After a long day at work or school it can be tempting to come home and simply veg out in front of the TV. After all, the glowing screen and a cozy couch don’t demand much from your body or your mind. While watching TV now and then isn’t bad for you, making it a habit to spend hours in front of it every day can be harmful to your health, both mental and physical, if you’re not careful.
One of the biggest problems with watching television is that most people do it while pretty much sedentary. Hours of moving little except to change the channel or get a drink isn’t really the ideal way to treat your body. If you can’t bear to miss your favorite programs, consider watching them at the gym while you run or workout on the elliptical. It might not be as comfortable, but it’ll be a lot better for your body.
If you turn the TV on when you get home from work you mostly eat your evening meal while sitting in front of it. Studies have shown time and again that people tend to eat more when they eat while watching TV. It becomes a mindless action to occupy your hands while watching the screen rather than something you’re doing to nourish your body causing your to overeat and in turn gain weight. Cut out snacking while watching TV and eat your meals without the company of the screen for more conscious consumption.
Finally, it isn’t just physical health that’s hurt by a steady stream of television programming. If you spend most of your evening in front of the television you’re likely not bonding with friends and family, pursuing hobbies or challenging your brain. While watching certain shows and movies as a family can be a fun experience, spend more time away from the TV. You’ll keep your mind active and develop stronger, better relationships– something that’s essential for long term mental health.
Watching less TV doesn’t mean giving it up altogether. You’ll just need to plan which shows you really want to watch and which you turn on simply to have something on TV or to have background noise. Limit your TV watching time can be a great way to increase your health and to build better relationships and chances are you won’t even miss it.