Welcome to another weekend. I hope the plan is not to binge on interesting TV show or movie. Just like we agreed last week that making time to take a walk is a pretty awesome idea, we need to have another agreement in place for the weekend: too much TV is bad for your health.
I guess we all know that by now. It easily falls in line with the ‘too much of everything is bad’ mantra. And what exactly is too much? Who sets the standards. After all, one man’s too much is another guy’s hardly enough. So we shall just agree that to binge on a TV shows or movies is plain wrong. And the weekend is such a convenient time to just sit in front of the TV and watch and watch until it’s time for bed. By the way, if you are still a bit confused, binging does not always refer to food you know. These days it is normal to refer to ‘TV binge’ in relation to spending too much time watching the screen.
So, if you were too lazy to take that healthy walk we recommended, or perhaps too sick and incapacitated to exercise a bit, there are things you could do to mitigate the negative impact of sitting in one place for too long. Because anyhow you look at it, binging on TV is all about sitting in one place for a long time.
For starters, be reminded that sitting for prolonged periods is linked to obesity and every negative consequences of being obese. Including early death. Even if you are not likely to be obese in just two days, see the ways TV Binge is likely to affect you and how to control the negatives.
Too Much Eating
And from experience, I know for a fact that the tendency to eat junk food is very high when watching TV. One reason is because you can’t be too bothered to stand up from you comfortable perch to look for good food. You really don’t want to miss a second of that interesting film or show. Your best bet then is to find a quick fix for your stomach. What better option than a quick sandwich or pie. Or cookies, lots of it, chased down with carbonated drinks.
Sometimes, even your stars on TV wolfing down tasty-looking junk food can induce a hunger for the same food in you. And seeing them drink alcohol might see you make a mental note to stack your fridge with drinks for the next binge.
The best way to avoid this is simple. Cook your normal healthy meal before sitting down to binge on TV. Have it handy nearby for when you feel the urge to eat. For snacks, buy lots of unsweetened popcorn. And a bottle of water would do just fine.
Binge On Muscles
Spending a day watching TV is not likely to suddenly shoot up your weight. But these things add up over a period of time. Especially if it becomes your habit. But sitting down for too long can have an immediate impact on your muscles. It can lead to back pains, general stiffness and all sorts of muscle strains and cramps.
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Avoiding these negative effect on your muscles is easy. Take a break. Stand up and walk around a bit. Or you can watch it on your tablet while working out on your rowing machine. That is killing two birds with one stone. Your body gets to exercise. And you indulge in your favorite show or movie.
Sometimes people spend a whole weekend in front of the TV to escape from real world problems. But the problems never get away. Numerous studies have concluded that hiding from problems in binge TV can excercerbate the problem when you come back to the real world. There would be feelings of guilt that you wasted time watching TV instead of facing your problems.
Also the feeling of guilt and depression can come from the knowledge that you refused to connect with friends and family just because of TV.
The best way to avoid this is to always try to watch with friends and family around you. And do make sure you tackle problems before sitting down to watch. Never use TV as an excuse to procrastinate.
Binge TV Affects Sleep Rhythm
It is very obvious that watching throughout the night seriously affects your sleep. But what about watching in the day time or in a darkened room. If like me you watch most of your shows on the computer, starring too long at the screen can disrupt the production of melatonin. The hormone responsible for good sleep. The blue light emitted from the screen also acts the same way in a darkened room whether on a TV or a computer. That is apart from the eye strain and headaches you might get for your binging efforts.
So be sure to really put the screen a reasonable distance away from you eyes. Avoid watching in dim or darkened rooms. And try to stop watching at least an hour away from your regular bedtime.
Other negatives from a good TV binge include slowing down your metabolism which can cause your body to store more fats; it can also lead to potentially fatal blood clots since your feet hardly move during binging.
But as long as you don’t make binging a habit, you can avoid these problems. I guess, if you love your TV, that is easier said than done. So, if you are a veteran ‘binger’ and you are in tip-top physical condition, we would like you to tell us a thing or two about how you do it.