Do you remember when you had to wait a week to see the next episode of your favorite television show – even if you were watching reruns? Today, you can easily pick up the full series of your favorite show on blu-ray and watch as many episodes in a row as you like, complete with special features and no commercials. Binge-watching is the ultimate in instant gratification, and it's a fun way to spend a rainy weekend, ride out a case of the flu, or stay cool indoors on a summer day when it's just too hot to go outside. But face it – binge-watching isn't exactly a healthy activity. You may tend to eat too much, move too little, or both. And while one lazy day now and then isn't the end of the world, you don't want it to turn into a habit. Take a look at a few rules to follow when you're binge-watching that can make it a slightly healthier activity and prevent you from making a habit of being a couch potato.
Rule #1: Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
If you find that binge-watching and binge-eating go hand-in-hand, you're not alone. Research shows evidence of links between television consumption, unhealthy eating, and weight gain or obesity. Interestingly, the type of show you're watching may make a difference. For example, researchers found that study participants who watched action shows ate 98% more than participants who watched talk shows. Participants watching sad shows ate 55% more than participants watching more cheerful content. And watching food-related content makes people who are dieting eat more.
The healthiest thing that you can do is turn the television off while you eat. If you're not watching TV, or otherwise distracted, you'll be more mindful of what and how much you put in your mouth. But you don't necessarily have to ban all snacking while watching to make binge-watching a little healthier. If you really want to be able to snack while you watch, take the time to make sure that you have healthy snacks readily available before you turn the TV on. Hide the potato chips and cookies, and cut up some fruits and veggies so that they're ready to grab and go when you decide you want a snack. Substitute your movie-theater-style popcorn for some lightly salted, roasted edamame. Stock your fridge with water bottles instead of cans of soda. That way, you can have your TV marathon without increasing your waistline.
Rule #2: Stand Up In Between Episodes
It turns out that even if you exercise regularly, sitting down for long periods of time is really bad for your health. That's why experts recommend that you stand up for at least two hours a day during working hours. And don't think that the recommendation doesn't apply to you because you're binge-watching TV at home instead of sitting at a desk at work – your body doesn't know the difference between eight hours of office work and eight hours of Orange is the New Black.
Luckily, research also suggests that it doesn't matter if that two hours of standing is broken up into small periods of time. Pause the show every so often, or take a break between each episode to stand up, stretch, and move around. You don't have to do push-ups, unless you want to. Just walk around the house, go outside and check the mail, go to the kitchen and grab a cold drink or a healthy snack. Anything that gets you up and moving.
Rule #3: Skip The Drinking Games; Try The One-Minute Workout Game Instead
Lots of popular television series have their very own fan-made drinking games. For instance, you might take a shot whenever a catchphrase is uttered or when a particular character appears onscreen. The problem is, drinking games can easily push you into binge-drinking territory. Combining binge-watching with binge-drinking is a bad idea for all kinds of reasons. For one thing, you're now combining two unhealthy activities. Plus, you're less likely to stick to your plans to eat healthier snacks and move around while watching TV if you're also drinking. Besides, if you drink too much, you may not even remember what you watched the next day.
However, the idea of making a game out of television viewing isn't an entirely bad idea. Why not substitute a one-minute workout instead? A new study shows that as little as 60 seconds of a strenuous activity can be as effective as a 45-minute-long moderate workout. Think about it – instead of just mitigating the possible health detriments of binge-watching, you could actually use it as a way to get in shape – one minute at a time. Instead of taking a shot when you hear that catchphrase, do a minute's worth of sit-ups or squats instead. Not only will it be a minute of time that you didn't spend sitting, it will be a minute spent improving your health.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to spend a day watching TV. But by binge-watching with these easy rules, you can do it without the guilt. If you're looking for more shows to add to your binge-watching collection, check out websites like https://pristine-sales.com/.