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Prime Time Exercise
Photo: Julia Freeman-Woolpert
Is channel surfing your primary fitness activity each day?

Watch out—it may make you fat. In study after study, all that TV-time has been shown to increase the risk of obesity. Not only does couch time take away from time spent walking, gardening, and playing with the dog, but researchers suspect that the commercials could be influencing you to make poor eating choices. Hide the remote, cancel the cable, do whatever it takes to avoid an unfit fate. It’s prime time for you.

TV Watching Associated with Obesity

Each hour you log in front of the tube leads to 144 fewer steps taken per day. The average American watches four hours a day—that’s almost 580 fewer steps taken toward the goal of 10,000 that many fitness experts recommend for optimal health. TV is associated with obesity, there’s no doubt about that. Less certain is exactly how hours spent watching American Idol or backlogged episodes of Lost saved on your TiVo can make you fat.

So what can you do? Limit TV viewing to no more than two hours per day, and cut back on other sedentary activities, such as computer use, reading, and resting. Commit more free time—at least 30 minutes a day—to being active. Walk at the mall, play catch with your kids, or clean the house.

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Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Adventist Messenger, February 2007. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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