9 Reasons to Turn Off the TV

Even better than being active while watching TV is pulling the plug altogether.

from 759 Secrets for Beating Diabetes


  • 5.

    Go on a romantic 'campout' tonight.

    For an adventurous approach to intimacy, “camp out” in the living room for the night. Move the coffee table and other obstructions out of the living room to create a wide open space. Bring into the room any large potted plants. Get two battery-powered camping lanterns (fuel-powered lanterns are a no-no inside) and zip two sleeping bags together. Put a nature sounds CD on the stereo. Have a bowl of berries and a couple of steamy romance novels at the ready. Slide into the giant sleeping bag with your partner. Take turns feeding each other berries and reading passages from the novels to each other.

  • 6.

    Challenge your dog to tug-of-war.

    If you have a large dog, you can get a pretty good workout this way. Teach Spot to tug on one end of a length of rope while you hold the other. Holding your elbow at your side, slowly raise your hand to your shoulder and lower it again (the bicep curl motion). When your bicep (the muscle on the front of your upper arm) tires, exercise the tricep (the muscle on the back): Starting with your arm straight down at your side, move your hand backward, pulling on the rope, and then return your hand to the starting position. When your arm tires, switch to your other arm and repeat both exercises.

  • 7.

    Play hide-and-seek with Fido.

    Give your dog a command to stay in the kitchen, and then go hide elsewhere in the house—behind the couch, behind a door, or in a closet, for instance. Then call your dog. If he obeyed the “stay” command until you called and was able to find you, give him a treat. A few rounds of hide-and-seek will reinforce your pet’s training and give you a bit of exercise to boot.

  • 8.

    Offer 15 minutes of 'fetch.'

    Identify a stretch of the room that’s at least 10 feet long, preferably 15 or 20 feet. Stand at one end of this “runway,” and toss a toy or ball for your dog (or cat, if it’s willing to play). Choose an item that won’t harm the floor, walls, or furniture—preferably one that makes noise. Most pets will get the hang of this game quickly and return the ball to you again and again. Every time you receive the ball, do a knee-bend as you take it from the dog’s mouth. Your dog may be doing more work, but the throwing, bending, and reaching is doing you some good as well.

  • 9.

    Play 'fish' with your kitty.

    Go to the pet store and buy a “cat-fishing” rig—a yard-long plastic rod with a string on one end that dangles a feathery toy. When you get home, stand in the living room holding the rod and letting the toy rest against the floor. Your cat will creep toward the toy. Test your own reflexes against your kitty’s: Can you snatch the toy away just before she pounces? You can alternate between tapping the toy on the floor and dangling in the air to give Muffy her exercise.

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