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Make Television Time Active for a Boost in Health

Watching TVSometimes it is really hard to get up off the couch. According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle is a major underlying cause of death, disease, and disability. Approximately 2 million deaths every year are attributed to physical inactivity. Yet, we fall victim to couch potato syndrome quite often. Television has become one of the major culprits of this inactive movement.

Giving up Modern Family or other favorites might not seem like a great answer. How about this: instead of giving them up, how about making TV time more active? Although watching TV is one of the most inactive things you can do, it doesn’t have to be.:

  1. Laundry: Change loads from the washer to the dryer during commercial breaks, and stand up to fold laundry while watching your favorite shows.
  2. Clean: Although you won’t be able to vacuum due to the noise, TV time is perfect for some dusting, straightening up, and cleaning the living room and other nearby spaces.
  3. Cardio: If you can afford at-home cardio equipment, purchase a piece of equipment that you can use when watching your favorite shows. Treadmills can be loud, so you might opt for quieter equipment, such as a stationary bike, a cross-trainer, a Stairmaster or an elliptical trainer.
  4. Floor Exercises: If you don’t want to spend money on cardio equipment, you can easily do some strength training. Sit-ups, push-ups, and other floor exercises are easy to do while watching television.
  5. Cooking and Food Preparation: I usually make dinner before my husband comes home. And so, it is me, myself and I. I like preparing dinner with the television on to catch up on the news or for a little lighthearted comedy. It “keeps me company” while I do what I have to do, while allowing me to stay on my feet. Small televisions are really cheap, and they are perfect for the kitchen counter to make viewing easy and convenient.

Do you make television time active? What do you do?

Excerpted from 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You. Looking to make real, lasting change for better health?  52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You is an easy to follow, week-by-week guide to health and happiness. Get it now at

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