(Chodzko-Zajko et al., 2009). While every person has a biological clock, the health benefits of a physically active lifestyle for seniors clearly indicate that many age-related illnesses and diseases, including many cancers, can be impressively slowed down.
The average American spends 4 hours and 35 minutes watching television per day. Per week, television viewing adds up to more than 30 hours – well beyond a part-time job. Other reports show that national and local commercials now total an average of eight minutes of every half-hour show. So the average viewer is watching 40 minutes of commercials a day, or more than four-and-a-half hours weekly. This is a substantial amount of time to be sedentary which leads to packing on the pounds without even knowing it.
Laboratory studies help to explain why being overweight increases your cancer risk. The fat we store on our bodies is not an inert mass. Fat cells produce estrogen, which promotes cell growth. They also produce a variety of proteins that cause inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn promote cell growth and cell reproduction. Fat at the waist is even more active in producing these growth stimulants. So overweight people – particularly if they are apple-shaped – have high levels of substances circulating in their blood that stimulate cell division. The more often cells divide, the more opportunity there is for cancer to develop.
If lack of time keeps you from adopting some healthful habits but you aren’t ready to reduce your television-watching time, you might reconsider the way you spend commercials. There are several different approaches you could take to make use of this gold mine of time.
You could use commercial times to accomplish those health-supporting tasks you never seem to get done. Many people find that one of the secrets to healthier eating is to plan meals ahead. This allows you to grocery shop more efficiently and avoids the stress that comes when you haven’t given dinner a thought until a few minutes before you hope to eat. Within an hour of television programming, you could plan close to a week’s worth of meals and perhaps even write the grocery list for a weekly shopping trip.
What about fitness goals that are never met? In a single commercial break you could do several sets of wall push-ups to tone those arm, chest and back muscles; or do other strength-training exercises or stretches to improve your flexibility. Stashing weights or exercise bands near the television allows you to readily start an activity when the commercials start.
Another approach is to use commercials to take care of small general tasks that eat up the time you’d like to spend going for a walk or attending a fitness class. By using commercials to pay bills, do laundry and sort through mail and e-mails, the average American can accumulate more than four hours of time saved in the course of a week, enough to make a substantial boost in exercise time.
Technology offers another great option. If you have a recording technology you can record television shows and fast-forward through the commercials. You can finish four-and-a-half hours of television shows in less than four hours. The trick, however, is to use the extra time to work for you, instead of to watch yet another show.
Personal trainers and exercise professionals are exemplary role models to advocate, inspire and promote physical activity and exercise in this special population. This is one very important reason I am so passionate about what I do!
Contact me today to get started slowing down those disease risks and health issues. I have many ideas and methods to help add activity to your every day life. It is NOT too late to get your Life In Motion to be healthier and happier.
Visit my Home Health Video Series of short, easy-to-follow exercises for seniors you can do in the comfort of your own home without the need for equipment.
Life In Motion Fitness is your connection to a better, stronger, healthier lifestyle. Whether you live in Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa or Scottsdale, Arizona, Life in Motion will come to you and help you with all your exercise and fitness needs in the comfort of your own home. If you live outside these East Valley towns, you can also benefit from the videos and articles found on LifeInMotionFitness.com.
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research