Who doesn’t like to plunk down in front of a favorite TV show after a long day of work, remote at the ready, cold beverage of choice in hand? When you’re so relaxed, it’s easy to forget that in order to stay healthy you need to balance that blissful veg out time with engaging and enriching physical activities. Researchers in the Nurse’s Health study found that for every two hours spent watching TV, the study’s subjects had a 23% higher risk of becoming obese and a 14% higher risk of developing diabetes.
Here are some suggestions to keep you moving:
Get Some Fresh Air
This tip is simple and effective! Grab a friend (human or furry) and take a walk. The fresh air will do wonders for your mood and the exercise will increase blood flow throughout your entire body.
Do you have yard work you can do? Raking leaves and mowing may not sound like too much fun, but gardening is a relaxing and rewarding way to stay active while reducing stress. According to the CDC, time spent gardening counts towards the 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity level activity that you need to reduce your risk for obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and a host of other ailments.
Work out While You Watch
Can’t tear yourself away from the TV? Multi-task by working out while you watch your favorite shows! There are plenty of simple exercises you can do at home.
Do pushups or jumping jacks during the commercial breaks to get your heart rate up. Then, stretch or do some squats between commercial breaks to recover. If you want to step it up, invest in some home-friendly workout gear like low-weight dumbbells or resistance bands.
Take a Class
Learning new things is a great way to stay mentally healthy and meeting new people will expand your social circle to include more active people. Everyone has something they’ve always wanted to try. You could pick a physical activity like yoga, tai chi, or Crossfit; something more artistic like pottery; or a more intellectual pursuit such as learning a new language or technical skill. Who knows, you may end up teaching others one day!
There are many ways to stay active, from volunteering to walk dogs at your local animal shelter to becoming a full-on bodybuilder. There’s bound to be an activity out there that you’ll enjoy and that will keep you moving so you can find the right balance between enjoying your time on the couch and enjoying everything else!