Physical inactivity is a contributing factor to overweight and obesity, conditions which, in turn, can increase the risk of chronic disease such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is bad for you, simply and clearly. Today, TV is one of society’s favorite sources of entertainment, as well as one of its worst promoters of physical exercise.
Add to this the fact that most jobs involve an office desk and chair, and it’s easy to understand why so many people spend most of their day sitting. The problem is not just limited to adults—it also affects children, who spend long hours sitting at school, doing homework and, of course, watching television or playing video games—and is a major cause behind the alarming growth in childhood obesity.
The answer lies in cutting those hours of physical inactivity. Look for a healthier source of entertainment. Do you know how many hours you spend in front of the TV each week? Figure it out, and if your daily average exceeds two hours, you should consider limiting it. Although you probably feel too tired to do anything else but lie on the couch in front of the TV after a long day at work, the truth is that physical inactivity is tiring.
Come up with a small calendar of those shows you can’t miss, trying not to go over the two-hour limit, and dedicate the rest of your time to walking, practicing sports, dancing, playing with your children in the park, or at home with one of those active video games (bowling, tennis…). Make sure that you actually enjoy yourself; these activities shouldn’t be something you have to do, or you’ll quit after a few days.
If one of your favorite shows lasts more than two hours, like a movie maybe, avoid sitting the whole time:
-Find the smallest excuse to get up during commercial breaks.
-Go to the kitchen for a glass of water, to the bathroom …
These moments of physical activity may not seem like they add up to much, but they do count. Above all, try not to eat in front of the television, since it is easy to get distracted by it and to keep eating even if we’re no longer hungry.