Clearly, I have not been able to write to all of you as frequently as I was just a few months ago. I have been traveling to Cuba and the United States as well as various parts of Atlantic Canada due to my recent University Graduation. Now, with that being said, do you know what has not occupied my time these past two to three months? TV!
That's right, that dreaded time and metabolism killer, the TV, is something which seems to take up most, if not all, of the free time people tend to have. For me, I would rather spend my downtime reading a book, writing this blog or for thephysicaleducator and spending time socializing with family and friends. Now, I am not saying that the way I spend my downtime is right and everyone who watches TV is wrong. I just wanted to highlight other productive ways of spending downtime.
The trouble we run into is when we first turn on the TV. As soon as we do, we become TV zombies to our favourite shows or 'the guide' and we forget what we were supposed to be doing. I pride myself on moderating my TV exposure. I try to keep my mind and body actively engaged in social events, reading and writing. I am all about relaxation and enjoyment, just not at a zombie level.
I watched a TED talk (app on my iPad: GET IT!) in which a man speaks about people being disengaged with the world around them. We constantly forget to appreciate the little things like being able to read the words in a book or being able to spend the afternoon outside with your family. TV can take control over that free time if not self monitored properly.
Along with TV comes the 'zombie catalyst': Cable, HD, HDMI, Plasma, 3D, blah, blah, blah. These are all fancy ways of saying, "Got ya hooked" on TV. The special effects keep you diligently glued to your seat and not wanting to stop watching and to pick up a book for 20-30 minutes.
And what about those awesome DQ blizzard commercials on your HDTV? The ice cream looks so real that you feel like you should go get in your car and buy one. As crazy as that sounds, just take a moment to think about that the next time a fast food commercial comes on your HDTV. We live in a virtual reality of instant gratification of indulgences; thus, TV aids and abets poor diet and weight issues as sometimes we can't ignore what it shows us.
Cable TV can be our downfall if we let it. We need to think for ourselves, moderate our children's and our own personal TV ingestion and consistently find new ways of sharing our free time with learning or actively socializing.
Rethink your downtime and be sure to tweet at me with some other awesome alternative ways to spend downtime! I suggest sitting on a stability ball while reading a book; studies show that while seated on a stability ball, your body burns 15% more calories than sitting on the couch.