Stretching While You Watch TV is Crucial to Your Health. Here's Why.
One of the most common American past-times is watching TV. Most people watch an average of five hours of television every day. Over a week, that's as much as you would spend at a part-time job. Between cable TV, Netflix, Hulu, and countless other live streaming apps that give you immediate access to thousands of hours of content every dayOne study found that the majority of that comes from live television services like cable.
After spending all day sitting at your office job, going home to sit for another five hours is incredibly bad for your health. There are several effects binge-watching shows can have on your mental and physical health.
Increases Your Waistline
When you watch TV, you spend a lot of time sitting down instead of exercising. Being sedentary tends to pack on the pounds since your body doesn't have a way of using up all of the energy you get from sleeping and eating. For every hour you spend watching TV everyday, your risk of diabetes goes up by 3.4% as well.
Threatens Your Relationships
Seeing relationships portrayed on the screen can give you unrealistic expectations. If you see a couple in one of your favorite shows who are perfect for each other without any communication and try to use that in your relationship, it'll sour very quickly.
Puts You in Isolation
If you spend hours watching TV each week, that leaves little time for socializing. When you don't spend time hanging out with people, your friendships tend to weaken. This can leave you with little social support.
Worsens Your Sleep
Watching an episode of your favorite show right before bed can hamper your ability to sleep. The blue light from the screens makes your brain think it's still daytime and that it needs to stay awake.
You don't have to give up your TV watching habits to improve your health. There are several exercises you can do in front of your flat screen to decrease the impact it has on your body.
The biggest thing you want to avoid is sitting down for hours at a time. If you can incorporate movement into your watching regimen, the adverse health effects will drastically go down. Use these stretches while you watch your shows. Even just doing them during the commercial breaks can be helpful.
Take two steps away from a wall. Put one foot close to the wall, and one away from it. Put your hands on the wall and lean towards it.
Watch this video for more specific guidance on how to perform this stretch.
The cobra stretch is great for your back and core. Lie on your stomach with your hands on the floor, holding you up. Press on the floor to lift your chest up facing the wall.
Check out this video for step by step instructions on how to perform this exercise.
The Triangle stretch is great for your back and sides. You'll want to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Then, try to touch your toes with your left hand by bending at the waist.
Do this stretch on both sides by following this video.
The Warrior stretch is a series of movements that test your core strength and balance. Form a 90 degree angle with your feet, hold your hands out parallel with your feet, and lunge.
Follow this video to complete this stretch.
You can also find countless other YouTube videos on stretching and other aerobic exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home. Simply look up the part of your body you want to work on, followed by the word stretch or exercise.
If you want include more movement consider using an all-in-one desk bike. These bikes are incredibly adjustable, so you can modify it until it's comfortable. You don't even have to pedal very fast in order to get the benefits of using the bike.
Being sedentary while watching TV can be incredibly dangerous to your health, especially if you spend hours each day doing so. However, by including movement into your daily TV time, you'll greatly improve your health and fight the downsides that come from sitting still for too long.