The other day, Kyle and I were talking about how much TV we watch. We both had noticed that lately, we’ve been watching way more TV than usual. This could be due to multiple factors- I haven’t had TV in about a year and now that Kyle lives here, we just got TV, Kyle is adjusting to new job/new life here in Indianapolis and has a bit of down time, I’m in the middle of an easy academic month and have lots of free time, we just want to cuddle on the couch together now that we’re finally not in a long distance relationship!!
Whatever the reason, the TV has been getting a lot of action lately and it’s been on my mind. I should preface all this by saying that I LOVE TV. I love Bravo, E!, the Food Network, all kinds of shows on abc and fox- I love it all. But, I know the ill effects of too much TV watching as well.
I was going to look up a bunch of articles to give you some scientific data on the harms of watching too much TV. But, I was quickly overwhelmed by the insane amount of research all showing the same things. Literally there are hundreds of articles stating:
- Increased television watching is associated with increased cardiovascular risk
- Increased television watching is associated with increased risk of diabetes
- Increased television watching is associated with increased risk of obesity
- Increased television watching is associated with depression
- Increased television watching is associated with insomnia and fatigue
- Sedentary behavior (which comes from increased TV watching) is associated with increased risk of all these things EVEN IF YOU ARE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
When I’ve been watching too much TV, I notice a few changes immediately:
- I feel more mindless and more stupid. Seriously!
- I feel depressed
- I feel less energetic
- I eat more
- I get less done during the day
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think watching a movie on a weekend is going to kill you.
Most of these studies show risk increasing when TV viewing is over either 5 hours/week or 2 hours/day.
Mindless TV watching is a real brain drain for me. Last weekend I found myself staying up hours after I would normally go to bed because I was blankly staring at the TV, engrossed in some movie I didn’t even care about. The TV can suck you in and take hours from your life! It sounds so dramatic, but think of all the time you would waste if you were spending hours at night on the couch.
And this is incredibly common in the American life! We stay up late watching mindless TV that leaves us unfilled and depressed. Then we have to sleep in the next morning because we were up late watching TV. So we miss the morning when we could have been doing things to enrich our lives!
I certainly don’t want to waste my life in front of the TV. So, I’ve come up with some solutions on how to avoid getting sucked into TV land.
- Have your “shows” that you watch, and don’t watch other things. There are 2 or 3 shows on TV that I watch weekly. I either sit down in the evening to watch them, or watch them on my computer the next morning while I’m getting ready or working out. If you only watch certain shows, you won’t sit down and surf the channels, only to wind up watching something you don’t care about.
- Do other things while you watch TV. Fold laundry, stretch, do little exercises, clean up the house.
- We aware of how long you’ve watched TV. Sometimes if I’m home for lunch, I will eat in front of the TV. I try to only sit there for 30 minutes but there have been MANY days that I’ve sat there for an hour. Tell yourself you only get x amount of time. Then get up and do something else.
- Watch TV while working out. I love to trick myself into an hour on the treadmill by telling myself I can watch an episode of the Real Housewives at the same time.
- Get your significant other on board. I had to sit down with Kyle and tell him my TV concerns. We both agreed we didn’t want to be a family that sits and watches hours of TV. So now we can keep each other in check.
We live in a world that makes it hard to be healthy sometimes! I know there are people who willingly choose to eat spinach and do yoga 24/7, but if I could, I would eat ice cream and oreos and watch Bravo all day long. I have to CONSCIOUSLY remind myself to turn away from the unhealthy temptations I am surrounded with every day.
Phew! So there is my TV watching saga. Now I’m off to watch the Today Show… just kidding! I did watch the Real Housewives of OC Reunion Part 2 last night- oh the drama! I love it so much!!
Yesterday was another super normal day. I had greek yogurt with blueberries and walnut for breakfast, a smoothie for a snack, egg white scramble with salmon for lunch, a quest bar snack, and this beauty for dinner:
A bowl of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, 2 egg whites, turkey, and avocado!
Workout was P90X Chest and shoulders. I think I did 200 push-ups during the workout- I was exhausted!
I have been so good about keeping track of how many reps I do and what weight I use for each exercise. It is amazing how much it helps! There were times I pushed myself because I knew how many reps I did last time and I wanted to beat it, or other times I didn’t give up because I knew I could do at least as many as I did last time. I highly suggest keeping a log of your workouts!
To get in a little cardio, I did the TurboFire HIIT 25 minute routine. That one is tough! Today I have yoga on the schedule but I’m already thinking about how I can get out of it…
What’s your TV philosophy?
Are you one of those spinach eating, workout people? Or are you a natural couch potato like me who would rather live off of poptarts?
Have a great day friends!!