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Watching Too much TV?

Timeless Fitness Tips...

Television is a passive activity for our bodies and our brains. Unlike just about anything else we might do with our time, viewing television requires almost no thought or action. It has the same effect on our brain that sitting on the couch has for our body. Turn off the television, especially when there isn't something you specifically want to watch. Instead, do something else. It will make you healthier.

Watching too much TV?

Health Risks of Watching Too Much TV

Excessive television viewing in middle age triples the danger of developing brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to doctors at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Too much TV coud lead to increased risk of diabetes, studies say. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, while greater physical activity appears to lower that risk.

The results of a meta-analysis performed by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health are published in the the Journal of the American Medical Association. These results say 2 hours of TV viewing raises your risk of type 2 diabetes; more than 3 your risk of dying prematurely!

In the Beginning...

Starting in 1988, studies occurred where participants completed questionnaires every two years and reported their level of physical activity and average amount of time spent watching television each week. Over the next 10 years, 1,058 cases of type-2 diabetes were diagnosed among the study group. Diabetes risk was 66 percent higher in those who watched 2 to 10 hours of television weekly, and rose steadily as TV watching increased.

Watching Television

The World's Viewing Habits

  • Europe: Average person spends about 40 percent of their daily free time watching television.
  • Australia: Average person spends about 50 percent of their daily free time watching television.
  • America: Average person spends about 5 hours daily watching television.

A recent study found watching more than four 4 hours of television per day can be dangerous. According to the study analysis, "The risk of heart attack and stroke is higher by 113 percent. The risk of death by any cause is nearly 50 percent compared to those who spend less than two hours daily in front of a television set."

People who watch lots of television not only are sedentary, they tend to snack more while watching TV. If you find yourself falling into a pattern similar to this, you may want to think about giving up a 1/2 hour show and replace it with some form of exercise!

Gentlemen: Get Moving!

Lack of activity, especially watching too much TV, can put men at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. A ten year study that tracked the health and TV time of nearly 38,000 males between the ages of 40 and 75 found that men who spent three to five hours a day watching television doubled their risk of developing diabetes. The really devoted couch potatoes - those who watched six hours a day or more -tripled their chances compared to those who only watched one hour. Men who watched the most television were also less likely to exercise and more likely to be heavier, eat more saturated fat and drink more alcohol. Type 2 diabetes happens when the body no longer uses insulin effectively. Source of Study: Harvard School of Public Health.

What Is a TV Addict to DO?

Well, if you are addicted to your TV, why not use it for exercise! Get yourself a video game. For example, XBox offers great exercise games and tools, including their "Fitness on Xbox" online program.

When using the program, there are a few things one should know to get the most out of your fitness games. Be sure to set your attributes properly. Inaccurate exercise attributes may negatively affect a game's ability to correctly calculate calorie burn or other stats.

If you are seeing strange results or believe your fitness stats are inaccurate, check your exercise attributes to be sure they are correct. Most importantly, have fun with it and put that TV to great use at the same time.

Tune In To Your Tummy

Don't eat in front of the TV. You'll eat up to 288 calories more, according to research from the University of Massachusetts. Instead, eat at the table, and trade 1 hour of TV for a casual walk - you could burn up to 527 calories. Now, when you've gotten away from that TV set, practice getting in tune with your tummy. While eating, pay attention to how full you feel, and put down your fork when you're satisfied. Listen to your body's cues - instead of looking at whether the plate is clean and save up to another 500 calories per day.