As we become more technology oriented, we tend to spend more time sitting than we should. With big screen HD TVs, and now curved screens, we tend to spend even more time now watching TV than in the past. And what is the natural thing to do while watching TV? Eat.

Eating in front of the TV can take a couple of different forms, from just snacking to eating supper. What makes eating in front of the TV so unhealthy is that we don’t take in account what we eat or how much. Mindless snacking can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake and because you are not burning off those extra calories, you put on weight (and most likely wonder why).

So what is the answer? Ultimately, it would be to not snack while watching TV, but even I know that is not a reasonable request. So the next best thing would be to eat healthy snacks in moderation. Carrots (dipped in a low-fat, non-fat dip), celery (with some peanut butter), air-popped popcorn (without butter), low-fat string cheese – in moderation are all good choices for evening snacks while watching TV.

Listen to your body. It will tell you when it is full. But if your focus is on the TV program, you’ll miss the signal and keep eating. Even healthy snacks can add up if you mindlessly eat, and eat, and …. You get the picture.

The other thing you can do to make sitting in front of the TV healthier is to not sit as much. TV show producers have made it easy for us to stand up and walk around – it is called commercials. During a commercial – no doubt one you have seen a hundred times already – get up and walk around (but don’t walk to the frig to get another snack or beer).

Not only does this give you a little exercise to burn off some of the calories you consumed earlier, but it gets your blood moving again. One of the issues that can developed from prolonged sitting is blood pooling in your lower extremities, which can cause deep-vein thrombosis – a potential life-threatening condition.

Another thing you can do while seated is to do some leg and foot exercises:

  1. Leg Circles
  2. And draw the alphabet

Leg Circles

 While sitting in front of the TV, keep your left leg bent, but straighten out your right leg. Make small circles to the right with your straightened leg for about 15 seconds. Gradually increase the size of the circles for an additional 15 seconds. Using the same leg, switch directions and repeat. Now switch legs and repeat the same circle sequence.

Drawing the Alphabet

While seated, lift one leg slightly off of the floor. Bend your foot forward so that your toes are just touching the floor. Now simulate drawing as many letters of the alphabet as you can. Drop your foot back down to the floor, raise again and continue drawing letters. Once done with the alphabet, switch feet and repeat.

Leave a reply