Sunday has become a planning day, a perfect day to attend church, buy groceries, wash the triathlon bike, and above all a key day to set up my weeks for success. I tend to devote a large portion of time to writing down new weekly goals and planning specific meals and workout times. Recently, I have been working on a weekly goal of decreasing television time and man does it feel good? I am able to accomplish more things and I no longer let my evenings pass me by.
Did you know that the average American television viewer watches 151 hours of television per month? It’s baffling when you think about it, but what’s even scarier is the proven health detriment. In a recent CNN Report, they followed 8,800 people with no history of heart disease for 6 full years. They compared one group, who watched less than two hours of TV per day, to another, who watched four hours or more per day. The people who watched four or more hours were 80% more likely to die from heart disease and 46% more likely to die of other causes. In total, 284 people died during the study. The study went on to prove that for every hour of television a person watches per day, they increase their risk of heart disease by 18% and their overall risk of death by 11%.
Rather incredible numbers. The fact of the matter is TV promotes sitting and studies show that it also leads to eating nutrient-energy dense, snack-type foods. This week’s Friday Fitness focuses on transforming tube time with these strategies:
1. Stretch while you watch – Great way to unwind after a long day. Purchase a foam roller or a stretching strap and hit the quadriceps, calves, IT Band, and hamstrings. Plan a series of stretches that you can do lying on the carpet while you’re watching your favorite program.
2. Commercial Strength Training – Challenge yourself during commercial breaks to perform body weight exercises. Do an AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) each break and record your results. Choose straightforward exercises such as pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, chair dips or anything you have access to such as a FitBall and Free Weights. Twenty minutes of commercial time leads to a whole lot of repetitions.
3. Get Courageous – Create a 10 to 15 minute core training routine that you can perform while watching television. Try to hit every abdominal group including plank variations, cross legged crunches, superman’s, and bicycle kicks. Come up with a few different routines to keep it coretastic throughout your week.
4. Walk Before Sitting – There’s more daylight during the summer so hit that post-dinner thermal walk that you’ve been forgetting to include. It will not only take your mind off an evening snack, but it will leave less time for the tube when you get back.
5. Buy an Indoor Bike Trainer – if you enjoy road biking like I do this is the way to go. You can maximize commercial breaks by propping your road bike up in the living room and hopping on for 5 minutes here and there.
I’m not saying that you need to take Television time out of your life (I mean we do have to put time aside to sit down and watch events like the Boston Marathon or the Kona Ironman). What I am saying is let’s make it more active. I mean, come on, commercial breaks are built in excuses!
Source: Too Much TV may mean earlier death, Sarah Klein, Jan.11.2010, CNN Report