I had trouble turning my brain off and getting a good night's sleep when I was in college. I am assuming this is pretty common with all the tests, caffeine and stress the college years bring.
A co-worker of mine at the time told me that I need to eat, study, watch TV and do other busy activities in other rooms in the house and keep my room for relaxation and sleeping. That way, she said, I would be more relaxed in that environment.
I quickly adopted her advice, along with my regular nightly dose of melatonin. It really helped me relax and quiet down a lot faster -- treating my room like my space and my sanctuary was actually a lot more powerful than I had initially imagined.
From that point on, even after I purchased a larger TV for myself, I never even turn it on unless I use it to watch a particular movie, maybe once a month -- clearly not the most useful investment on my part.
I sit in the living room sometimes with the TV on just for some background noise while I am writing, as I am doing now. I don't know what TV shows are on, or what happened on any season of anything, except for "Criminal Minds" of course, which I watch on my computer at a coffee shop Thursday mornings.
Come to think of it, I really dislike TV just because I do not like to sit still and watch it. And I don't want my rest time interrupted by it.
With that in mind, I recently read a study that confirmed the advantages of cutting out TV viewing -- as well as some other very surprising findings.
The Huffington Post Healthy Living section had an article on the results of a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It found that an hour of sitting in front of the TV can shorten your life span by 22 minutes.
This was concerning to me because I know a lot of people that just sit in front of the TV for hours and hours without even noticing how much time has gone by. This is a lot of sitting and a lot less doing, which is definitely not beneficial for your body.
I have blogged a few times about doing "commercial cardio" -- busting out some exercises during the commercial breaks of your favorite shows: 10 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups repeated until the end of the commercial break or holding a plank the entire time. Both are great ideas.
No one is asking you to stop watching TV. But if you are sitting at the office or in the car for long periods of time, and then you come home and sit in front of the TV, that's a lot of downtime.
This problem gets worse during holiday season, especially with less daylight. People need all the extra minutes and extra calorie-burning bursts they can get.
I hope that everyone
has an amazing and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Remember to be thankful and grateful for your health and that of others -- never stop working toward a healthy body and a healthy mind. God bless.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.