The Overlooked Connection between TV and Health

Today I’m going to go out on a limb, I’m going to make the wild connections between watching TV, and your health. A crazy thing for a health coach to chat about, but we’re doing it anyway! And always remember here at Health REBELs, we help you build a happier, healthier life by redefining what healthy habits are to redefine healthy, we follow the REBEL oath.

We swear to

  • Reject extremes
  • Energize ourselves through healthy habits
  • Break free from common standards
  • Excite ourselves about our potential, and finally,
  • Love ourselves and act accordingly.
Personal Training Spokane The Health R.E.B.E.L.s Oath20

Anyway, let’s dive in and talk about the wild connections between watching TV and your health.

So I got a confession. I lived in Seattle for about seven years. And it rubbed off on me, I got a little bit of that Northwest hippie on me. And today that’s gonna come out on today’s message is going to be a little bit of anti consumerism sentiments. But I promise as a health coach, I’m going to bring this back to you living your healthiest, best life.

This morning, I was having a conversation with one of my clients. And we were talking about some new habit goals that we had designed together, we wanted to start to do some new workouts. And she did it. Congratulations. She did it. But it was a little bit of a struggle because she woke up late. And she had to do a work project.

We were talking about the causes of what caused her to wake up late and have low energy and be a little sluggish. So it was delayed and later than anticipated. And she revealed to me that, you know, she just didn’t sleep that well, she doesn’t usually sleep that well. She falls asleep on the couch at night. And then it’s tough to fall back asleep afterwards. that ever happened to you.

Anyway, as I was talking to her, I got into my little anti consumerism and rants about, you know, sometimes our TVs can hold us back from having the best health that we have. Right. And we worked together on some strategies. And she was talking about how you know, TV is a decompression. Maybe you agree with that maybe you watch TV in the evening after work and after dinner to kind of decompress a little bit. And we’ll come back to that a little bit later. But we strategized and we overcame, and we came up with a new strategy that will allow her to get to bed on time to get restful sleep, so that she can wake up feel great, and then get on with the activity to feel even better, and set your day up for the best success.

Zombie watching TV. Health Coach doesn't like TV Zombies
Not a life goal

You know, there’s kind of this this insidious habit that people have of being all consumed by their television set or another type of screen, whether it’s your phone, your laptop, your tablet, we just we’re programmed to consume. As a health coach, I have to stop those insidious behaviors.

You might remember from a couple podcasts back, I had kind of hinted at Edward Bernays, and Paul Mazur kind of these guys that made marketing so prolific at the turn of the 20th century, and really have changed American culture to be this American consumerism.

Unfortunately, these trends haven’t been good for our health. You know, early in the early in this podcast during the intro, we talked about the REBEL oath, and we talked about breaking free from common standards. A big part of that is because a lot of the societal standards that we have, kind of push us towards this default to being unhealthy, unhappy, and for too many of us broke and riddled with credit card debts, right? The common standards push us towards a default that we don’t like. And one of those is excessive TV consumption.

Now, before I rant and rave too much, and you think I’m a crazy guy, I will confess I do watch TV. I turn on my TV every Thursday, pick up whatever the newest Marvel TV show is if there’s a current episode streaming on Disney plus, yes, yes, I will. And maybe some Sundays depending on what the Sunday day looks like. But those are those are kind of isolated pockets I tried to consume with intentionality versus the common standard of blind passive consumption put on us by marketers. One of the biggest reasons why is because like you, I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough time. Right. The biggest obstacle I always hear as a health coach that keeps people from healthy habits “I don’t have enough time.”

We just say that all the time. And it’s true. There is not enough time to do everything. But there is enough time to do the important things.

With a little bit of intentionality with a little bit of time management, (and maybe help from a health coach) we can take back some of that time to do the important things that allow us to feel our best to allow us to do our best and to allow us that have our health that is at its best. Right now, let me let me talk and give some statistics about averages with time management. Nielsen, the common Nielsen reporting agency reports that the average American the average American watches four plus hours of TV at night. And that’s that’s difficult to measure, right? Because our definition of TV has evolved with streaming services with YouTube, like, do do videos on Facebook count is watching TV. Now, it’s tough to tell. But the average American consumes four hours a day of television, four hours, when you don’t have enough time to get enough sleep, when you don’t have enough time to exercise when you don’t have enough time to eat. Well. I’m curious how many of those four hours could have been used to give yourself benefit?

Right? More statistics, there is a there’s a recent study that said that people spend two and a half hours on social media each day, two and a half hours on social media each day. Right? And I’m not gonna I’m not gonna Yuck, you’re young. I use Facebook. I use social media. I use Facebook, I use Facebook, Reddit. And I guess YouTube maybe if that can is considered a social media. And if you follow me on social media, you’ve seen my pictures of the dogs. I use social media to get memes. My friends will send me memes.

Michelle, I know you’re listening to this podcast, you send me memes all the time. Right? And then, right, my sister sent me a meme of some Godzilla stuff. I am a participant in Godzilla communities. But even though there is benefits to it, we need to put in guardrails to assure that it’s not over consuming that it’s holding us back from other positive habits.

And then finally, Data Portal says that the average American spends seven hours and four minutes looking at a screen whether that’s a television screen, a tablet screen, your phone for social media, their survey, their study said seven hours and four minutes each day, looking at Entertainment screens, seven hours each day. And the biggest complaint people have is that they don’t have enough time in their day.

