Too Much TV Can Be a Real Killer

Practical tips to move more

If simply moving the body more can help reduce your risk of heart disease death, how can you do that in a way that won't raise the eyebrows of your coworkers? Here are some tips:

At the Office

  • When talking on the phone, stand instead of sitting. Keep a two-pound weight on your desk and do bicep curls while listening in on a conference call, says Andrea Wilson, physical therapist at Methodist Sports Medicine/The Orthopedic Specialists in Indianapolis.
  • Have a one-on-one meeting? Instead of sitting in an office, Wilson suggests you walk while you talk.
  • Stop slouching, says Wilson. Practice good, straight back posture at your desk and start a habit of flexing your ab muscles or doing calf curls while reading e-mail.
  • If you’re thinking through a problem, don’t do it staring at your computer screen. Instead, go for a walk around the block.

    While Out and About

    • Don’t just sit on the bleachers during soccer practice. Get up and pace the field or run up and down those steps.
    • Instead of meeting your girlfriends for dinner, meet for a Pilates or yoga class.

    At Home

    • Instead of hitting fast-forward on your remote, get up during commercial breaks, Dr. Dunstan says. Pick up those toys the kids left out, check to make sure all the doors are locked or fold a load of laundry.
    • Place your elliptical machine or treadmill in front of the television, says Fredina Usher-Weems, aerobic specialist from Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 Program in Cleveland. Make a deal with yourself that you can watch your favorite show only if you are moving.
    • Play Wii Fit games with your kids.
    • Get a dog, says Wilson. You’re more likely to want to go for a walk than clean up the mess that will happen if you don’t.
    • While watching TV, do chair squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, lower down while pushing your rear end out so you can see your toes, hold as long as you can and then return to standing.


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