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Turn off the TV and Get Fit

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 11 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Tv Fit Exercise Technology Children

As TV and electronics companies continually devise ways to make it easier for us to watch TV wherever and whenever we want, it can also seem more difficult to turn off the TV and get fit. But anyone who is serious about getting fit really should learn to find the off button on their TV and get away from the square box in the corner of the room, as sitting still watching endless TV programmes cannot help anyone’s fitness levels.


No one is suggesting that TV is an evil device and something which should be banned altogether from our living rooms. However, moderation is the key to watching TV, both for adults and children.

Adults have to moderate themselves and make sure they do not sit on the sofa and channel flick between different stations simply because there ‘might be something on’. But for children, adults have to be firm and strictly limit their TV watching everyday. Depending on the age of the children this could be easier or harder.

Younger children can be told easily that they have had enough TV but older children may need to have this rule enforced more stringently. But if the children have plenty of other interests then they will be more keen to go and participate in them rather than sit in front of the TV.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Technology is making it easier to watch TV and harder to ever miss a programme. With the advent of hard disc drive recorders and systems whereby live TV can be paused and rewound, the temptation to record hours of TV and then sit and watch it is greater than ever. But rather than succumb to this temptation, use the technology to your advantage in order to turn off the TV and get fit. If your chosen sport or exercise is outdoors then take part in it whenever it is dry, even if your favourite show is on. This way you can record the programme to watch it when it is raining and you cannot take part in your chosen activity. The technology is there to make life easier rather than to drive people to the TV more often.

TV And Your Mind

It is not only the body which suffers from sitting on a sofa glued to the TV. Although there are exceptions, a lot of TV is escapism and does not help to stretch our minds. And while, as stated above, this is fine in moderation, it is also good to turn the TV and the mindless programmes off and go for a walk, or meet a friend or have a conversation with someone.

Anything which requires you actually having to do something with some part of your body from your brain to your legs will combat this effect and make sure your mind is not being underused thanks to TV.

TV is not the social evil some once considered it to be. But, especially for children, it is possible that watching TV could well hamper their efforts to get fit. So think about using TV as a reward or an incentive rather than something they get as a matter of course and they will get fit while seeing the TV as the treat it should be.

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