I admit it: I love TV. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with admitting I love TV. TV doesn’t stop me from devouring books and magazines, from enjoying the outdoors, from keeping an insanely packed schedule—flying weekly—to promote health and fitness across the country. TV doesn’t make me sedentary. It doesn’t hinder my workouts or all the fitness classes I teach. Simply put, TV isn’t my enemy and it doesn’t have to be yours.
Granted, I think watching an episode or two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills might make you wonder about humanity and begin to erode your I.Q. And, if you constantly flood yourself with news and news magazine shows, you may inaccurately conclude that the world is a scarier place than it really is. But there are many TV shows that offer an entertaining outlet for your mind, make you laugh—and even boost your mood!
Escape for a while and reduce stress. I love watching Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, Sing Off and So You Think You Can Dance. These shows are entertaining, fun and some even involve people improving their lives and pursuing their passions. You can root for your favorite contestant or get a little inspired by watching people hone their skills with mentors to guide them. Plus, your favorite shows Modern Family, Parenthood, Glee, The Office, can help you escape for a little while—whether it’s from a frantic day or your ever-growing to do list.
Manage your time effectively. Gone are the days of having to work your schedule around your favorite TV show so you can be home in time to watch it. Truth be told, I rarely watch TV shows at their regularly scheduled times. Instead, I catch up on my favorite shows on my iPad, DVR or Hulu. I can zip past commercials and watch my favorites in less time. If you don’t know about Hulu, it’s an online video service that offers hit shows, clips and movies for you to view—when you want to and when you have the time. You only have to have an Internet connection. I also buy the season passes on Itunes to many shows and we home share so everyone in the family can tune in.
Lighten up. Bring on the exercise multitasking! Rarely do I plop down on the couch and watch TV. I am on my stepmill or my elliptical exercising and burning calories while I watch my favorite shows. My Ipad fits nicely on the console. You can do the same at home! All you need is one piece of fitness equipment. A yoga mat or free weights also suffice to burn some calories while you catch up on your favorite shows.
Distraction helps your workouts. I am sure you have one of those days when you just don’t feel like working out. If you have a piece of workout equipment near a TV, you can let your mind escape to one of your favorite shows while your body works out. You may even forget you are working out and spend more time burning calories than you normally do! There are TVs in most gyms and fitness centers for a reason.
Related: How To Use Your TV To Get Fit
Laugh a little. Tune in to a great comedy and laugh a little. Laughter is good for your health. It can reduce stress and add some years to your life. I just rented the movie Bridesmaids on Itunes and plan to only watch it while exercising. I can start and stop whenever I want.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I am a huge advocate of zone training and when I’m teaching a class or doing anerobic intervals, I’m focused and my playlist becomes my motivator. There is no way I could watch TV while getting in my high intensity training. However, the majority of people could use a little extra activity instead of becoming a fixture on the couch, so add some cardiovascular exercise to your TV consumption and relieve stress while you are at it.
As long as watching TV doesn’t become the center of a sedentary universe, you probably won’t be negatively impacted by watching it. Life gives us plenty of serious moments, couldn’t we all benefit from lightening up a little bit and tuning in? What’s your favorite show to watch?