New Year’s resolutions are plentiful on January 1st, but most people are rarely able to stick with them for long. Best intentions are soon replaced by forgetfulness and a lack of motivation. But what if you could combine several of the most common resolutions into one package that only takes about 40 minutes per day? And what if those 40 minutes of your day were just being wasted?
Consider these three resolutions for 2013, even though it’s already Valentine’s Day:
• Exercise more
• Keep the house tidier
• Waste less time watching TV
Try this. Tonight, while watching television, jump up at every commercial and hurry to another room to tidy up a mess, fold laundry, do dishes, transport displaced stuff to where it belongs, or grab a handful of trash out of an overstuffed junk drawer and throw it away. Then back to the TV, if your task takes you up and down the stairs, even better.
The average American watches 4 hours of television every night according to the A.C. Nielsen Co. While many people might be unwilling to admit to that amount, most will acknowledge a couple of hours most evenings. So consider what you can do with the commercial time of a two hour television movie which is approximately 80 minutes of movie and 40 minutes advertisements. Forty minutes is plenty of time to get things done. Those 40 minutes, even 3 to 5 minutes at a time, can add up to serious calories spent; muscles exercised; counters and kitchen tables cleared; and desktops organized – as well as far less sedentary time spent on the sofa glued to the TV.
The Harvard Health Newsletter indicates that an average person can burn 130-345 calories in 40 minutes doing light to heavy household activities. Compare that to 37 calories burned while watching television for 40 minutes. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. Four nights of the television commercial exercise plan adds up to about 160 minutes!
So, get busy watching TV.
Author: Polly Loy, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Belmont County/Buckeye Hills EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: Harvard Health Newsletter
Reviewer: Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension.