My friend sent me an interesting email on April 2. Her husband, she wrote, “has holed himself up in the basement (his man cave) and has been binge watching Netflix for nearly a week. I have been really annoyed with him for being so lazy and not taking care of himself or getting anything accomplished. Well yesterday, after he finished watching an entire season of ‘24’ (in one day), Netflix displayed suggestions at the bottom of the screen for what he should watch next. Instead of listing movie titles, the three suggestions that were provided were: ‘take a shower,’ ‘see your friends,’ and a cartoon graphic of a hamster lifting weights that said ‘get off your butt.’ LOL. Isn’t that hilarious? I had no idea Netflix did that when it detected someone who had been watching TV too long. I laughed so hard when he showed me the screen. Funniest thing ever.”
She noted that her husband heard the message and left for the gym. We both got a good laugh and wondered if this was an April Fool’s joke by Netflix. After doing a quick internet search, I found out that it was really was a prank – but it was one that we need to pay heed.
This TED Talk provides a good overview of why it’s important to move: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-sitting-is-bad-for-you-murat-dalkilinc
It’s especially important to avoid being sedentary as we age. A new study out of the University of South Carolina found that Americans tend to gain weight as they age, even though the quality of their diet improves. This study looked at data from 4,999 Americans who ranged in age from 20 to over 70.
So what can you do if you don’t like going to the gym? I’d encourage you to do the following:
- Set a reminder to get up and moving every 30 minutes.
- Drink a lot of water (which will get you moving to the bathroom on a regular basis. Trust me, it works like a charm!)
- Get up and do push-ups against the wall.
- Do your own yardwork, including mowing.
- Take your dog for short walks several times during the day.
- March in place while watching TV.
- Get up and do exercises (such as squats and lunges) during commercial breaks.
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Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
Almendrala, A. (2015). Exercise, not diet, has most impact on weight as we age. Huffington Post.
Dorian Martin writes about various topics for HealthCentral, including Alzheimer’s disease, diet/exercise, menopause and lung cancer. Dorian is a health and caregiving advocate living in College Station, TX. She has a Ph.D. in educational human resource development. Dorian also founded I Start Wondering, which encourages people to embrace a life-long learning approach to aging. She teaches Sheng Zhen Gong, a form of Qigong. Follow Dorian on Twitter at @dorianmartin, Facebook or Instagram at @doriannmartin.