Did you know the more TV you watch, the higher your odds for being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes? … Sorry Zombies! In one study of over 9,000 women and men, normal-weight people watched about 2.3 hours of TV a day, while overweight people watched 2.6 hours and the obese watched 3 hours or more. The connection? More screen time means less activity and an increase in eating.
In the same study, people who watched more than 2 hours of TV a day ate 150 more calories in one day, downing more pizza, more sugary soft drinks and more high fat, high calorie, low fiber processed snack foods than those who watched less TV. Small wonder, then. That a Harvard School of Public Health study of 37,000 men found that those who watched lots of TV – 40 hours or more a week – were three times more likely to develop diabetes as those who watched less than 10 hours per week. Watching 21 to 40 hours per week doubled the risk.
IF you watch TV instead of keeping up with your old hobbies, visiting friends, or stretching your mind, you may also hasten memory loss, research shows.
So what should you do? By turning TV time into active time now, and by committing to a healthy TV/activity balance, you can burn more calories, become more fit, and reduce your odds of related health problems quickly.
The benefits you will reap will be huge. You’ll have a fitter body and more time for sleep plus more energy , better mood, sharper mind, and more social connections, which may even help you gain more self-confidence.
Here are some more helpful tips:
Follow the 2/30 rule. Experts suggest watching no more than two hours of TV per day – and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
Set a no-repeat rule. Never watch something that you have watched before. If you find yourself watching the same old cop show or prison movie late at night, instantly turn it off.
Set a “no channel surfing” rule. Turn on the TV only when there is something you truly want to watch. If you are turning the TV on without any particular show in mind, take that as a sign that you need to be more active.
No snacking in front of the TV. It’s far too easy to eat hundreds of calories’ worth of chips and barely realize it. In fact, many weight loss program smartly advise you to never allow food to go beyond your kitchen table. That also means snacking in bed, and no candy bars while paying bills.
Exercise while you watch TV. Walk in place or do sit ups. Or drag your treadmill into the TV room and move while you watch your favorite show.
Clean during commercials. Empty wastebaskets, vacuum a room, put in a load of wash…it can add up[ to 20 minutes worth of calorie burning chore time every hour. When you’re finished your home will shine – and you will saved hundreds of calories by moving instead of snacking. And an added bonus is that you won’t have to watch all the food commercials designed to make you want to overeat.
Resolve to leave home more often. See more friends, do more interesting things, and stimulate your mind every day.
Like any big change, it's all about baby steps. So pick one of the tips from above and start today. Once you have mastered it, pick another one. After time it all builds up to some fantastic benefits for you and your health!
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