According to a 2014 report from Nielsen, the average American watches close to 5 hours of television per day. Furthermore, the report went on to say that African Americans watch more television than other ethnic groups. African Americans watched on average 218 hours of television a month. In comparison, whites watched 155.3 hours, Hispanics an average of 123.2 hours and Asian Americans an average of 92.3 hours. Lastly, the report suggests that regardless of ethnicity, television viewing increases as we get older. If we commit to this much time watching television, what time does that leave for family, personal growth, rest and physical activity?
Are you that average American who watches television 5 hours per day? If so, have you used the excuse of not having enough time to exercise? Watching television does not improve your health. Your health matters, thus you have to prioritize what is most important. Your health is more important than a one hour episode of your favorite television show?
If you are not willing to give up your favorite television show, here are some things you can do to incorporate physical activity during that time:
- If you are able, invest in a treadmill, stationary bicycle or elliptical machine. You can watch television and exercise.
- During every commercial break, perform an exercise such as sit-ups, push-ups, planks, tricep dips, etc…
- During every commercial break get up and move around your family room. Don’t sit for hours at a time.
- The magic of a DVR. Record your favorite show and watch it at another time.
- View your favorite show as a “treat.” Plan to exercise before your favorite show and come back to it for mindless entertainment.
The Center For Disease Control recommends the following:
For Overall Cardiovascular Health
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week
If you can commit to 5 hours of television viewing per day, you have no excuse not to commit to 2.5 hours of exercise per week! You are a priority. Your health matters. It’s Move It Monday, let’s get moving, no excuses.