen by Alan Johnson