And it makes you wonder, now I’m not saying you have to eliminate those. But as a health coach I want you to be intentional about the usage.

The other big problem with passive consumption of television is, like I mentioned with my client this morning, it can be a disruptive sequence to habits. When you we when we just try to decompress and watch TV and go and binge watch in the evenings, we oftentimes stay up too late, which means that we don’t get enough sleep. What if we fall asleep on the couch, anyone ever watched TV, nap on the couch wake up and be like, Oh, I should go to bed.

What that ends up doing is disrupting your circadian rhythm. Health Coach cares about your sleep health! TV Watching and Napping also disrupts the adenosine sleep pressures so that the sleep quality you get in the bed is not nearly as good. It disrupts your your effectiveness of sleep so that you end up waking up more tired than than sleeping should. Right so you stay up late you nap on the couch, you wake up tired, you wake up tired, and that makes you skip workouts. You skip workouts because you don’t have the energy. And if you’re one of my health coach clients, you should know that workouts don’t consume energy. Done gently and done intentionally they should give your body more energy.

But you’re tired so you skip it now you’re more tired. And when you’re tired, you need a pick me up. So what do we do for pick me up we reach for the junk food right? The sugary treats the spatty treats something to give us a little oomph, because we didn’t get it with sleep. Right? overconsumption unintentional, passive consumption of television can lead to a disruptive sequence of habits right, staying up late napping on the couch, waking up tired, skipping your workout and then eating junk food. That’s a cocktail a recipe for unhealthy and unhappiness. And then finally, a big part of why I kind of push against television and the overconsumption of television is the behavioral substitutes that we get in place of television can lead to better physical, emotional and mental health.

With my client, we talked about how it’s kind of a decompression zone. You sit on the couch, you turn on the TV, and it gives you a moment to stop thinking. But there’s other things that you can do in that moment. Right

I am a big fan of reading. Unfortunately, the average American reads less than one book a year. And it’s said that most college graduates will only read three more books for the rest of their life. Most people don’t read. But if you’re looking for decompression, opening up a book can be a really great way to kind of unwind and decompress and, and get a form of entertainment that still stimulates our brains keeps our brains a little active in a positive way, which helps with preventing diseases of cognitive decline, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, when we get older, that’s a good benefit.

But it can also be a way to explore new things and discover new things and learn new skills or even get inundated with a different type of culture. Right? There’s a million options with books. And there’s more benefits to a book, I would argue than passively consuming whatever you can come across channel surfing.

Another substitute that often comes up is, you know, with with these times sucks with the social media with the TV consumption. You know, what if we did substitute that with some type of movement, some type of light activity, some stretching some yoga, evening yoga Hall, again, Northwest hippie is coming out. But evening yoga for decompression and for relaxation is phenomenal. I actually was successful for a bit getting my sister to do this. And my sister had noted that when she does yoga in the evenings, her stress level throughout the day is significantly lower in her sleep quality is significantly higher, right? Maybe some of these substitutes that we do instead of the passive television consumption can help us feel healthier.

So, I mean, ultimately, I would really challenge you and I would really encourage you to not necessarily eliminate these entertainment sources.

Excuse me, to not eliminate those entertainment sources but to break free from common standards that have as passively consuming them and instead consume them on intentionality. He’s my client. She mentioned that she really loves staying up to watch Stephen Colbert is monologue. Right? And I’m a big fan of Stephen Colbert. Dude’s hilarious. And he’s insightful on current issues. The monologue makes sense. But what we found was on YouTube, they upload the monologue right after. And so what we made was the suggestion that in your, we had made the suggestion that she uses a cardio piece of equipment in the mornings to kind of get some activity, check the box throughout the day, and set herself up for success. And to keep that pressure away from staying up late to catch Stephen Colbert monologue. During her morning cardio, we just check YouTube and watch the monologue. It’s a small little cardio suggestion that I’ve made a couple of minutes, and it’s about the same length as a monologue. Those two go together very, very well. And I’m encouraged and excited to see what kind of improvements this does with their sleep habits. What kind of improvements does this do with her energy levels, and getting more activity? What does that do for everything else in her life? I’m really excited about this. And sometimes we need this sometimes we need a health coach in our corner that helps look at some of the social causes of unhealth and help strategize individually with how to how to break free from those common standards.

If you need a coach that is willing to tell you the truth, as it is sometimes the difficult truth and look at those social causes of health.

I’m gonna put it in the show notes, a link to schedule a call if you want to have a complimentary consultation. I would love to gift you 60 minutes of my time to just kind of talk about your situation where you are right now, and where you’d want to be. If you want to take advantage of that you can visit health backslash call, or I’ll put a link down in the show notes below.

But anyway, that’s today’s wrap. What I really want to focus on is fighting back against that passive consumption tendency to break free from those common standards and to be intentional with how you consume entertainment in a way that is still beneficial to your health and your happiness. And until I see you again here tomorrow for another episode of the Health REBELs podcast. You know what to do REBEL, keep the oath, especially breaking free from common standards.

I hope that episode helped give you some steps you can take to break free from common standards so that you can live a happier, healthier life. I love

love to continue to support you on that path to redefining healthy living. So I want to invite you to join my free Facebook group, the Health REBELs community. There, we post daily content to redefine what healthy living means by following the holistic wheel and the REBEL of you’ll also get community support with like minded Health REBELs. If you’re not already a member, search for the Health REBELs community on Facebook or go to REBELs. I look forward to seeing you in there REBEL