A reader pointed me to a list of 5 ways to make watching television more active. I was happy to see that I do three of these already:
1. Watch socially. Social support is a very large factor in overall survival. If you can watch with family and friends, you'll be able to joke, cajole, discuss, and move around more easily.
It is rare that you will find me watching television without my wife.
2. Use an exercise device. It can be a simple stepper or something more elaborate like an elliptical or exercycle, but you can readily move watching TV -- and still stay in place.
When I am at the gym and there is something worthy of my time, I will watch television while working out on the treadmill or elliptical.
Even better, I use the time we watch television at home to do my daily pushups, sit-ups and planks. So it it rare that I am watching television and not exercising in some way.
3. Don't eat while watching. Drink water or non-caffeinated drinks. People tend to not notice what they nosh while watching television, making it a further component of our obesity epidemic.
Unless I’m watching a football game, I do not eat while watching TV.
Then there are two that I don’t do:
4. Stand. There is no law that TV must be watched from a chair. You can stand, which depending on weight or gender, takes a quarter to 50% more calories than sitting; you can also pace if you like, which people commonly do with sports programs.
This sounds a little silly. Watching TV will milling around the living room?
But I recently express a desire to purchase (or ideally be given) a standing desk, so perhaps I could somehow incorporate this into my television viewing.
5.Talk and walk. After the program is over, go and stroll with the people with whom you watched, discussing what you saw.
This one is stupid. All it really means is that you should walk more.