We’ve recently reported how just 1 hour of watching TV can shorten life by 22 minutes. No matter how much of a negative affect a sedentary lifestyle has, that effect is still there and must be changed. It isn’t exactly that people watching TV for an hour lose 22 minutes of their life, but rather people that watch TV are also the people that participate in very little physical activity. Heavy TV watchers also, typically, do not possess healthy eating habits.
Here are 5 ways that, if you do choose to watch television, can help you to get some benefit out of it.
Stand – Instead of sitting while watching, try standing. It takes about 25-50% more calories to stand than sit, and if you are so inclined, try pacing. People do actually pace while watching TV.
Watch with friends – This may vary from person to person, but watching with friends or family often escalates playfulness and chitchat. This causes a bit more movement, and more comfort. But remember that the TV is the social event, not eating.
Use exercise equipment – The gym isn’t the only place where people can exercise while watching TV. If possible, try putting a TV where your treadmill or exercise bike is and watch TV while exercising. This is a great way to get some physical activity while watching your favorite program.
Talk and walk – Walk outside with your friends. Walking is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body young, vibrant, and healthy. If you exercise very little, just by adding in daily walking will greatly increase your overall health.
Don’t eat while watching – If you’re going to snack, try snacking on something healthy like carrots or some nuts. Replace your beverage with water, as caffeinated drinks like soda are extremely bad for you.